Homenews#CitiVolunteers. Because helping others is best done together.
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#CitiVolunteers. Because helping others is best done together.

There are almost 200 corporate foundations in Poland today. The Citi Handlowy Kronenberg Foundation, which was among the first institutions of that kind, consistently sets the trends in corporate social responsibility and remains the leader of programs linking volunteers with people in need. During the thirteen editions of the #CitiVolunteers program, it has organized nearly 2200 projects, reaching almost 278,000 people.

From philanthropy to volunteering 

The Foundation, which was established on the 125th anniversary of Bank Handlowy, was one of the first corporate foundations in Poland. It quickly became a leading institution among non-governmental organizations. Its goals, mission and name refer to Leopold Kronenberg – the founder of Bank Handlowy, an entrepreneur, innovator of his time and active philanthropist. Since the very beginning, employee volunteering has been a key field of the Foundation’s activity. Today, the corporate volunteering program, which involves employees working for the benefit of local communities, is a great example of an efficient and systemic solution connecting helpers with those in need. It is based on simplicity and flexibility – it does not impose ready-made formats or any particular groups of beneficiaries, but supports projects planned by the volunteers themselves. Thanks to this approach, Citi employees with their families and friends can solve problems faced by communities that are closest to their hearts.

Once a year, all over the world...

Every year in June all the activities and projects reach their culmination on the Citi Global Community Day, which is celebrated wherever Citi and its employees are present. On this day, hundreds of thousands of people around the world come together to help others, share their knowledge, experience and skills. Every year approximately 80 thousand volunteers all over the world take part in more than 1200 projects implemented in 479 cities in 93 countries. On the Citi Global Community Day, employees of all levels, from top executives, directors and managers to ordinary workers, get involved in work for their local communities.
- Helping means making a positive impact in our communities, that’s why it is so important to volunteer. – said Jenny Grey, EMEA HR Head and Vice Chair of The Kronenberg Foundation Council and added - During the Global Community Day worldwide we have many great initiatives, which would be impossible without helpful #CitiVolunteers. We know we have the greatest impact when we work together to accomplish a shared goal. Volunteering is one of the most visible activities of the Foundation that enable Citi to open up and reach out to the world with our values. Here at Citi we believe that acting together, each of us with our differences, helps us see better and act better in the modern world. As a global brand, which is founded on joint efforts of people and teams from diametrically different environments or continents, we benefit from a synergy.”
In line with this direction, this year’s edition has seen a significant rise in the number of activities performed together with the capital city of Warsaw, such as blood donation campaigns on blood bank buses or planting anti-smog plants, e.g. in the Pole Mokotowskie Park, the “green lungs of Warsaw”. To give an idea of the scale: in 2017 alone, #CitiVolunteers reached out to over 35,000 beneficiaries with several hundred projects organized as part of the Citi Global Community Day (#GCD). The thirteenth edition has just been launched.

Closer to local communities

“-What I find fascinating about the Citi Global Community Day is how many people are willing to participate in volunteering initiatives! We can propose and organize our own initiative or get involved in an existing one. The Citi Global Community Day shows that we too can play a part in helping others,” says Iga Krzysztofiak, a Citi Service Center Poland employee, one of the volunteers coordinating the blood donation campaign.
An important advantage of the Citi Handlowy Kronenberg Foundation volunteering program is the support offered to the volunteers, from the funds necessary to finance the project to dedicated training and access to feedback from the beneficiaries. The Foundation regularly collects feedback from the partner organizations and diagnoses their needs. Additionally, #CitiVolunteers themselves are surveyed to learn about their interests, motives for helping others and plans for future involvement.

What counts is the idea and shared energy

“- So far, we have managed to initiate children into the mysteries of such professions as confectioner (the Sweet Secret project, which involved children making chocolates under the supervision of a professional confectioner), photographer (the Joy in the Light of Camera Flashes, which involved children taking photographs with the pinhole technique, shooting time-lapse videos and acting as models), star/camera operator/screenwriter (the Citi Music Awards project, which involved children scripting and recording music videos with the help of professional film crews – the clips were presented on a large screen in a Multikino cinema),Katarzyna Nowak, a Citi Handlowy volunteer, talks about the projects addressed to children that she has been organizing for years.
The surveys have revealed, for example, that volunteers are more interested in manual labor projects performed together with colleagues. 76 percent of the employees who took part in the latest edition of the Employee Volunteering Program Evaluation Survey said they were willing to participate in such projects. For comparison, one in two surveyed employees are considering participation in skill-based volunteering projects. This popularity of joint activities, doing something good together, has been a characteristic feature of #CitiVolunteers projects for many years. This year’s edition will certainly be no different.
Citi Handowy Magazine is a blog for retail clients, pressroom for media and an online magazine with banking experts. Important information about the character of materials published on Citi Handlowy Magazine you can find here
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