Volunteering programmes to improve the quality of life and help solving everyday problems of local commnities.
Comprehensive corporate volunteering programmes aim to improve the quality of life and help solving everyday problems in the local communities. The joint actions started, per preference of the employees, in the field of environment protection and gradually moved also in the fields of social inclusion, youth education, entrepreneurship development, financial literacy and EU integration.
One of the activities the Bank promotes is also “promotional development through volunteering”. The employees donate their time to provide individual, expert support to students, civil society organisations (CSOs), social enterprises and their users. In 2015, they joined the Business Skills Academy with aim to enable CSOs access to knowledge in order to strengthen their capacities for their engagement in social issues.
Another project within the volunteer programme is donation platform Superstep. Superstep is an educational-financing program for empowerment of young. Its goal is to enable loan financing of the best projects and to contribute to reducing unemployment by promoting self-employment and development of entrepreneurship.
Information publicly available for 2015: 200 volunteers donated more than 1100 volunteer hours. The bank also finances the tools and materials needed to carryout the actions. The Superstep donations and awards summed up to 13 million RSD (more than 100.000 EUR) in 2015
Evidence of success
In 2015, 200 employees volunteered over 1100 hours in 7 separate volunteer actions across Serbia and within Superstep programme.
Awards: in 2011 – VIRTUS Awards for corporate philanthropy; in 2013 – Corporate volunteering Award by Forum of Business Leaders of Serbia; in 2015 - Corporate Volunteering Award from Smart Kolektiv and Forum for responsible business in the category of skills-based volunteering for Superstep programme.
Erste Bank started the programme in 2007, when concept of corporate volunteering was mostly unknown to the public, so it was challenging to find appropriate partners. Another challenge was how to communicate the concept of volunteering to the employees and to motivate them to join the activities.
Potential for learning or transfer
Employees also volunteer in actions organised by other organisations. In addition, Bank’s volunteering activities get media attention for specific social issues and encourage other organisations and institutions to engage in solving them. As well as to provide an example of corporate volunteering to other companies.