Keeping up the impact of ICAP Charity Day
Every year, just before Christmas, ICAP, which connects institutional buyers and sellers in the global financial and energy markets, holds its Charity Day. On this day, ICAP gives 100% of its company revenues, and its brokers give 100% of their commissions, to a range of charitable causes around the world. 7 December 2022 was a landmark year for the event, as we celebrated the 30th ICAP Charity Day.
On the day, we raised £4.4m, which took the total raised since 1993 to more than £160m. This has enabled us to make more than 2,800 donations to more than 1,700 charities right around the world, helping to make a positive impact for millions of people.
ICAP Charity Day is all about impact, energy and, well, fun. It is known throughout the financial services industry for the flamboyant fancy dress outfits of our brokers, our charities’ celebrity ambassadors who attend our offices to help close deals, and the fantastic support of our clients. Over the years, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Ant and Dec, and Olivia Colman have all attended and were firm favourites with brokers and clients alike.
Beyond the glitz though, the day is the focal point for our people and our company to demonstrate our passion and commitment to support causes we believe in collectively, and to make a meaningful, positive difference to those in need.
There are, of course, hundreds of amazing charities out there which need support, so our selection process is rigorous. It involves a two-stage, application system, which is underpinned by our core objective of allocating funds where they will have the most impact.
The first round of the process is a written application. This needs to include the details of the applying charity, basic financials, who are the charity’s celebrity ambassadors and – critically – what fundable projects it has in the immediate pipeline.
We then follow up and speak to the charities to learn more about these specific projects and how much money is needed to achieve what. From this, we determine a shortlist. Round two focuses on sourcing more information, such as the scalability of the chosen project, and associated budget. We also carry out more detailed due diligence on the charities’ financials. The selection process is unrestrictive in terms of causes supported, with a broad range chosen, which often resonate with ICAP brokers and staff.
The charities which we support change from year to year. We know new issues emerge continuously, so the charities and causes we choose to support often reflect the greatest need at any given time. By being relevant, we can have greater impact.
Over the years, we have also selected to support many disaster relief charity partners to help heal and repair communities after natural disasters or provide support to tackle challenges posed by pandemics. However, in some instances, we also support charities for several years to enable the development of strategic projects. Good examples are The Prince’s Trust, Refuge and Teenage Cancer Trust. This continuous community development and building of strategic charity partnerships is an increasingly important factor for us to help deliver lasting impact.
Measuring positive impact
To mark the 30th ICAP Charity Day, we commissioned an independent social impact report from Bean Research to better understand the scope of impact that the day has had. Another aspect of the report was to develop a more systematic approach to impact assessment, so that future iterations of the charity day can be better informed.
Bean Research collated information on the donations we have made globally since 1993, how the donations were used, as well as qualitative feedback from supported charities. 76% of the charities supported have been of small or medium size. These have made significant contributions to a range of causes such as the environment, disaster relief, and health and medical causes.
The report found that funding has been used for a variety of outputs; 67% of charities used the grants to maintain services and 45% used the funding to broaden and expand. It is this level of belief in the charity partnerships that makes the annual event a success, as well as meaning that 98% of our funded charities have said they are “very likely” to recommend it to similar charities in the future.
We also found that there has been an increasing use of funds to support digitalisation and technological advances. For example, funding to the charity Missing People initially led to creating a new national helpline assigned by Ofcom. Subsequently, funding from the event helped Missing People advance this helpline to become a new website that was crucial in keeping services running in a more technologically advanced age.
Impact on people
Importantly, there is significant value in the non-financial impact of the event and in the impact on people. It is awe inspiring to learn that at least 7.7 million people worldwide have been impacted positively. Feedback from charities highlights that many beneficiaries have had “substantive improvements” in their lives, whilst others found funding led to “transformational changes”. Amongst the most supported people are children and young people, people with neurodiversity, veterans, and those struggling with poverty.
A poignant case is how the charity day has funded the Teenage Cancer Trust four times over a 12-year period. This has helped fund four youth support coordinators in London, and enabled the development of the charity’s app, which provided support and enabled teens to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic. Our donations have meant that many teenagers struggling with cancer will, hopefully, have felt less alone during these challenging times.
It’s this ability to make a difference that will continue to drive the development of ICAP Charity Day. It is an event that has developed and grown over time, as has the positive impact it has had. This is something of which we are extremely proud. Indeed, the event is now part of our DNA, and we look forward to adding to its lasting legacy.
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