The Vodafone Foundation partners with the business in a variety of different ways. We work together on technology innovations and community projects, like our accelerator partnership with Vodafone Xone and by leveraging the power of the business through our people, our partners, our ability to influence and our ability to motivate and galvanise a movement for change.
We also have specific programmes to engage staff in the work of the Foundation and we have a range of high impact projects around the world – some of which operate in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Our work around the world
There are numerous examples of life changing interventions developed by partnerships between Vodafone and the Vodafone Foundations. Like M-PESA, a mobile phone based money transfer and financing service that allows people to deposit, withdraw and transfer money and pay for goods and services via their mobile phones. Developed for use in Tanzania, the service has now spread to Afghanistan, South Africa, Romania, India, Albania and Kenya, providing millions of people with access to formal financial systems.
Or the Instant Schools programme that we developed and delivered in partnership with Learning Equality. Instant classroom is a digital school in a box, providing free access to online learning materials to children and young people in refugee camps. Each classroom weighs 52 kilograms and comes equipped with a laptop, 25 tablets pre-loaded with educational software a projector, speaker and a hotspot modem.
Each Foundation works on developing tools, technology and programmes related to the most pressing needs in their locality. We believe ours is the wellbeing of our young people – but alongside that, we also support the Instant Network, a programme that has assisted relief efforts after natural disasters in the Philippines (Typhoon Haiyan and Typhoon Bopha), in Kenya (severe drought) and following Cyclone Winston in Fiji. Using Instant Network, over 1.04 million calls have been made and 1.98 million texts sent during those deployments.
The Vodafone Australia Foundation is focused on creating positive changes related to health. Their Dreamlab project, working with the Garvan Institute is helping to accelerate the speed of cancer research.
Vodafone Employee Programmes
Vodafone is committed to supporting staff that want to get involved with the Foundation. There are a number of Vodafone employee programmes that give people the opportunity to do their bit for the charity of their choice – while inspiring their colleagues, family and friends to make a difference too. Vodafone Foundation manages these programmes and supports the business to encourage employee participation.
Hands Up Employee Programme
Hands Up provides an incredible opportunity for Vodafone staff to volunteer their time, skills and knowledge to organisations they’re passionate about, while still receiving their salary. It means the Foundation’s community partners and other organisations our people are passionate about get the expert assistance they need (free!) and Vodafone staff can make a positive contribution to the community as part of their job.
Each permanent staff member has access to up to two weeks of fully paid volunteer time to put their hands up!
Double Your $ Employee Programme
Double Your $ supports Vodafone staff that are raising money for their favourite New Zealand charities. The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation matches the amount raised dollar for dollar up to $3,000. In the 2015-2016 financial year, the Double Your $ programme raised more than $316,900 for charity.
Each permanent staff member can request up to $3000 per year to go towards their charitable fundraising.
Through this voluntary scheme, Vodafone employees are able to donate to Vodafone NZ Foundation and other community organisations each time they get paid. They receive an immediate 33.33 percent tax credit via PAYE on the donation and the money goes directly towards funding our partners to do what they do best. To support young kiwis to live lives they value, Vodafone encourages its staff to engage in payroll giving to the Foundation or its partners.
We encourage staff members to give to a registered charity of their choice via payroll giving.
Business Mentors, hack-a-thons and virtual learning
There are a range of ways that Vodafone staff can support the work of the Foundation.
Each year Vodafone employees become mentors to our community partners with the goal of helping their organisation to be more sustainable. Through one to one relationships, they support our partners to increase their skills in governance, strategic planning, finance, marketing and other areas.
We also hold hack-a-thons for community partners, bringing together a group of skilled Vodafone volunteers to swarm around a community problem. These problems are usually discreet technological issues that can be solved with the application of Vodafone’s expertise.
The Vodafone Foundation runs virtual learning sessions every quarter with our community partners. These are run on topics like financial management, communications and government relationships and are run by Vodafone staff with high levels of expertise and experience.