QBE: Making a meaningful impact

Each year the QBE Foundation aligns with a select number of charities that fulfil its objective of helping people in the community overcome disadvantage, strengthen their abilities, and live more independently, successfully and productively.

The charity partners are provided with a one-off donation between $50,000 and $100,000, and a 12-month commitment of support from the Foundation. QBE also offers employees volunteering opportunities throughout the year, allowing staff to provide more than just financial support to those in need.

In 2015/16, QBE’s charity partners are:

  • Guide Dogs Australia
  • The Kids’ Cancer Project
  • Camp Quality
  • The Big Issue
  • Brainwave Australia

Canstar caught up with QBE Foundation Chairman, Richard Wulff, to find out more about the charity selection process and operation.

Q: What is the selection process that QBE goes through in selecting charity partners? How is the final decision made?

A: When selecting our charity partners, the QBE Foundation Committee reviews all applications against how closely they align to the Foundation’s philosophy, what the funding will be used for and what volunteering opportunities and activities the charity can offer our employees nationally. A key objective for us is being able to make a meaningful impact on the lives of the individuals and groups we support, so we always look to partner with charities where we have the greatest opportunity to do this. The charities with the most compelling application, detailing how they meet our criterion, go on to be our charity partners.

Q: What staff benefits do you see as a result of your volunteering program?

A: Our people receive one day volunteer leave a year to lend a helping hand in support of causes they feel strongly about. Not only is it a great opportunity for us to strengthen ties with the communities in which we operate, but we continuously receive positive feedback from our employees about the value of volunteering as a team building experience.

Our teams participate in a wide range of volunteering activities, from performing gardening, painting and maintenance for those less fortunate, to online mentoring, delivering food supplies and helping host fundraising events.

We also have a long-term partnership with Jawun – which promotes self-reliance, entrepreneurial activity and business planning among Indigenous people – that sees several of our people take secondments to Indigenous communities around Australia each year. They spend about six weeks sharing their expertise, skills and knowledge with the community and, in return, our Indigenous partners share their stories, values and culture.

Q: In addition to your charity partners you also offer local grants. How do they work? Do you have any favourite grants over the past few years?

A: Local grants are part of the QBE Foundation’s coordinated approach to giving, allow us to support a variety of charities our people are passionate about. Last year the Foundation supported more than 35 charities around Australia through local grants, donating to causes such as Camp Maasai, Veterans of WA, Cottage by the Sea and Focal Extended Inc. Employees are encouraged to submit applications to the Foundation Committee on behalf of an organisation they’d like to see us support, outlining how their purpose is aligned to our philosophy, what the funding will be used for, and what it means to them. Local grants can be requested for up to $10,000.

A personal favourite of mine was recently awarding a $10,000 grant to Michael O’Loughlin from the GO [Goodes O’Loughlin] Foundation which will help support the fantastic work he’s doing to build resilience in Indigenous communities.

To be considered as a charity partner, organisations must be a registered charity and are required to complete an application form detailing their funding sources and the project for which they are seeking support. Charities that align with the QBE Foundation’s philosophy and objectives are invited to submit their applications for partnership between June and September each year.

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