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Ian Phillips

Finance Performance Manager, Spark Corporate | Auckland

Schools play a vital role in our community; every day they guide our children and help build a foundation for the future. My wife is a high school teacher so I see the hard work and dedication that goes into teaching, and also how tight funding can be in most schools.

When Spark Foundation offered me an opportunity to give to a charity through payroll giving, I jumped at the chance to support my sons’ school.

I was aware that not all families could afford camp fees and I felt strongly that every child should get the chance to participate — after all, attending school camp is part of growing up as a Kiwi kid. I asked the principal if some of my donation could go towards ensuring every child got this opportunity.

Payroll giving is simple. Because it’s done through Spark’s payroll system there is no real effort on my part. The money comes out directly from my salary, I get an immediate tax credit, and Spark Foundation matches my donation (up to $500 a year). So the school gets three dollars for every dollar deducted from my net pay.

Giving back to the community makes me feel good! I’m sure that everyone involved in payroll giving gets a sense of pride in making a difference. I believe that if you have managed to do well, it’s important to enable others to have similar opportunities, and I feel grateful for the chance to do so.  

It makes me feel good putting on my lanyard in the mornings, knowing I work for a company that invests in the community and is committed not just to making money but also to giving back.

Lynne Le Gros, General Manager of the Spark Foundation, says payroll giving is good for business as well as the community:

“Work these days is so much more than the pay — people want to work for companies that are good citizens and contribute to the community alongside being commercially strong. We have a culture of encouraging generosity and I think it makes people feel they are in the right place. If you feel good in your job, you are more likely to stay and perform better.”

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