Pubs are the heartbeat of their local community and there’s no better way to show appreciation than through charity donations. Hospitality caught up with Public House Management Group’s (PHMG) founder and managing director Mitchell Waugh to find out how the AHA NSW’s Group Hotel Operator of the Year 2016 plans to meet its 2018 target of $1 million.
PHMG has a great community focus across all venues and works with many different charities to give back to the local community, as well as national community charities. Is this a conscious focus for the PHMG group and why?
Yes, part of our brand ethos is mateship and community and that primarily comes from the values a traditional pub contributes to its community. It was really important for us as a group to carry this ethos throughout all our practices and charity and investment in local groups is just one way in which we execute this.
How much has PHMG donated to communities this year? What is the goal for 2018?
We’ve donated $950,000 through charity fundraising, donations, sponsorships and more. The goal for 2018 would be to crack the million dollar mark.
How do you decide what charities to give to?
We generally look to support local. This could be working with a local charity or with a local who is an ambassador for a charity. We ensure that the funds raised go towards buying equipment and/or establishing specific systems. We want to make sure that the money raised is really going to good use and the charities we have worked with thus far have been fantastic at finding areas in which we can contribute.
What systems do you need to have in place for charity fundraising?
Really, you don’t need any which is why it is so easy for everyone to do their bit! The charities we have worked with are a great help in the organisational process and work with us on establishing the best fundraising avenues.
How do you set your fundraising targets?
I can’t say we set hard targets, we always hope to raise the ticket price plus 50 percent but to date we have far exceeded this. The team does everything it can to raise as much money as possible!
How much do you communicate with the charities before and during the fundraising process? Does it depend on the charity?
We have worked with several charities and all have been immensely helpful. There is a lot of correspondence in the lead up to ensure we are utilising the right fundraising tools and that the messaging surrounding the charity is clear in establishing what we will be raising funds for. During the event, we have been so lucky to have representatives assisting our team in raising funds and the charities nearly always assist with finding an appropriate ambassador to speak to and educate guests on their cause.
How does charity fundraising affect the business culture? Does it have a positive impact on staff?
Yes, it is a lot of hard work to get some of the events up and running but the team are so rewarded by and driven by the result. There is certainly a buzzing energy that exists within the business in the lead up to and following our major fundraising events.
Image: Mitchell Waugh (centre) at the ‘A Royal Night Out’ event, raising funds for The Black Dog Institute.