The Ripple Effect

By: Ailsa Young, PwC

Ailsa Young, Senior Manager at PwC, shares her journey with Impact100SA and one of its supported charities, Youth Opportunities.

When PwC were invited by Impact100SA to help one of the four FY15 finalists with their grant submission. I put myself forward along with a couple of other colleagues to see what we could do to help. It was through this process that I met Peter Carey, the CEO from Youth Opportunities (YO). Through a succession of meetings we helped him flesh out his presentation and address the criterion put forward by Impact100SA. Despite not taking away the main award on the night, YO did not leave empty-handed, with Impact100SA awarding all three runners up a significant cheque for their efforts.

One of the first things I did after being involved with this experience was sign up to Impact100SA for 2016. A fantastic organisation, giving such a well needed boost to all finalists, not just the winner.

Leading PwC Adelaide's Societal Relevance team, I then reached out to YO to see if they would come into our office to participate in our Charity Market Place, a lunchtime mini-market of various locally South Australian based NFPs all doing wonderful things in the community. The aim of the event was to raise the profile of each of these NFPs with our staff, raise some money for them on the day, increase touch points and networks for both sides and to encourage our staff to sign up to our workplace giving platform. It was here I met Denise Rowe, YO's fundraising guru.

After a number of follow-up conversations with Denise to see how PwC could get involved and help in any way, we came to the conclusion that through Denise's other corporate networks there were other like-minded people out there who were all keen to help and wanted to get ourselves more involved.

The concept of forming an Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors was formed and in October 2015. After accepting the invitation to join we had our first get together closely followed by a meet and greet with the Board, hosted very kindly, by PwC Partner, James Blackburn at the PwC office.

The relationships between Impact100SA, YO and PwC continues. PwC are actively involved in finding ways of helping key stakeholders across government, business and the community map out and address some of the socio-economic challenges facing the Northern Adelaide region. One of the more fun and engaging initiatives we have run to engage our staff is a Quiz Night. YO were voted by staff to be the sole beneficiaries of the cash raised. Five YO staff members attended on the night showing great passion and commitment to their roles.

All that, in less than nine months!

I have no doubt these relationships will continue through PwC and externally through our professional and personal involvements with both Impact100SA and with YO. I certainly had no idea that simply sticking my hand up to help YO with their grant submission for Impact100SA would end up with me taking a place on a newly formed Advisory Committee to the Board. The opportunity to engage directly with the Board to help them brainstorm and address some of their more complex issues has been invaluable to me from a personal development point of view. More importantly, however, this Advisory Committee will hopefully help YO flourish and prosper in a sustainable way well into the future. 

My story shows what the strength of relationships can bring and demonstrates the potential that can be realised when corporate enterprise collaborates with the not-for-profit sector with a solid injection of personal passion thrown in the mix. The connections I made through my initial contact with Impact100SA, and now my personal membership, have made this possible. Thank you.

Feb. 23, 2016

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