Charterpath are delighted to be partnering with Reach Volunteering in a nationwide campaign this January 2023 to celebrate the kindness and humanity that exists in this world. Every day, we subliminally receive messages through media, politics, advertising and broader popular culture that people are increasingly driven by 'selfish' values such as power, wealth and status. Success is too often defined by material things – what you earn or what you own, and not what you give. In reality, most of us care deeply about one another and the world around us. However, research by the Common Cause Foundation found that, although 74% of us hold compassionate (‘intrinsic’) values as most important, 77% of us believe that everyone else holds selfish (‘extrinsic’) values as most important. We have got our fellow humans very wrong:
This misperception is dangerous. If we think everyone is looking out for themselves, it can hold us back from playing our part in helping to address society’s issues like inequality and the climate crisis. ... Why would we get involved to help or make changes to how we live our lives when no one else is? Why should we prioritise things for the greater good if we are one of only a few doing it? What difference can we ma?
The Common Cause Foundation research found that the ‘Values Perception Gap’ - the gap between what we think other people value and what they actually value – can make people feel alienated, and discourages them from acting in a ‘prosocial’ way — for example, volunteering or voting. Other studies have confirmed the impact of the perception gap in young people - they had lower emotional well being, were more worried about the future and were less likely to take action. Fear of being out of step with peers stopped them from showing that they cared. Every day, throughout the UK, people are acting on their compassionate values. In the NHS, in schools, community groups and charities, as activists or thoughtful neighbours. At Charterpath, like at Reach Volunteering, we see volunteers regularly give their time and their skills, to help others. However people don’t often shout about what they are doing. Culturally, we are not used to talking about good deeds and we tend to feel shy or awkward talking about our own contributions to society. What we chose to focus on, and what we chose to share, has a huge impact on us and those around us. So, for the month of January we want to #changethestory and celebrate the good and kindness that exists in the world today. We intend to fill our Charterpath social media with quotes from accountants who volunteer – sharing what values motivate them to give their time and energy for others – and hopefully thereby inspiring others to do the same.
“We were delighted to become a partner in such a positive and optimistic campaign. It is all too easy to use a negative narrative when trying to encourage people to volunteer – to make them feel guilty or obligated to do their bit. This campaign instead feels celebratory and optimistic. Reading the quotes from volunteers and the values that motivate them can’t help but give you a warm fuzzy feeling and hopefully inspire more people to get involved and join a force for good!”
~ Alice Clementi, Co-founder of Charterpath.
We founded Charterpath back in 2020 with a mission to increase the proportion of accountants in the UK who volunteer their time and expertise from 10% to over 50%. We recognise that to achieve this we will need to radically shift the demographic of accountants that currently volunteer, which is unsurprisingly biased towards those later on in their career or retired, and (when you zone in charity trustees) particularly skewed to older white males. Perceptions of the ‘typical accountant volunteer’ can be another blocker to people thinking it’s something they are a capable of doing or even welcome to do.
“Over the past 2 years at Charterpath we have already built a highly engaged community of over 1,000 accountants. Change the Story is a chance to showcase the amazing diversity of these volunteers – to inspire those from all backgrounds and demographics into using their skills for good. Everyone can add value and make a difference!” ~ Alex Marsh Co-founder of Charterpath. You can read more about Change The Story here: https://reachvolunteering.org.uk/blog/let-s-change-story
If the idea of volunteering your skills with a non-profit has caught your imagination - follow these 3 simple steps:
Follow Charterpath on LinkedIn for all the latest news, inspiration, and roles
Have a look around our website at www.charterpath.org.uk for case studies, helpful resources, and live volunteer opportunities
Sign the Charterpath pledge to show your support for our mission and volunteer your skills for at least 2 days each year
Alice Clementi and Alex Marsh co-founded Charterpath as a community interest company in 2020, with a mission to increase the proportion of accountants volunteering from 10% to 50% - inspiring more accountants to volunteer their time and expertise, connecting them with non-profit opportunities, and engaging with a wide range of organisations so volunteering is a core part of an accountant’s career. For more information, visit www.charterpath.org.uk.