I’m not going to lie. After a simple day of volunteering, I feel like a superhero. Knee deep digging gardens, ladling scalding hot soup, hauling trash – when I volunteer, I know I’m helping the world. The visceral experience of stepping from behind the desk, picking up the shovel and sweating is satisfying. It makes it seem like this type of experience has a more positive effect on the world than the daily workings of business. After a day in the field volunteering, it’s is as if my day job is lacking in altruistic vision. But I know it isn’t.
The company at which I work, SAP, has a core mission to “improve people’s lives.” In a lot of ways, SAP is the software that digs the garden and ladles the soup, and then it says in real-time just how many flowers were planted and how many bowls of soup were given. It’s the backbone for a lot of organizations, both non-profit and for-profit.
But no matter if you’re physically painting a fence or building data architecture – improving people’s lives is not easy work. It takes ambition of tremendous scale. And for some businesses, there’s no greater ambition than making the world a better place.
A complicated problem, a simple solution
The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation is a non-profit organization based in South Africa. Through innovation and their passion for humanity, the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation helps to lessen the impact of the HIV epidemic on individuals, families and communities. As a non-profit foundation, they rely on the donations of individuals, corporations and governments.
To help them secure future funding, financial transparency is crucial. Donors want to clearly see that their grants are put to good use and that success can be accurately tracked. To help the Foundation achieve this, they use the latest business technology from SAP. The solutions help the Foundation to streamline its operations, effectively manage its administration, and run more efficiently.
Nothing goes to waste
Feeding America is a non-profit organization that runs more than 200 food banks across the USA. It distributes 1.5 million tons of food and delivers to 37 million people each year. That’s a sizable operation for a charity employing fewer than 200 employees! To help it run efficiently, Feeding America uses SAP mobile technology. This allows it to minimize manual data entry and utilize personnel for other purposes relevant to its mission. The technology has helped Feeding America minimize the time and effort involved in distributing food, increase deliveries and pickups, and reduce its operating expenses. While for most businesses these kinds of efficiencies mean bigger margins, for Feeding America it means more meals on the table.
After my volunteering weekends, when I’m back at work, I see now that we’re all part of the same story – we just contribute to it in different ways.
If you run an ambitious company or want to learn more about how SAP is helping businesses of all sizes, check out more stories about ambitious companies.