The German enterprise software giant believes that advancing social companies and creating long-term, sustainable impact is key to achieving its corporate goal. To further this commitment, SAP CSR programs have been developed to support social entrepreneurs and their organizations by providing access to resources, business networks, and expertise.
For the past 10 years, SAP and its nonprofit implementation partner PYXERA Global have been running the successful SAP Social Sabbatical program. This program has won several awards over the years and continues to help those in need by providing volunteer opportunities for employees of SAP around the world to use their skills and expertise to support social projects implemented by PYXERA Global. These projects focus on areas such as education, economic development, health, and the environment.
The SAP Corporate Social Responsibility (SAP CSR) project began in 2012 with just 30 employees volunteering their time to help non-profits and social entrepreneurs. Since then, it has now expanded to include more than 1,400 people from the German tech giant, who are committed to making a difference in their communities.
Since 2016, the SAP Social Sabbatical program has been aiding social companies in the Philippines in their efforts to solve significant difficulties and development impediments. Teach for the Philippines (TFP) conducted a brand assessment with the help of SAP employees who volunteered their time to help the organization improve its branding and marketing strategies.
TFP’s understanding of what’s needed to advocate for enlisting young professionals to mentor children in public schools, especially in rural regions, was bolstered by this program. In April last year, SAP Philippines increased its dedication to assisting TFP by giving US$25,000 to the organization’s Batang Bayani Life Skills Program. The investment from the tech giant was used to expand training opportunities for about a hundred teachers, tutors, and other school staff members.
In 2020, SAP CSR initiatives impacted approximately 4.5 million youth and 117,000 educators in 113 countries. This is in addition to its work with almost 1,600 other groups making a positive social impact. Specifically, the SAP Social Sabbatical program is a temporary posting in a developing market where SAP employees work in small, cross-functional teams with budding social companies or nonprofits.
Resuming In-Person SAP CSR Programs in 2022
Last May, 11 SAP employees from around the world convened in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to collaborate with Nilus, Red Activos, Tekuoia, and Unplastify, four of SAP’s clients. Together, they contributed 3,718 hours of service, which had a beneficial effect on the lives of 10,771 people. Since most of the cohort had to wait more than two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s highlight was the beginning of their SAP Social Sabbatical.
The SAP Social Sabbatical program is a collection of free-will volunteer activities with two primary objectives:
- Assisting non-profits throughout the world to run efficiently and increase their social impact by addressing pressing organizational difficulties and promoting digital inclusion in a wide range of sectors.
- For SAP to achieve its vision and fulfill its mission, its leaders and employees must be prepared to face challenges, learn from mistakes, and serve as role models in light of the global ramifications of today’s digital world.
Indeed, the expansion of the program is a testament to SAP’s commitment to CSR and its belief that businesses can be a force for good in the world. Through the initiative, SAP employees have provided assistance to thousands of organizations and individuals, helping them to achieve their goals and make a positive impact on the world.
“The program was very valuable, especially after the pandemic. Connecting with host clients and impacting their organizations and their own clients in a positive way was energizing,” said SAP Canada Program Manager Alexandru Ionita, who participated in the Argentinean cohort.
Meanwhile, SAP Hungary Integrated Communications Specialist Eszter Balázs described participating in the program as “a dream come true,” especially as she had been unsure whether or not she would be able to do an in-person SAP Social Sabbatical following COVID-19. She further shared:
“In four weeks, the teams – consisting of people with different skills and backgrounds – could identify and help host organizations with their various, and sometimes invisible, challenges. The leaders of our host organization mentioned that they never found enough time and expertise to identify solutions for the areas that were troubling them. The program was truly amazing!”
The SAP Social Sabbatical program was revived in large part due to the efforts in Argentina. Additionally, it finished up two additional contracts in October 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand, and Kigali, Rwanda, adding to the May group’s total. SAP’s inspiration for its Social Sabbatical program has led to the expansion of its virtual pro bono efforts. Through the Transform Support Hub and the Acceleration Collective, SAP employees now have access to virtual pro bono consulting all year long.