2018 reflections, and next steps

Author: Kate Bolton, Ambassador, Financial Services Group

Here’s to an inspiring year for financial services.

I say it every time - I LOVE this time of year. The opportunity to look back and reflect on the year that's past and recognise all the achievements and great moments. A chance to revisit and refresh the things we care about and want to be known for - as an individual and as an organisation. And a chance to kick off a fresh new year once again - best foot forward.

Through Comms for Good, which is almost two years old now, I set out to encourage networking in the financial services sector while supporting good causes, to help organisations find ways to weave CSR into the way they do business, and to seek out and celebrate best practice in ‘doing good’ as an industry.

Collaboration, Connection, Communication, Charity, Community - these have been key values for Comms for Good from the outset and have certainly been the focus for 2018. The same values will continue to be a priority for 2019 - along with a couple of new words beginning with C that will soon be making an appearance: Competition, Challenge…

More on that another time.

For now, here are some of the great moments of 2018.

1. Cast your minds back to January 2018 and #CakeforGood. This was a hugely fun collaboration between Level 39 Canary Wharf, Femtech Global, and Comms for Good that brought us a Fintech Bake Off and Cake Sale, Selasi (of Great British Bake Off and Deutsche Bank fame) and his apron, felt Bitcoins from Aite's Virginie O'Shea, and a show-stopping money cake from Fintech Finance. This event was part of a fintech fundraising campaign that raised £2100 for homeless charity, The House of St Barnabas. It was here that I was introduced to Victor Cruz and the Fintech Talents/Comms for Good connection was made.

2. In Spring, I was introduced by friends to MQ, the wonderful mental health research charity, and they asked Comms for Good to help them host a pop-up photography exhibition to help raise awareness of their work in the City. In July, together with Starling Bank, supported by speakers from Cicero Global and Accenture, we did just that.

3. Summer brought the first of our 'For Good' awards in collaboration with the banking sector publication, Fintech Futures. This was our chance to honour an organisation in the Paytech world for their contribution to the community and Goodbox - a contactless charity collections solution - was awarded our first PayTechforGood trophy.

4. In October, we took the MQ pop-up photography exhibition to its first banking industry event - the world's first Fintech Festival - FintechTalents 2018. Here we encouraged the influencers and communicators of the fintech world to put their names and faces to the charity's #WeSwear campaign and pledge to tackle mental health issues together. We're grateful to the team at FintechTalents for helping us demonstrate how the banking community can work together to tackle important social issues.

5. Finally, the Banking Technology Awards brought a touch of sparkle to December and the second Comms for Good /Fintech Futures collaboration for the year, the FinTechforGood award. This was the time to shine for a bank or fintech demonstrating outstanding collaboration and going above and beyond CSR-box-ticking in support of charity. The deserving winner was Deutsche Bank and their CommunIT Hackathon, which saw 800 Deutsche Bank employees working in collaboration with Cure Leukaemia to create a digital app prototype that helps connect and benefit leukaemia patients worldwide.

And so to 2019. This is set to be an exciting year, not least due to our supporting role for the Chartered Institute of Marketing Financial Services Group, where I hope we can continue to find new ways to connect people and organisations and increase our social impact.

The big goal this year is to build on cross-industry collaboration achievements with a large, long-running campaign involving multiple organisations and charities… I will share more on that as the plan starts to take shape.

Meanwhile, do get in touch about any initiative you and/or your organisation is involved in this year that is in support of a good cause or will have positive impact in the community. As a group we have a unique opportunity to join forces to maximise our impact through communicating the good work that we do – so let’s make the most of it.

Here’s to another wonderful year that is full of connection, collaboration and a sense of community.