For volunteering to achieve its impact as civic engagement, it depends on the support of the state and business. The commitment of the business community is not a matter of course in most countries. Initiatives such as that of UBS are therefore all the more gratifying. SGG talked to Sonja Kingsley-Curry, Head Strategic Initiatives & Brand Management at UBS Switzerland, about the new “UBS Helpetica” project.
Ms. Kingsley-Curry, when UBS promotes volunteering, is it more than just advertising on its own behalf?
For UBS, volunteering is an integral part of the corporate culture. More than 15 years ago, UBS was one of the first companies in Switzerland to introduce its own volunteer program for its employees. Today, around 5,000 employees volunteer around 50,000 hours a year for the good of society. UBS makes two working days per year available to all employees for volunteering.
In addition to so-called “corporate volunteering”, UBS has developed a volunteer platform called UBS Helpetica. What for?
UBS Helpetica is the logical development of the long-standing commitment of employees and, as a volunteer network, is open to anyone and everyone in the country, so that volunteering gains even more visibility and access. UBS Helpetica brings together sustainable projects from non-profit organizations and volunteers in close cooperation with relevant volunteer organizations such as Bevenol and Swiss Volunteers.
They cooperate closely with existing players in the volunteer pie. What is the added value of UBS Helpetica?
UBS Helpetica opens up its large network of client relationships to private and institutional clients, wealthy individuals and companies. In addition, UBS makes available its deep and long-standing local roots in the individual regions, as well as its communication channels, in order to lend even more weight to volunteering and to give projects even more visibility. In this respect, the network is part of UBS’s strategy of “Connecting people for a better world.” (Connecting people for a better world).
The success of online tools always depends on the users. How satisfied are you one year after the launch of UBS Helpetica?
We are very satisfied. UBS Helpetica has received more than 220 project ideas, currently supports around 60 nonprofit partners in their search for volunteers, and has published more than 150 projects. And the “Success Stories” section has been added to our platform – in the hope that this will inspire many volunteers to get involved.
Further information: https://ubs-helpetica.ch/en