Corporate Social Responsibility

Grant Thornton global CSR day

Deepak Nagar Deepak Nagar

All ten Grant Thornton offices throughout South Africa, like their counterparts worldwide, will participate in the global audit, tax and advisory firm’s first-ever Grant Thornton International community day later this week.

Every member firm worldwide will be involved in community projects on September 17, earmarked as ‘Growing Together (GT) in the Community’ day.

There are approximately 40,000 Grant Thornton people, across over 130 countries. More than 1 000 of those people work here in South Africa.

The local offices have identified a variety of projects for Thursday’s community day, ranging from maintaining educational facilities, mentoring students and organisations, to hunger alleviation initiatives including packaging meals, collecting food and planting food gardens.

“We have a long tradition of supporting our local communities,” says Deepak Nagar, national chairman of Grant Thornton SA. “We’re always looking at ways to make contributions too, using our time, skills or expertise to make a difference to a variety of charitable and community organisations.

“We encourage our staff to give something back to our communities and our named charities, by volunteering, making donations or fundraising. ‘GT in the Community’ is a new initiative which provides additional focus and further spearheads our efforts.”

The idea on 17 September is that each member firm takes a local approach, but can leverage global scale and support. It will lead to enhanced collaboration between firms in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) space, so that firms worldwide can scale and replicate what works.

In September 2014 Grant Thornton International held a three-day online summit for employees worldwide which was known as the "Global Jam". The webinar en masse provided a platform for all staff to openly discuss issues of international cooperation, development of the network’s business, personnel management, improvement of client services. More than 14,000 people took part in the forum including managing partners and invited experts.

“We are one of the first and only professional services firms to develop our global strategy in this collaborative way,” says Ed Nusbaum, global CEO and Chairman of Grant Thornton International: “In fact, the idea of a global CSR day was developed and conceived at the Global Jam, and now - 12 months later -it has become a reality.”

Grant Thornton International’s global CSR ambition is to have 10,000 ambassadors across the global network. The aim of the first ‘GT in the Community’ day is to launch this ambition and for everyone to act, commit and share. The hashtag #GTintheCommunity has been created for member firms to share their stories on all social media platforms.

Employees are encouraged to shape their contributions to fit their capacity using one or more of the following approaches on the day:

• Commit to take action in the future
• Launch a new CSR approach or initiative
• Begin a relationship with a new charity or NGO
• Use their skills through pro bono work
• Take action by volunteering their time
• Making financial contributions towards a socially responsible cause
• Share their success stories and commitments #GTintheCommunity
• Present on the past achievements made in CSR.

“We’re delighted that the global network is united on the same day for a common cause, to make a real difference by unlocking the potential within the communities in which we live, work and play,” Nagar concludes.