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Corporate volunteering in Germany

Joint study of Roland Berger and the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany, 2011

For companies in Germany, corporate volunteering is often standard business practice, and this will play an ever-increasing role. When asked about the reason for involvement in corporate volunteering activities, most cited the companies as the primary source of motivation. This shows that companies recognize corporate volunteering as their own social responsibility.

Social (25.8%) and educational (21.9%) activities receive the most support. The connection to the local community is very important to companies. 30.2% of the companies are engaged in corporate volunteering activities that concentrate on children and teenagers.

Most of the companies surveyed view management participation and support plus appreciation of volunteer involvement as the most critical requirements. This proves that successful corporate volunteering requires a conducive corporate culture. The biggest obstacle is employees' lack of time.

Volunteering is more widespread among US subsidiaries (at 86.0% compared to 78.3% in German companies). The difference between American and German companies is even more pronounced when it comes to the commitment of individual employees. US employees volunteer more often in teams. This phenomenon is partly due to the fact that they frequently offer their skills and labor for projects during structured day-long activities, so called "social days". Additionally, corporate volunteers are found mainly among workers and office staff at American subsidiaries. In contrast, support at German firms comes predominantly from top management.

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