UBS Australian Community Impact

Why Education and Social Enterprise?

The success of UBS is built on the quality and dedication of our people. This dedication is evident in the workplace and our employees’ commitment to helping students and social enterprises at all stages.

UBS in Australia has been hosting and supporting education initiatives for more than eleven years. We
run annual Finance and Young Women's Leadership academies for a range of school students to develop their knowledge of the business world, how financial markets operate, changing business technology and further education opportunities. We run an annual HSC Economics Day to ensure students are up to date on the current syllabus with speakers from academia and industry. UBS commits significant employee time and has invested over $3 million to ensure the success of the Academies and the HSC Economics Day.

We partner with outstanding organisations, including the Sydney Story Factory, Ardoch Youth Foundation, The Benevolent Society, Australian Business Community Network, the Foundation for Young Australians and the UNSW Nura Gili Centre for Indigenous Programs. These long term partnerships focus on expanding educational opportunities in the wider community and complement our existing academy offerings.The areas we focus on - education and entrepreneurship – make the most of the skills and knowledge of our employees and enable us to make the biggest possible impact in our communities. 

UBS Australia Foundation

The UBS Australia Foundation manages UBS’ community partnerships, receives and distributes UBS’ charitable donations and administers our workplace giving programme. The Foundation brings our charitable, volunteering and workplace giving efforts under the one banner.

Our goals for the community

Equip young Australians with business skills, to give them the confidence to reach their educational potential. For UBS employees to share their workplace and entrepreneurship skills (supported by targeted funding) in order to help young people achieve their education and business goals.

Our goals for UBS

Strengthen UBS employee engagement through volunteering and our workplace giving programme.
Engage with our external stakeholders including community groups, clients, government, and other funders.
Build and maintain strategic, targeted partnerships with community organisations focused on education and social entrepreneurship. 

How we do it

We work with a range of stakeholders – directly with schools and universities, the Secondary Principals Association, our not for profit partners and community groups, government clients and staff. We engage with primary school students through the Sydney Story Factory, early and mid secondary students through our Academies, ABCN, Ardoch and The Benevolent Society, school leavers and tertiary students through Nura Gili, and young social pioneers through The Foundation for Young Australians.

We constantly seek feedback on our initiatives from those that count – the students, educators and our employees.

How we fund

Generally in three year cycles. This gives our partners time to either establish themselves or to resource appropriately, to prove programmes and outcomes and seek additional partners.

Strategic review

2015-2016 Strategic review

After seven years in operation and many successful philanthropic partnerships we have commenced a strategic review of our existing programmes, funding priorities, our external profile and how we measure the outcomes and impact of our work.

In 2012-2014 UBS Australia supported eleven key programmes, four of which matured in the course of 2014.
We are committed to maintaining a strong focus on driving education initiatives, whilst also supporting our employees significant contributions to causes through Workplace Giving. This means simplifying the number of projects we support, ensuring we remain closely aligned to our key theme.

In 2016 we will actively seek opportunities for our stakeholders to work collaboratively on existing and potential projects. We will continue to fund in our local communities in the areas of education with partners that may use UBS core business skills to engage employees.

We will continue to fund in three year cycles to ensure scalability and actively seek co investment partners.
We will articulate our strengths and achievements internally and externally.

UBS Key Partnerships in 2015 

Sydney Story Factory

UBS is the founding and principal partner of The Sydney Story Factory. The Sydney Story Factory was launched in 2012 as a not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people. It delivers creative writing workshops to help develop kids’ enthusiasm for writing and storytelling.

The Sydney Story Factory works with young people aged 7 to 17 from all backgrounds, including school groups, marginalised young people, Indigenous and non English speaking students. The initiative utilises its large volunteer base, which includes UBS employees. It offers students free individual and group sessions on story writing of all kinds. The programs are project-based and every child takes home a published piece of work.

Objective – to assist the Sydney Story Factory in start up phase from opening its doors, recruiting volunteers, ingraining itself in the local communities.

Impact achieved – 2,797 students enrolled in April 2015, 1,100 trained tutors, 23% indigenous students and 44% from language backgrounds other than English. University of Sydney long term evaluation process has been established

"The Sydney Story Factory has touched the lives of thousands of young people. This has only been possible because of the wonderful support we have received from our Founding Partner, UBS, and for the foresight they showed in backing us so early."

Cath Keenan, Co-founder and Executive Director

Foundation for Young Australians

UBS is the principal sponsor of The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) Young Social Pioneers initiative. The year long program helps emerging young change makers focus on developing skills to run a successful venture through workshops and the learning experiences that come from networks – with peers, business mentors and other connections brokered by FYA. UBS provides mentors and business guidance to assist FYA support young entrepreneurs create social change.

Objective – to partner UBS mentors with the Pioneers to assist them structure and grow their social businesses, networks and enterprise skills to assist their targeted communities.
Impact achieved – 130 pioneers have been involved since 2009. 100% rated the networks made and 75% the skills based workshops as excellent.

