Society & Communities
At UniCredit Group level, UniCredit puts their values into practice as a foundation. UniCredit Foundation promotes volunteerism, civic involvement, and charity through its activities. The foundation’s areas of interest include both the countries where UniCredit Group is present as well asother areas, particularly Benin and Burkina Faso, Africa.
In Romania, we got involved both in our own social projects, such as donating computers to schools in rural areas, and also supported various projects initiated by organizations and institutions.
UniCredit promotes volunteerism and civic involvement, through one of the most important social programs developed at Group level: Gift Matching. The program was initiated by the UniCredit Foundation in 2003 and aims to provide support to children and disadvantaged people through donations made by the employees of the Group.
Any employee of UniCredit, that is referred to as Ambassador, may propose and support the causes of organizations and associations active nationwide in one of the following areas: health, education, social work, international cooperation, and civic protection.
The program takes place in three stages:
- The ambassadors each propose a cause that is creatively advertized among their colleagues;
- The employees decide whichcause they want to support anddonate to;
- At the end of the campaign, UniCredit Foundation doubles the collected amount.
UniCredit Bank joined this program in 2005 and, from year to year, the number of proposed cases has increased, just as the number of donor employees.
For example, in 2007, 242 colleagues participated in the program, donated 8,297 euros for seven social projects, and raised a total of 16,594 euros. We have thus become regional champions in Central and Eastern Europe. Internationally, we were surpassed only by Italy, Germany, and Austria, countries with a tradition ofconducting volunteer programs.
In 2008, we supported 10 non-governmental organizations. The total sum of donations was approximately 25,000 euros, and reachie 50,000 euros after UniCredit Foundation doubled it.
In 2009, the number of non-profit organizations supported via the Gift Matching project reached 11. Our efforts were fully rewarded when we drew the line and found that they raised 20,000 euros, and reached 40,000 euros after UniCredit Foundation doubled it. We also decided to offer 10,000 euros for each case, so that the total amount donated to the 11 NGOs reached 150,000 euros.
Held between September 27 and November 26, the 2010 edition of the Matching Gift program was supported by 1,600 donations. Bank employees have donated over 30,000 euros for the 29 cases promoted by the 50 ambassadors. The 2010 edition was even more special given the involvement of the iconic Andrea Marin Bancia who is wellknown for her positive actions. Andreea met UniCredit Bank employees and spoke about what volunteering stands for and about the importance of developing a culture in this respect.
In 2011, at Group level, more than 12,000 colleagues have supported 401 non-profit projects totaling donations worth 2.3 million euros. The colleges of UniCredit Bank had the opportunity to donate to a total of 5 projects; each supported by ambassadors and committed volunteers. The total amount raised was approximately 19,428 euros.
In the 2012 edition, which took place between September 28 and November 30, 873 UniCredit Bank employees participated and raised 21,837 euros for the 10 projects presented. In addition to what we’ve done previous years, together with Hospice Casa Sperantei, we have organized a special marathon from Bucharest toSofia and back- 1,000 Balkan Charity Challenge, and awarded an additional prize of 5,000 euros to the project with mostdonations.
In 2013, the 12 foundations registered in the program raised over 25,000 euros and, for the second consecutive year, volunteers from UniCredit Bank and other companies ran and cycled from Bucharest to Sofia and back in the 1,000 Balkan Charity Challenge.
During the 2014 edition, 23,000 euros were raised for 17 associations, by colleges and other volunteers who ran and cycled 1,000 kilometers in the duathlon from Bucharest to Sofia and back.
Light for Ursici and Light for Children of Inelet
The two projects were initiated by the Free Miorita Association, with UniCredit Bank’s financial support.
Ursici is a small village situated close to the Sureanu Mountains, 450 km from Bucharest. Administratively, it belongs to Bosorod village in Hunedoara County, but as civilization it belongs to the Middle Ages – electricity was never introduced in the village, although over 50 people live there permanently. The solution to get Ursiceni light and electricity is solar panels for every household. UniCredit Bank was the first company which decided financial support to the project. Just two days after online blogs and Facebookadvertisements, UniCredit Bank joined the cause and granted 7,500 euros, which covered the cost of solar panels and ancillary systems. Moreover, company employees participated as volunteers in installing the panels.
At the beginning of 2014, UniCredit Bank decided to get involved in the action "Light for children in Inelet" by installing solar panels at the local school situated in Cerna Mountains., Bank employees and other volunteers also participated in this volunteeri action.
UniCredit Bank, UniCredit Foundation, and NESsT Romania have started a partnership meant to support development in social entrepreneurship (a social enterprise is a business created with the aim of solving a serious social issue in a sustainable manner); a field with a great potential, and yet relatively unexplored in Romania).
UniCredit Bank and UniCredit Foundation support the launching of new social enterprises in Romania by supporting The Social Enterprise Competition, but also by developing existing social enterprises and promoting them to a larger public. The involvement of UniCredit Bank represents 61,000 euros of financial support and specialized consultations offered by employees to the participants of the NESsT program.
Every two years, NESsT Romania launches the Social Enterprise Competition. Non-profit organizations, cooperatives, and Romanian entrepreneurs are specifically invited to enter an idea regarding a social enterprise they wish to develop into the competion. NESsT selects those with a greater potential for social impact and market success, and provides them intensive training and customized consultations on all levels, from drafting the idea to implementing it. NESsT involvement in the development of social enterprises is long term, and, depending on the business model and social impact, can last up to eight years.