IHG’s ‘Giving for Good’ month uses the scale of our business and the power of our colleagues to shape a positive future for future generations.
At InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), our commitment to help and care for people comes naturally to a business which stands for providing True Hospitality for everyone. With more than 5,700 hotels in over 100 countries, we are proud to be at the heart of local communities and recognise the opportunity to make a real difference to others.
Our True Hospitality for Good programme is our purpose in action, providing a framework for how we use our skills, expertise and resources to have a positive impact in our communities. As a business we work with strategic charitable partners to deliver action on hospitality skills, disaster relief and environmental sustainability. Each September our flagship colleague engagement campaign- Giving for Good, is a time to focus our efforts and all come together to use our scale and power create a positive impact.
Our “Giving for Good” month is dedicated to IHG colleagues coming together to make a positive change through volunteering, taking care of the environment, or activities focused on health, fitness and wellbeing. It’s not just through the efforts of our colleagues during this month that we see our impact come to life. For each colleague that takes part, they can select a charitable cause and IHG makes a donation on their behalf to one of our strategic NGO partners so that we can extend our partnerships with them and make a positive difference to issues such as disaster relief, waste reduction, water and sanitation and helping to provide hospitality skills.
Launched in 2018, our inaugural year saw over 129,000 colleagues get involved and we donated $400,000 to 11 NGO partners. We saw colleagues support more than 1,600 community organisations, donating more than 125,000 hours of their time from teaching in schools; clearing beaches and rivers of plastic, to cooking in shelters.
We are delighted that this year’s Giving for Good month has once again passed our participation target of more than 100,000 colleagues and we’ve seen a real spike in the number of people using our www.truehospitalityforgood.com application, sharing their stories and organising activities across the world.
We understand that community issues vary from market to market and that our colleagues will have causes that are close to their heart. Our strategic partnerships as a business are activated by using the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to identify what issues are the greatest in a market, combined with an understanding of the skills and resources we can bring to add value. Through this approach we find relevant local market partners to work with on community investment activities. Giving for Good was launched to complement this approach to give our colleagues the flexibility to respond to the most pressing needs in their local area and to support them in giving back, supporting causes that matter the most to them. By offering such a flexible approach we are able to empower more than 100,000 colleagues annually to get involved and deliver community impact at scale.
Design and Communication of the programme
We designed the programme to make it simple for colleagues to get involved in Giving for Good month, recognising that collectively we can make a big difference. We also wanted to create a social community and enable colleagues to see all the activities and actions that are taking place and to celebrate together.
We launched a bespoke application www.truehospitalityforgood.com which enables colleagues to register an account, create their event and invite others to join them in their activity, allowing us to track and monitor the activities, providing us with live reporting.
To help drive engagement, our operations and communications colleagues partnered to encourage colleague sign up. We deployed a number of communication channels, including our internal intranet, newsletters, emails and social media to drive engagement as well as holding bespoke webinars for our General Managers.
The bespoke website takes inspiration from social networks and the application has been designed for colleagues to plan and share activities with their colleagues whilst also providing them with toolkits and resources available in English, Mandarin and Spanish. We also hosted flagship charitable events in key locations that saw Senior Leaders joining colleagues to give back. To help our corporate colleagues get involved, we hosted charity fairs in two of our largest corporate offices in the UK and US so that colleagues could meet our partners and find activities to participate in.
Impact and Evaluation
As a business, we have an external target to engage 100,000 colleagues in community activities each year between 2018 and 2020. In 2018 alone, 139,942 colleagues took part in community impact activities across the year and in our September Giving for Good month, 129,951 colleagues from 70 countries supported 1,670 local community organisations supporting thousands of people in their local communities and their local environment.
We run a bespoke reporting process for Giving for Good month, tracking participant numbers, types of activities and the causes that they want to support. We validate the report for accuracy and share a weekly update with our Senior Leaders so they can encourage greater participation.
We also ask our colleagues for feedback on their experiences and track and share stories from those involved and collate beneficiary feedback on the value of our actions.
This data feeds into our annual community investment reporting where we track financial donations, in-kind donations and volunteering hours to show the value of our efforts. We also track and request reporting from our strategic partners to ensure that the programmes we are supporting are delivering value to all involved.