“Our partnership with UBS helps us harness the energy and innovation of our greatest untapped resource – Australia's young people. The next step is to showcase these innovative social entrepreneurs and back their vision to imagine and create a better Australia.”
Jan Owen AM, CEO Foundation for Young Australians

Ardoch Youth Foundation

Ardoch Youth Foundation and UBS in Melbourne work together with Banyan Fields Primary School on the innovative Literacy Buddies program. These structured sessions aim to improve student literacy levels and provide insights into the working world. UBS employees regularly volunteer at the school. Ardoch’s mission is to “make education a reality” by assisting young people and their families, including those experiencing hardship or breakdown.

Objective –introduce UBS Melbourne employees to students from a range of socio economic backgrounds and provide meaningful engagement for students and employees through the Literacy Buddies programme
Impact achieved – Ardoch commissioned an independent Social Return on Investment report that concluded for every one dollar that is invested in the Literacy Buddies® Program, it is expected that stakeholders will receive equivalent to $8.32 in social value.

Benevolent Society

UBS previously partnered with The Benevolent Society in their Growing Stronger Communities initiative in the Bankstown and Greenacre area building important connections between business, community and school groups. This included funding community social entreprises.

Objective – build stronger community connections in these diverse communities by engaging families and students through schools, use of school and community gardens and mobile food van. 

Impact – mobile food van self sufficient social enterprise after two years. Six schools reported significant improvement in extended family engagement with the schools as a direct result of the partnership.

UBS Commitment – initial commitment 2012-2014 $150,000. Additional two year commitment of $200,000 as seed funder of the Claymore Community Connections partnership

Australian Business and Community Network

UBS is a founding member of Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN), Australia's leading NFP connecting schools with business. The overall goal is to improve opportunities and outcomes for disadvantaged students by raising aspirations and increasing awareness of the personal, educational and vocational choices available.

ABCN works with a network of public schools across Australia to deliver a range of critical skills, employability and leadership programs that involve business professionals mentoring students. UBS has worked with a range of schools during that time, and currently partners with Holroyd High in InterACT , a programme designed specifically for recently arrived, high school-aged migrants and refugees whose first language is not English. 

Workplace Giving and Ad Hoc Support

UBS Australia has a very strong workplace giving programme, with employees donating to the charities of their choice. UBS matches employee donations to qualifying Australian charities up to $5,000 per annum. Our "March Madness" campaign alone raised $800,000 in 2015. With business donations, UBS easily donates in excess of $1,500,000 p.a. over and above our key strategic partnerships. 

UBS 2014 maturing partnerships

Nura Gili

UBS is a founding partner and supporter of The Nura Gili Centre for Indigenous Programs at the University of New South Wales. UBS’s commitment enables Nura Gili to run pre university programs for 150 Indigenous students annually from across Australia. The Centre supports students in their final school years and assists them with the transition to tertiary studies. Nura Gili provides preparation and learning support in finance, law, engineering, medicine and education. UBS has actively supported Nura Gili for six years, providing financial support, hosting events for Nura Gili students, Nura Gili staff development workshops and introducing them to the business sector.

Objective – to engage students through the pre university courses with the aim of increasing indigenous student enrollments in undergraduate degree courses at UNSW
Impact achieved - 75% increase in indigenous undergraduate enrolments from 2110 to 2014 (211 to 370)

Melbourne Foundation for Business and Economics

UBS dedicated three annual scholarships to the University of Melbourne’s Foundation for Business and Economics. The Foundation aims to “give bright minds a brilliant future” and the scholarships were awarded to students who were the first in their family to attend university, who may have been experiencing financial hardship or come from a rural/remote background.

Uplifting Australia

Uplifting Australia’s mission is to improve the emotional wellbeing and resilience of children and families across Australia. When children are given this they tend to be kind and considerate of other people and reach their full potential which makes for a generation that builds a healthier, safer and more productive Australia.

Objective – support the organisation through start up stage – for them to structure, deliver and assess pilot programmes, secure additional partners for long term sustainability
Impact achieved – Over 1000 children and their parents have attended "Camp Out with Kids" including meaningful and practical tools to build resilience and connection with their children. Two additional corporate partners signed up.

90 Homes for 90 Lives Collective Impact

90 Homes for 90 Lives: The Woolloomooloo Project (90/90), is a voluntary collaboration of corporates, charities and government dedicated to reducing the numbers of rough sleepers in Woolloomooloo and the inner-city. UBS, United Way, Herbert Smith Freehills, Colliers, Community Housing Provider Bridge Housing, Homeless support service Way2Home and the City of Sydney form the project group.

Objective – source and support innovative housing solutions for the most vulnerable rough sleepers.
Impact – 100 long term homeless housed under Platform 70. Model has now been replicated in newly established Connect 100.