On a global scale, all Scotiabankers have access to our Spark community engagement platform that connects them to volunteering, giving and corporate matching opportunities in their local communities across 30 countries. In just one year since launching, over 36,500 Scotiabankers have logged in and started engaging with causes around the world. Altogether, they have contributed over +100,000 volunteer hours and raised over $12 million for 4,400 global charities and non-profits. But that is not all, employees can earn up to $1,000 CDN/annually by logging their individual volunteer activity in the platform, and team fundraising efforts can apply for corporate matching of up to $15,000 CDN.

Manuel Silva, Director of Strategy and Employee Engagement, shares the thinking behind this innovative giving platform: “We really want to empower our employees to own their social impact. And that has to do a lot with being able to support their charities of choice. Not only the charities that the Bank wants to support, but the causes that they are passionate about. With Spark we want to help them ignite their causes for every future.” 

As we celebrate the anniversary of the Spark platform, Scotiabankers share their inspiring stories when giving back to their communities:

“The reason why I am passionate about giving and helping others was primarily due to all the support my family received when we immigrated to Canada as refugees. As children, we didn’t understand the severity of the financial strains my family was going through at that time. I remember one day during the holiday season; our mother came home with boxes of items. She had learned from her friends that the local Salvation Army was giving out presents and gifts for families that couldn’t afford them. As children, especially ones new to the country, we were thankful and happy for the generous gift.”  Vino Hentsmogan, Senior Manager, Retail Productivity. 

“I give because I am very passionate about being an active participant in my community. I was taught to give my time and give financially when able, not only by my parents but also my grandparents, and I watched them lead by example.”  Brooke Robinson, Branch Manager.

“As a youth, I became intimately acquainted with some of the realities of poverty, so the Employee Giving Campaign always strikes a chord with me. When I was little, my parents owned a restaurant. As is all too common for the industry, the restaurant folded, and my parents went bankrupt. When the restaurant’s situation became public knowledge, fortune smiled on us because the owners of some local restaurants immediately offered my father a job. In the end, things worked out okay. I have moved on and done alright as well, which is evidenced in part by having the privilege of working here.”  John G., Associate Director.

“Becoming involved in Birthday Wonders reminded me of the reality that many families living in shelters simply cannot afford to celebrate their children's birthdays in a way that makes them feel as special as they are. Birthday Wonders works to bridge that gap, at least for one day – the most important day in the year for most children.”  Stacey Helpert, Senior Manager Community Partnerships

Giving back certainly feels good! Spark community engagement has unleashed employee’s passion to give back in a simple, quick, and flexible way. If you are interested in driving positive change in your career and in the communities around you, visit our current job opportunities and join our Scotiabank team.