This feature was originally published in the Autumn 2019 edition of InBUSINESS.
Opportunity Hack 2019
Today’s workforce looks for more from employers. Team members don’t just want fulfilment from what they do at work, but also outside it. The worlds of company and community have become intertwined.
PayPal is an organisation that embraces and encourages this approach, making Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) an integral part of the company’s ethos.
From charitable initiatives that are now staples in PayPal’s CSR calendar, to supporting future generations in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the company supports its teammates in making a difference in Ireland and across the globe.
The PayPal Gives programme demonstrates PayPal’s passion and commitment to supporting employees in making a positive and lasting contribution to the causes they care about.
Earlier this year, PayPal donated a total of €57,000 to nine Irish charities as part of its PayPal Gives and Ireland’s Financial Inclusion Charity Grant programmes.
Teammates were asked to nominate six charities to receive donations for PayPal Gives. The chosen organisations were Dogs Trust, Women’s Aid, Inner City Helping Homeless, Sickle Cell Society, Ruhama and Educate Together.
Three more charities received funding as part of Ireland’s Financial Inclusion Charity Grant programme. This year, The Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Junior Achievement Ireland and Cuidiú were selected for their innovative ideas.
The Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities received a donation to help fund a programme aimed at equipping students with education and training for future employment opportunities.
In a bid to teach young people life and career skills, Junior Achievement Ireland will use its contribution to roll out its Junior Achievement programme, focusing on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, employability and the value of STEM education.
Cuidiú also received a donation which will be put towards support services and events for expectant parents, enabling them to make informed choices about pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
Maeve Dorman, Vice President of Global Merchant Services, PayPal, said: “We understand that our teammates want to make a difference in the communities in which they work and live. PayPal Gives makes this happen by allowing us to support worthy charities and causes in any way we can.
“It’s not just about donations; we actively encourage our people volunteer and get involved in the chosen charities’ day-to-day work. It helps to build a sense of community and allows us to appreciate the selfless work so many people in our society carry out every day.”
To help charities adapt to an increasingly digital world, PayPal hosts an annual charity hackathon in Ireland. Opportunity Hack brings together teammates from PayPal offices from across the globe to solve the digital challenges of six Irish charities over a 24-hour period.
During this time, the teams create and develop solutions and systems to address the organisations’ most pressing digital needs and challenges. A judging panel then chooses the best projects based on innovation, collaboration, impact, completion and presentation.
This year, the charities involved were Ruhama, Zest 4 Kids, Educate Together, Sickle Cell Society, Suicide of Survive (SOS) and Home Education Network. The projects included the development of new website platforms, donation and membership webpages, templates to help manage online sponsorship campaigns and health and wellness apps.
“The hackathon is a fun, collaborative event that helps charities use technology for worthwhile causes and overcome digital challenges,” Dorman explains. “It’s also a fantastic event for teammates because it instils a great sense of achievement and provides a unique opportunity to put their skills to the test.”
PayPal also works closely with local communities, colleges and schools to encourage participation for all - from transition year students to senior citizens.
In association with Age Action Ireland, which advocates for the needs of older people across the country, PayPal regularly hosts senior citizens at its Dundalk office to help the group learn more about computers and use them effectively.
Meanwhile, the company’s Dublin and Dundalk offices welcome transition year students each year for a week of work experience. As well as gaining insights into life at PayPal, the students participate in workshops covering CV preparation, interview skills, project management, marketing and budgeting.
Dorman adds: “For us, success isn’t just about what we do for customers in transforming the world of money. It’s also about including everyone, giving back and helping others. Empowering and enabling teammates to do the right thing is at the heart of what we do.”
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