IF cultivating suitable long-term relationships with business partners and clients are considered key to the sustainability of a business, the same can be said of partnerships between businesses and charity organisations.
“While there are a lot of charity organisations today, it is still important to source out those who share the same focus and values as you,” says Nicholas Goh, CEO of Verztec Consulting, a global content consulting company headquartered in Singapore.
In selecting charity partners, Mr Goh says: “A good, stable management team with long-term aims are important considerations when striking and maintaining such partnerships.
“You want to be a voice for the cause so that you can use your platform and expertise to impact the lives of those in need.”
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As the CEO of Verztec, Mr Goh uses his position and influence at the workplace to raise awareness of the needs for those who are less privileged in society.
“We spend a substantial amount of our time with our colleagues, and it also provides the opportunity for like-minded people at the office to contribute to a charitable cause together.”
While all staff at Verztec are encouraged to visit the charities, Mr Goh notes that it is important that staff are left to their own devices when deciding if they have the time and resources to participate.
The spirit of giving is present across all eight countries in which Verztec offices are located. They too, are encouraged to work with their respective local partners to support communities.
Since 2010, Verztec has maintained a partnership with the Life Community Services Society (LCSS), a non-profit charitable organisation that reaches out to more than 950 people in Singapore, mostly disadvantaged youth and children.
“We are involved with LCSS through fundraising events, participating in their events as volunteers, with some staff even volunteering in a personal capacity,” Mr Goh said.
As a fundraising partner, Verztec supports LCSS as a sponsor and participant of its Golf for Life charity initiative, an annual charity event where the sponsors of LCSS meet to raise funds for the organisation. Verztec has contributed close to S$100,000 over the last five years.
Verztec staff, including Mr Goh, are also active members of LCSS’s mentorship programmes – Friends of Children (FOC) and Friends of Youth (FOY). These programmes aim to provide academic, financial and emotional support for children 7-13 years of age, and youth between 13-19 years old whose parents are presently or formerly incarcerated.
For Mr Goh, having this platform to nurture children and youth is imperative as it allows volunteers to pay attention to character development – intrinsic in the nurturing of one’s skills to take on life’s challenges.
Verztec’s efforts though, are not restricted to the younger ones in need, as evidenced by its partnership with St Vincent’s Home.
Mr Goh says: “Since we are based in the Rochor area, we decided to look for organisations that take care of senior citizens in the neighbourhood with whom we can work with to touch lives.”
Since 2010, Verztec has been organising visits to St Vincent’s Home at least once a year. The type of visits range from festive lunches during Chinese New Year and Christmas, to sing-along and sharing sessions.
These sessions are what Mr Goh has found to be more meaningful to senior citizens as they provide opportunities for residents and Verztec employees to interact and share experiences with each other.
To top that off, Verztec also pools funds among its staff to buy necessities and wishlist items for the residents.
On new and future community projects, Mr Goh is confident of expanding Verztec’s reach, and highlights that there are many possibilities for future partnership. Verztec is already working with the Canossaville Children & Community Services in Singapore while it also partners World Vision, a worldwide non-government organisation that reaches out to disadvantaged kids in developing countries.
– This article is part of a series of stories on the business case for doing good. The Business Times supports NVPC’s Company of Good programme as media partner. Visit www.companyofgood.sg for more information.
(THE BUSINESS TIMES)