Charity of the Year | IWF & BDB Pitmans

We spoke to Kevin Peake, Marketing Director for BDB Pitmans, about why they've chosen the Internet Watch Foundation as their charity of the year. 

1. Why is it important that your company has a charity of the year programme and how does it align with your Corporate Social Responsibility policy?

Our firm has a long history in supporting charities, because of our specialist lawyers practising in this area, but particularly because of our firm’s culture and the philanthropic aspirations of our employees. Our brand purpose is BUILDING BETTER , so supporting charities is a great way to differentiate us. As part of our commitment to our corporate social responsibility, having a ‘charity of the year’ partnership with a charity is key for employee engagement, as well as for our firm’s image and brand. It also allows us to use our experience and corporate resources for good causes, which is key, and making the longer term commitment allows us to see the results of that which is very motivating.

2. Why did you pick the IWF for your Charity of the Year and commit to two years?

Our staff can put forward candidate charities and then we vote on these, which is part of the employee engagement requirement. The IWF was a clear winner and we are very pleased to be partnering with the charity, which is a very good fit for us given its Cambridge base, but with international reach. The cause clearly struck a chord with our employees, perhaps because we have spent the last 18 months living in a virtual world. We chose to commit to two years because we consider this to be a more impactful pledge to the charity, to allow us to develop a strong working relationship and to really get stuck into some dynamic fundraising initiatives, we well as being able to offer up our time and resources in support. Our experience is that a one year commitment tends to start winding down before it really has a chance to get going.

3. How do you successfully engage your staff to engage with the ‘charity of the year’?

The charity of the year is chosen by all the staff of our local offices. We want engagement to be driven by staff and not centrally.

We have a clear calendar of events and a lot of communications about how this regular engagement supports the charity, and so input is linked to results. These communications are based on impact reports which the IWF team provides and which have been invaluable.

The IWF team have also been very good at making themselves seen within the firm, by attending our events and providing presentations on what the charity does, which has also helped integrate the partnership and support high engagement. Our management is also engaged in the programme which helps as they lead by example – including by running half marathons!

4. How has working with the IWF been so far?

It has been a delight. The team is incredibly proactive and responsive which has meant we have quickly developed a good relationship. Our CSR team members volunteer to support the programme over and above their other roles at the firm and so having such an engaged team has made this partnership our most successful one to date.

5. What sort of activities and profile raising have you carried out?

As the IWF looks to remove child sexual imagery it is a challenge so we decided to focus on positive imagery instead, with a monthly photo competition for our employees. For a donation, staff are encouraged to submit their photos based on a monthly theme with the competition being judged by IWF’s analysts, encouraging stronger connections between our organisations. We promote this regularly in our weekly internal communications newsletter

We have also sponsored the IWF’s running vests for the Cambridge Half Marathon. This importantly freed up some money for the charity to apply to its work, but also meant that we had a number of runners wearing these vests showing our logo next to the IWF’s and so promoting both our city which promoted both the charity and our firm. We are pleased to promote the charity on our website, and in our publications, which alongside supporting our CSR initiatives, also provides a good platform for the charity.

We also offer up our office space (meeting rooms across the firm), staff expertise and resources for the charity to use as it might need, so we assist in other ways apart from financially. Look forward to featuring the charity in our national client magazine to help raise awareness. Also, we will invite the charity to our networking events so they can make new contacts.

Find out more about BDB Pitmans Cambridge

IWF Development Manager, Neil Prowse, says:

We are delighted BDB Pitmans has chosen IWF as its Charity of the Year for 2 years. As a leading UK law firm with strong ties to Cambridge, our ongoing partnership offers exciting opportunities for both organisations to grow and develop whilst supporting IWF’s mission to eliminate online child sexual abuse imagery. We share strong corporate values with a focus on partnership, acting with respect, and finding solutions, enabling this cross-sector partnership to truly flourish.  

There are many opportunities for us to work together throughout our collaboration inducing:

  • Building local awareness of IWF’s work.
  • Joint networking opportunities.
  • Sharing of knowledge and expertise.
  • Sponsorship and fundraising drives.
  • Use of company facilities for fundraising and awareness activities.
  • Awareness-raising opportunities through BDB Pitmans’ Building Better client publication on themes such as tech-for-good and protecting children online.

Collaborative and positive engagement between our organisations not only helps BDB Pitmans fulfil their corporate social responsibility objectives but also encourages teamwork and positive staff engagement united behind a common cause.

We would encourage other companies and organisations, in the UK and around the world, to get in touch with IWF about Charity of the Year partnerships and how they can support our work to eliminate child sexual abuse from the internet. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about Charity of the Year partnerships, get in touch with our Development Team. Email partnerships@iwf.org.uk or call +44 (0)1223 20 30 30.

Three happy children hiking

Charity of the Year

By making the Internet Watch Foundation your company’s Charity of the Year, you’ll become part of a community working together to help protect children online.

IWF office staff

Gifts in kind

People, companies and trusts & foundations can support IWF with a Major Gift and significantly impact our work to support victims of child sexual abuse.

Our partnership with Nominet

Read about how the Internet Watch Foundation and Nominet are working in partnership to make the internet a safer place & protect victims of child sexual abuse.