SAP is truly an amazing company. Yes, we help the world run better – 74% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system – but we also improve people’s lives. SAP encourages and supports employee volunteerism year-round.
We partner with many different Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to create positive social change around the world by volunteering in our local communities. Every year SAP employees volunteer for more than 200 thousand hours in 47 different countries. However, our signature volunteering initiative is in October – our so-called Month of Service.
This year, we in SAP Silicon Valley (SAPsv) decided to up our commitment and shoot for 100% participation from every employee during Month of Service. While we didn’t quite make that goal, we substantially increased participation – completing 108 projects, nearly double any previous year! In fact, SAPsv volunteered 7,253 hours of service in October, accounting for about 1/3 of participation across North America.
While I am proud of what we were able to achieve in just a few weeks, it’s the stories behind the numbers that really matter. Stories of people finding meaningful ways to give back, getting their colleagues involved, and making a lasting difference in communities.
Years ago, my colleague Roger Quinlan initiated a partnership with Adobe to build playgrounds for disadvantaged schools. This year, an all-time record 300 volunteers from Adobe and SAP worked hand-in-hand to create our eighth playground.
For the first time in Silicon Valley, SAP partnered with City Year to support their goal to dramatically increase graduation rates in high poverty communities. Our work at Ocala Middle School in San José built on 10 years of supporting City Year on the East Coast, especially in the Philadelphia area. In fact, City Year named SAP’s CEO, Bill McDermott, their Man of the Year for his longstanding commitment to the program.
Since employees can’t always make it to offsite locations, we also host a variety of projects onsite at SAP buildings. For the last few years, I’ve hosted Foundation for Hospital Art, an afternoon of painting murals to brighten hospital walls. I’m not much of an artist, but luckily my colleagues forgive my inability to paint inside the lines.
SAP’s employee-driven affinity groups also rallied their members to make a difference. Continuing their work for community fundraising, the seven-year strong SAPsv Cycling Club helped launch a ride to support veterans. Similarly, the Pride Group, Latinos@SAP, and Business Women’s Network led youth programs to expose young minds to career possibilities in technology.
For me, these stories strengthen my belief in the possibilities to make a unique and meaningful impact that goes beyond work at SAP. I’d like to thank my colleagues who remind us of these opportunities with their outstanding contributions, and congratulate SAPsv for the unprecedented success achieved with teamwork this Month of Service.