SAP employees beat their volunteering records once again during the company’s Month of Service initiative in 2016.
Doug Scott usually works as vice president of Sales for the US Southwest Region at SAP. Since October, he has been an official SAP volunteer mentor too. During Month of Service he spent some of his spare time coaching students in entrepreneurial thinking. It turned out that volunteering is paying back a lot more than he actually thought.
“Having that independent mentorship can be the one that makes the difference. It certainly did in my life. The hope is that the SAP employees who help as volunteer mentors have the same impact on someone else,” he says.
22,296 SAP Volunteers
Each year in October, SAP’s employees unite under one vision to help improve people’s lives. During Month of Service, they voluntarily dedicate their time, talent, and efforts to helping people in need in their communities. This year, SAP volunteers have once again topped all previous years in participation. 22,296 employees spent a total of 141,595 hours on 939 social projects. In 2015, there were 18,636 volunteers contributing 116,268 hours to 740 social projects.
During Month of Service this year, 22,296 SAP employees spent 141,595 hours on 939 social projects
Alicia Lenze, head of SAP Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is overwhelmed by those numbers: “We are celebrating the biggest Month of Service ever. I’m proud that so many colleagues participated. It is important for SAP to give its people the chance to engage in social projects.”
Just like Doug, SAP colleagues all around the globe stepped up during this year’s Month of Service and participated in a wide range of volunteering initiatives. Projects included hands-on help for the homeless, for people with disabilities, as well as underserved youth in school and education centers. Volunteers were also able to apply their knowledge and take part in various activities designed to equip children and teenagers with the necessary know-how for a solid future in the digital economy.
APJ: In the ANZ region, Month of Service activities focused on programs supporting youth who are socially, physically, or economically disadvantaged. The Work Inspiration Program in particular strived to impart a better understanding of the information and communications technology (ICT) industry onto teenagers from difficult communities. SAP India’s numerous programs were designed around five themes aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as ‘FitKids,’ an initiative that playfully educates children about health and wholesome living. SAP volunteers also organized a fair with non-profits showcasing their work with the aim of spreading the word and getting people excited about volunteering. In Japan, colleagues supported the ongoing relief and rehabilitation activities in areas affected by the Kumamoto earthquake in partnership with Operation Blessing Japan. Meanwhile, one of the most remarkable projects in Korea was the “Human Library,” where SAP employees were “loaned” to children to impart knowledge.
Greater China: SAP China launched the “My Social Dreams” campaign, an event series that encourages employees to collaborate to accomplish their social dream. SAP China executives also dedicated their time and effort to the cause; they presented the similarities and differences between Eastern and Western cultures and inspired underprivileged migrant children to attend school on a regular basis. SAP volunteers also spent a day with autistic children. The so-called “Children of the Stars” received their first ever computer course and learned some IT basics with SAP employees’ support.
MEE: During the Rhein-Neckar Code Week, SAP volunteers introduced school children to the world of programming, teaching them the Scratch and Snap programming languages. One of many activities around SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, was an intercultural cooking event in collaboration with the social startup “Über den Tellerrand Heidelberg.” Refugees and SAP volunteers spent a day building bridges between people and cultures through cooking and food. The project is linked to the startup’s program that aims to integrate refugees into the German labor market.
EMEA: A group of SAP Ireland employees put on their dancing shoes for charity at the “Strictly SAP” event held in Dublin. After just seven weeks of training, the dancers performed their routines before an audience that then crowned a winning couple. The 28 dancers managed to raise a total of 42,000€ for “Aware,” a Dublin-based charity dedicated to educating and providing support to people on the illness of depression and bipolar disorders.
Latin America: Due to the emerging technology hubs across Latin America, as well as the 154 million young people on the continent, SAP launched a pilot program this year to teach coding to teenagers and young adults. Modeled on Africa Code Week, Latin America Code Week took place in four countries: Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, and Brazil. In Mexico, SAP co-sponsored a contest with a major bank and taught kids how to code and build financial applications. The winning team was a group of 16-year-olds who developed an app to help disadvantaged families crowdsource their financial information, stay out of debt, and collectively set financial goals, like saving to buy a car.
North America: The “Social Innovation Series” took place in six American cities with idea to instill the entrepreneurial mindset in students. Through this mindset, students learned that they don’t have to simply accept problems they face, that they have the ability to solve these problems and improve their lives, as well as those of fellow students in their schools and communities. Students came to the event with an original idea, worked with SAP mentors to develop it, and finally pitched it to a panel of judges in order to receive funding to bring it to life. This panel of judges was made up of SAP volunteers who awarded the 10 finalists with up to $1,000 each to turn their own ideas into reality. Doug Scott was member of the jury at the Social Innovation Series in Dallas: “I had a waiting list to volunteer for this event because our employees love to work in this environment. It’s a way for them to give back, to see their volunteer efforts produce an immediate return. This is one of those opportunities where our employees walk away and say, ‘Wow, I probably got more out of that than the person I was mentoring.’”