A career with a difference: Corporate Citizenship at FTI Consulting
Kirsty Christie, Corporate Citizenship Manager, EMEA at FTI Consulting explains how FTI Consulting’s graduates can give back to the world on work time.
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Do you care about making a difference and helping people? FTI Consulting does too. That’s why its award-winning Corporate Citizenship programme allows its employees to bring about positive change in their day job while at the same time impacting the world more broadly.
‘We believe in empowering our experts to make an impact that matters,’ says Kirsty Christie, Senior Corporate Citizenship Manager, EMEA at FTI Consulting. ‘Corporate Citizenship is a value that we hold dearly because, as a professional services firm, we need to support our people, clients and the communities where our people live and work around the globe. Not only that, but it makes our employees happy to do good and make a difference. It really is a no brainer and a win-win for everyone.’
Graduates who join FTI Consulting are encouraged to get involved with the Corporate Citizenship programme from day one – starting with a Graduate Fundraising Challenge in the London office – making the firm a perfect choice for students who want to pursue a career in consulting while following their passion for helping those most in need.
What is the Corporate Citizenship programme?
FTI Consulting’s Corporate Citizenship programme has three focus areas:
- Volunteering – providing opportunities for employees to volunteer for causes they are passionate about.
- Pro bono – leveraging FTI Consulting’s unique expertise to make a difference for organisations in its communities.
- Donation matching – amplifying the impact of its employees' personal charitable contributions.
For FTI Consulting, Corporate Citizenship is engrained in everyday life at the firm. This is crystal clear from speaking to Kirsty, who is responsible for leading a whole host of Corporate Citizenship initiatives across the firm’s EMEA region every year. This includes the London office, as well as locations such as Brussels, Cape Town, Dubai, Madrid, Dublin, Munich and Paris.
The London office: charity partners and the graduate fundraising challenge
Many of FTI Consulting’s offices proactively create partnerships with charitable organisations and campaigns that align with the values of the firm. In the London office, a charity partner is selected every two years and is nominated and voted on by employees. Currently, the London office’s charity partner is The Talent Tap, a social mobility charity supporting young people in remote UK locations with the career of their dreams. The office previously partnered with Whizz-Kidz, a charity transforming the lives of disabled children.
‘We set ourselves the target of raising £50,000 each year and we look at it holistically: how can our people volunteer, fundraise and use their professional skills to support that partner?’ explains Kirsty. For Whizz-Kidz, this included providing pro bono social media analytics services to advise the charity’s public relations strategy and running a wheelchair day, where 20 senior leaders spent their entire day in a wheelchair, experiencing everything from commuting into the office to client meetings.
Now, with The Talent Tap, FTI Consulting professionals can volunteer to mentor young people between the ages of 18 and 21, for example. This is on top of fundraising through the likes of gaming competitions, silent auctions, raffles, bake sales, quizzes and participation in sporting challenges such as the Royal Parks Half Marathon, the London to Brighton bike ride, the London triathlon and Tough Mudder competitions.
Graduates in the London office also take part in the annual Graduate Fundraising Challenge. ‘Graduates from all of the different segments are involved and we mix people up into cross-segment teams. These teams then compete to see who can raise the most money,’ says Kirsty. ‘It’s great fun and our graduates always get inventive with their ideas. We’ve seen elf outfit competitions at Christmas, Valentine’s Day messages and an online event called "Connect 4" where, during the coronavirus lockdown, employees donated to be connected with three random colleagues to have a chat.’
Corporate Citizenship champions
To ensure that the Corporate Citizenship programme is as active as possible across FTI Consulting, employees can volunteer to become Corporate Citizenship Champions. This involves dedicating two hours each month to help run the Corporate Citizenship programme.
‘We’re always looking for new Corporate Citizenship Champions. If it’s something a graduate would be interested in doing, we'd encourage them to raise their hand during their induction,’ says Kirsty. ‘In the London office alone, I currently work with a network of 40 champions who help me to facilitate different events and come up with new ones. We also attend monthly meetings with our charity partner and quarterly meetings with other champions across FTI Consulting’s regions to share what we’ve been doing and hear about the initiatives happening globally.'
Those professionals who are not Corporate Citizenship Champions can still put forward ideas, whether that’s a potential pro bono project or a fundraising suggestion.
Every employee at FTI Consulting receives one day of paid leave for volunteering each year and the firm puts on opportunities to encourage everybody to use their volunteering time. For example, you can help charities online through Benevity, the Corporate Citizenship portal. You can also come up with your own volunteering activity if you’d like to volunteer in your local community.
‘Our biggest volunteer programme in London is Experts In Schools,’ says Kirsty. ‘We work in partnership with the charity Young Citizens to help schools create interactive and user-friendly teaching resources for 14- to 18 year-olds on challenging topics, such as Brexit and public affairs, navigating the media and fake news and Covid-19 and the economy. Our professionals also create teaching packs for teachers, which reach around 35,000 young people a year.’
Kirsty also runs an EMEA volunteering month every June, when employees can get involved with the different volunteering sessions offered over the course of four weeks.
Pro bono is an integral part of FTI Consulting’s work, leveraging its professionals’ deep knowledge and unique expertise to make a difference for organisations in its communities. All FTI Consulting employees are allotted up to 35 hours of work performed for approved pro bono engagements, whether it’s all in one go or spread out over the course of the year.
‘One example of a pro bono project is the work that our data science team in London did for the charity Blind Veterans UK to help them analyse their data and create a dashboard that they can use to target their fundraising campaigns,’ says Kirsty. ‘Another is in South Africa, where our strategic communications segment ran the press office for The Solidarity Fund (set up in response to Covid-19).’
Employees who make their own, personal contributions to charity can double the size of their donation through FTI Consulting’s donation matching. The firm gives each employee up to £375 of matched funding for charities of their choice every year.
Beyond the three pillars, FTI Consulting has also invested time and effort in developing more sustainable practices. The firm is committed to doing its part to reduce the firm’s collective environmental impact and will be releasing its first Corporate Sustainability Report. ‘It’s important for us to involve the business more in how we can improve our environmental sustainability and keep them updated on what we’re implementing, whether that’s a paperless desk policy or a cycle to work scheme,’ says Kirsty.
Corporate Citizenship at a glance
- 36% of professionals participated in Corporate Citizenship efforts
- Over 2.1 million dollars contributed in pro bono services globally
- 4,000+ hours of volunteer service
- 121% increase in charitable donations matched by FTI Consulting compared with 2019
- 1,500+ local and global charitable organisations supported
- 36% reduction in total energy consumed (MWh) from 2018 to 2020
- 63% reduction in emissions intensity per employee from 2018 to 2020
- 65% of professionals in LEED-certified (or equivalent) offices.
‘I’m really proud of the Corporate Citizenship programme and all it has achieved,’ says Kirsty. ‘Despite being extremely busy as consultants, our people want to give back, which is so great. We have so many kinds of experts with different ideas and a lot of good will!’
About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting is an independent global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organisations manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes: financial, legal, operational, political and regulatory, reputational and transactional. FTI Consulting professionals, located in all major business centres throughout the world, work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges and opportunities.