A new initiative has been launched to connect people in banks and fintechs without a commercial agenda but to collaborate over good causes

 
One Wednesday evening after work I attended a networking event for marketing and communications experts from banks and fintechs at Guy’s Cancer Centre in London Bridge.

The location provided a fitting backdrop for the launch of Comms for Good, an initiative designed to bring banks and fintechs together over good causes and demonstrate the true meaning of the words connection, collaboration and community. The idea is simple, in banking communications it’s easy to speak but not listen and talking about connecting and collaborating is not the same as actually doing it. “If a brand truly wants an impact the organisation must build lasting positive connections with its audience,” said Kate Bolton, head of PR and communications at Temenos and founder of Comms for Good. “Those lasting positive connections should be authentic and founded on something more sustainable than commercial agenda. We shouldn’t be in the business of talking ourselves but not listening – I wanted to connect with people in other businesses without an agenda,” added Bolton. That connection was instantly made between the 40+ people who gathered at the hospital, hosted by Dimbleby Cancer Care, the charity that helps people deal with the life changing effects of cancer.

Good causes make good stories

Comms for Good is about bringing marketing and communications experts together for good causes and to tell those stories with a collective voice. This is perfect timing for an industry that needs more good stories. It’s been 10 years since the financial crisis and yet the industry’s debt to society looms large, noted Chris Gledhill, FinTech influencer, blogger & co-founder of Bank Secco. “But instead of committing huge CSR budgets to repaying that debt, which seems like a competitive advantage, the impact is actually more community based,” he said. “And if we can collectively raise the reputation of the financial services industry it’s like a rising tide raising all of the boats.”

 Gledhill shared a few good stories in financial services:

  • Change Please is a charity in London that trains homeless people as baristas. Thanks to a recent partnership with Mastercard, those baristas can now have a wheelie stand and take digital payments
  • Lend with Care is an impact investing charity which gives people vouchers to do some impact investing. Instead of this money going to charity, people in the third world bid for that money to start businesses and pay the money back when their business is up and running
  • Barclaycard is partnering with UK children’s charity NSPCC, the Royal British Legion and Oxfam to enable people to make contactless payments as donations in the streets
  • Donorcoin is a crypto currency that enables people to donate to a charity by buying a coin for a vaccine, for example. That coin translates into a good at the point the good received so that the money is not lost along the way
  • The UK government’s newly launched a digital strategy is about digital learning in the UK. So far Lloyds has committed to training people with digital skills, while Barclays commits to teaching children how to code

Sadly, these stories often get lost amidst all of the other noise. To make them heard requires a collaborative effort and who better to spearhead that than the marketing and comms experts at these banks and fintechs. Comms for Good will look to collectively cut through that noise to get to the good things people do and align that message. “For every single fintech and bank there is a real opportunity to help financial services and to articulate the good in banking,” said Gledhill.

‘Like’ and ‘share’, but please also ‘do’

The industry can articulate that good through various forms of communication, including through social media. But, said Harriet Allner, communications manager at Starling Bank, instead of ‘sharing’ and ‘liking’ things those ‘slactivists’ should be converted into ‘do-ers’. “It’s about speaking up about causes that matter, to take a positive, curious approach to impossible problems,” she said. “That’s how we make people want to do things because they want to be part of that tribe for a purpose and in this room that purpose is Comms for Good, putting generosity back in the heart of communications.” To tell the stories of what companies do to contribute to causes requires a community and shared vision, said Allner. Telling those good stories means everything. “Stories help make sense of the world and they can change it. Comms for Good is built on sharing and valuing each other’s stories and that’s essential,” she said.

Act now

Here is where that collaboration and the collective telling of those good stories begins. Comms for Good means banks and fintechs coming together for a good cause and telling the good stories about financial services that need to be told. To do this, Dimbleby Cancer Care, under the banner of Comms for Good, is organising a Walk50 night walk challenge across London on 9th June. It is looking for participants in order to raise the vital funds needed to provide care and support for people living with cancer. Click here to sign up for the walk and join Comms for Good to get involved in causes such as this one. Let’s walk together on 9th June and tell more good stories.

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