2018-2019 SAP Social Sabbatical for Global Engagement Drives Social Impact Through Economic Growth, Job Creation, Innovation

SAP is delighted to congratulate its seventh cohort of employees selected for the SAP Social Sabbatical for global engagement. The unique program is part of SAP Corporate Social Responsibility’s (CSR) commitment to year-round volunteering.

The global engagement program of the SAP Social Sabbatical initiative affords 120 SAP employees per year a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn SAP’s purpose — to help the world run better and improve people’s lives — into action.

Raul Bellina, an SAP employee responsible for partner ecosystem support programs in Latin America, was selected for this year’s assignment in Hyderabad, India. Upon receiving the honor he expressed, “I am deeply moved with this news, thank you so much for the opportunity. [I want to] thank my manager for the trust and support, helping me to fulfill one of my life dreams!”

2018-2019 SAP Social Sabbatical for global engagement at a glance
2018-2019 SAP Social Sabbatical for global engagement at a glance


Locations for the 2018-2019 SAP Social Sabbatical include Armenia, China, Ecuador, India, Jordan, Laos, Puerto Rico, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda.

What is the SAP Social Sabbatical Initiative?

SAP Social Sabbatical is a portfolio of global pro-bono volunteering assignments where highly-diverse teams of SAP employees provide their skills and business expertise to foster social impact by solving concrete challenges for non-profit organizations and social enterprises. The non-profits and social enterprises we partner with are specifically selected due to their alignment with SAP’s CSR mission — “powering opportunity through digital inclusion.”

2012-2017 SAP Social Sabbatical impact at a glance
2012-2017 SAP Social Sabbatical impact at a glance


Alexandra van der Ploeg, head of Global SAP Corporate Social Responsibility, adds, “The program challenges SAP leaders and talent to understand the global consequences of a rapidly digitized world and to embrace the idea of life-long learning. Our employees bring their expertise to the right organizations at the right time, when the organizations need our help the most.”

Growing a Program into a Portfolio

The flagship SAP Social Sabbatical program launched in 2012. SAP Corporate Social Responsibility partnered with PYXERA Global to expand this program from 30 participants in its first year to 255 participants in 2017/18; 794 employees altogether since the program’s inception. Over the past six years, the SAP Social Sabbatical has evolved into a globally awarded and recognized corporate pro-bono volunteering portfolio. The portfolio now includes four strategic elements of global impact. SAP CSR continues to grow the portfolio with purpose.

In April 2018, SAP began piloting SAP Social Sabbatical programs together with strategic SAP customers. As the pilots have exceeded expectations, plans are underway to further develop strategic customer engagement within the portfolio of SAP Social Sabbatical programs.

While the reach of the SAP Social Sabbatical to date is impressive with more than 265 client organizations located in more than 30 countries, SAP prides itself in the social impact these partnerships have created over the years. By focusing SAP talent and capital on education and entrepreneurship, the program strives to enact social impact through economic growth, job creation, innovation, and community development. A conservative estimate notes that the SAP Social Sabbatical has impacted 3.2 million lives.

What do our client organizations think?

This [project] has further strengthened my belief that SAP Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provides real, tangible, and relevant value with their projects. The SAP Social Sabbatical I believe is one of their very best projects. NPOs need this kind of intervention. No matter what the outcome, we all need to examine our organizations and doing this intensively for a four-week period, with exceptional people, can offer an NPO no better value. We have started a new phase at the Cape Town.

— Julie Cleverdon, Cape Town Science Center, South Africa
Learn more about CTSC here.

SAP Social Sabbatical participants experience something new — often unexpected — each day. Their efforts, together with our client organizations, deliver sustainable, positive change throughout the world.

We invite you follow along with our employees and share in their journey to help the world run better and improve people’s lives.

Digital Exclusion Is Societal Exclusion

The World Bank estimates that approximately 60 percent of the world is excluded from the digital economy today. “For digital technologies to benefit everyone everywhere requires closing the remaining digital divide.” Together with our employees, SAP CSR leads the way to ensure everyone has access to the 21st century skills needed to thrive.

— The World Bank’s World Development Report 2016 on “Digital Dividends