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VOLUNTEERISM @ SAP: It’s in Our Core

Here at SAP, our corporate vision is to help the world run better by improving people’s lives. SAP CSR helps bring that vision into focus with programs that help young people gain a passion for technology and develop the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy.  We seek to enhance how young people learn about science, math, and technology. Our goal is to unleash people’s potential to innovate by leveraging our own talent, our employees, and their core expertise.

In North America specifically, our goal for 2013 volunteerism is lofty – to participate in 25,000 volunteer hours with a specific focus on skills-based volunteering (SBV). 

So far this year, SAP volunteers across the US and Canada have been working towards that goal, engaging with non-profits in their communities. Some highlights include:

For the second year in a row, some of the Bay Area’s brightest young students worked together with SuccessFactors employee volunteers to create innovative business solutions for social challenges during the second annual Junior Achievement Social Innovation Camp in the Bay Area. This exciting event was spearheaded and hosted by our SuccessFactors colleagues and run by our friends at JA on March 8th.

Each team was responsible for creating a presentation around their idea, as well as a two-minute SAP Jam video explaining their solution. As the day came to a close, the student teams took turns presenting their ideas to an esteemed five-member panel of SAP SuccessFactors executive judges and winners were announced.

Junior Achievement has been a long-standing partner of SAP’s across North America. In fact, the partnership began back in 2005 in Canada and steadily moved south across the US, where we now partner with JA in Atlanta, Palo Alto, Chicago, Newtown Square, and Dallas, having reached thousands of students ever since.

Already in Q1, SAP Canada has hosted multiple single day classroom programs with Junior Achievement, entitled Our Business World and Economics for Success, that have helped expose JA students to successful business and economics skills, which in turn hopefully encourages them to consider the advantages of staying in school. SAP Canada is also currently working to develop an expanded partnership with JA across several cities.

Another multi-city non-profit partner of SAP’s, NFTE (the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship), is gearing up for the regional semi-finals portion of their National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. Students all over the globe are preparing to present their business plans at the local level in hopes of moving on to the National Challenge coming up in October where they will have the chance to compete for $25,000 in cash and prizes.

Just recently, over two days in our SAP Newtown Square, PA office, eighteen NFTE students from downtown Philadelphia had the opportunity to work closely with SAP volunteers and receive help putting the finishing touches on their business plans during our NFTE Student Business Plan Coaching Workshop on March 26th and 27th.

In tandem to this targeted coaching workshop, the SAP NSQ office has also adopted a classroom of students who are studying the NFTE curriculum at KIPP DuBois Collegiate Academy in Philadelphia. Led by one of our dedicated Volunteer Ambassadors, a small group of volunteers makes visits to the classroom every other week to guide the students through the building of their business plan templates and mentor them on business concepts ranging from the economics of one unit to basic presentation skills.

SAP’s relationship with the KIPP charter school family has far reaching arms, with philanthropic funding being provided to KIPP schools in Philadelphia, Houston, Boston, Chicago, the Bay Area, Atlanta, and New York. 

The SAP NYC office, in particular, held a Personal Branding Workshop back in early February for a group of students from KIPP NYC College Prep High School. Members of the SAP Marketing team engaged the KIPPsters in a discussion around questions like what is a personal brand?  What contributes to someone’s personal brand?  Who has a personal brand? Why should I care about my personal brand?

Through interactive slides and a conversational breakout session, the students began to gain an understanding of what their own personal brands are and why it is becoming important, as they get ever closer to heading off to college, to represent your best self to the world around you. By the end of the session, each student was able to stand in front of the room and deliver a 30-second “elevator pitch” about his or herself…not an easy task at age seventeen.

We urge you to contact us at with details around any of your upcoming volunteer engagement opportunities – we are more than happy to help recruit on your behalf inside SAP’s walls.

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