Deutsche Bank's salary donation scheme clicks with staff

The headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. The Singapore branch of Germany's Deutsche Bank started the Donate One Day scheme in 2010 and support has grown since. -- PHOTO: AFP
The headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. The Singapore branch of Germany's Deutsche Bank started the Donate One Day scheme in 2010 and support has grown since. -- PHOTO: AFP

Deutsche Bank's Donate One Day initiative has raised $1.4m for charity

With just a click, employees at a bank here can donate part of their salaries - ranging from one to 30 days - to charity.

If one earns $5,000 a month and gives a day's wages, this means more than $160 is donated in seconds.

The Singapore branch of Germany's Deutsche Bank started this Donate One Day scheme in 2010 and support has grown since. Last year, $435,000 was raised by 370 staff members, or a fifth of the bank's team here. That was nearly thrice as much as the $153,000 raised in 2010 by 90 of the bank's employees.

It is easy to donate: Staff get an e-mail about the fund-raising drive, usually in September. They click a link, give their details, and decide how many days of their salaries they want to donate.

Business manager Anil Mohan, 43, has been donating one to three days of his salary each year from the start in 2010.

"I think it's very easy to do. I'm very lucky and blessed to be where I am, so I want to give back," said the only graduate in his family of five.

Not only is the donation method convenient, it also costs little.

The scheme has raised about $1.4 million since it started, but the money spent on the IT infrastructure and promotional videos made up only 0.7 per cent of this.

There are huge efficiencies, said Mr Oliver Bettin, a managing director at the bank. He brought in the programme, which first started in the London office. "When you see how much is spent on charity balls, there's a lot of money put in and expenses could make up 30 per cent of the funds raised."

He also learnt that some people are more willing to donate when asked by friends.

The amount raised by Deutsche Bank is split equally among four charities chosen through nominations and interviews by bank staff.

This year, the funds will go to Arc Children's Centre, Dover Park Hospice, Society for the Physically Disabled and Yong-En Care Centre.

In the lead-up to the day when staff get the donation appeal e-mail, they are also encouraged to volunteer with the charities.

Mr William Chua, executive director of Yong-En Care Centre, said he was thankful for staff from "different levels of management" donating and volunteering. Yong-En offers counselling, day-care and home-care services.

Mr Bettin hopes other companies will adopt the Donate One Day initiative. "It is a very simple concept and makes it easy for employees to support a charity, so a lot of funds can be raised through this means."

goyshiyi@sph.com.sg

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