CORPORATE social responsibility (CSR) has become a ‘must’ for companies striving to create a positive reputation.

For P&A Grant Thornton, one of the top 5 auditing and professional services firms in the country, CSR also serves as a way for millennials to find meaning in their work. “When applying for a job, their top priority is no longer what the company sells or their salary structure. Beyond compensation and benefits, millennials are also drawn to the company’s work culture, involvement with causes, office environment, and attention to diversity. They are increasingly finding satisfaction in causes and seeking companies committed to promoting social good,” said Maria Victoria Espano, chairperson and chief executive officer of P&A Grant Thornton.

Millennials, which now comprise a vast 80 percent of the firm’s workforce, take the lead in P&A For A Cause (PAuse), an independent unit under the P&A Foundation, the 30-year-old company’s CSR arm. PAuse is an employee-driven initiative where the company matches every employee donation made.

P&A Foundation, in turn, partners with select non-profit organizations that focus on education and youth, health and nutrition, shelter, livelihood, environment, and gender equality.

Through PAuse, P&A Grant Thornton engaged its employees, with CSR volunteers increasing from 260 active volunteers in 2016 to 320 in 2017.

One of the activities under PAuse is the Project Nutri-Pack, which involved the adoption of a poor community in Talisay, Cebu for a values, health, and livelihood training program in partnership with non-profit International Care Ministries.

The employee-volunteers provided more than 2,000 ‘nutri packs’ that can feed 30 families throughout the duration of the 16-week training. The firm matches every peso the employee volunteers raised.

Apart from matching employee donations, the company also allows its employees to charge their “CSR time” as paid work hours.

The firm also makes it convenient for volunteers to get involved. Employees simply need to sign up for PAuse, commit whatever amount they can afford every month, join the outreach events they like, and even pitch ideas for the next CSR advocacy.

One of the projects that usually draws the most number of volunteers is the annual Pamasko, where volunteers provide noche buena packs to poor but deserving families as well as stuffed toys and educational materials for children.

As published in SunStar Cebu, dated 13 April 2018