Lisa Mallinson, Giving Programmes Manager at NatWest talks about how Pennies from Heaven is helping a little change make a big difference.

In her 15 years at the bank, Lisa Mallinson has always wanted a job that helps communities to thrive. Her role as Giving Programmes Manager allows her to do exactly this, as it’s focused on inspiring employees to give back to the community. As part of a NatWest Group Blog, Lisa was interviewed to speak about about ‘Pennies from Heaven’, NatWest’s new employee giving programme and how it’s helping a little change make a big difference.

For those who don’t know, what is Pennies from Heaven in a snapshot?

Pennies from Heaven (PFH) is the latest addition to our payroll giving programme we rolled out in April this year. Specifically, it allows our colleagues to give directly to charity from their salary each month, by rounding down to the nearest Pound Sterling. It’s great because it’s so accessible to employees, regardless of their role or level.

What charities and communities does PFH support?

This year, our first appeal has been to donate to charities that support Covid-19 relief efforts. The charities we’ve chosen are spread across three of our jurisdictions, which are the National Emergencies Trust and Disasters Emergency Committee in the UK, the Community Foundation for Republic of Ireland (ROI), the Association of Jersey Charities, the Social Investment Fund in Guernsey and the Manx Solidarity Fund, which are for our offshore scheme.

What other ways have we been helping Covid-19 relief efforts?

The National Emergencies Trust (NET) has been a particularly important campaign for us in response to Covid-19 in the UK. We committed to matching donations up to £5m from colleagues and customers, which led us to donating £10m in total and, through our partnership with NET, more than 10,000 charities and community organisations were supported. From delivering food banks, to volunteer efforts and community outreach to name just a few, we’re delighted these donations have helped reach those most in need in these unprecedented times.

Could you go into some more detail about payroll giving?

We have payroll giving schemes across the UK, ROI and India, which allow our colleagues to donate any chosen, pre-tax, amount to the charity of their choice. Last year, these schemes raised over £1.8m alone, which is why charities value payroll giving as it provides them with regular donations to help deliver life-changing services.

Can you tell me about some of the other ways that we support charities?

What’s important to us is personal choice, seen through our ‘Do Good Feel Good’ initiative, which allows people to support something they’re passionate about. Our colleagues have three days a year to volunteer and they can support any cause they like. We see lots of people engage with our centrally run volunteering programmes too, such as our education programme, MoneySense for Schools and in helping to rejuvenate local community spaces through The Conservation Volunteers programme. This will also soon see us offering our colleagues the chance to join a tree planting initiative to help support the climate.

What do these charitable programmes mean to you?

The reason we do our work in all these areas, is to drive societal values and champion potential, by enabling our colleagues to give back to the places in which we live and work. It comes back to our purpose as a responsible business; we have a large proportion of colleagues and we can mobilise them to do good, and help communities thrive.

How would you encourage someone who would like get more involved?

This sector needs our help, now more so than ever. Giving back isn’t just about a good engagement feeling, there are real connections you can make. By learning more about charities, and living through your passions, you can make a difference to people’s lives.


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