Corporate volunteering

Goal 11 - Sustainable cities and communities

Corporate volunteering is coordinated by the Santander Bank Polska Foundation and is an important part of our bank's social activity. Employee volunteers have been carrying out projects supporting local communities for years. The number of bank volunteers and their initiatives has been growing year by year.

Principles of volunteering

The principles are regulated by the Santander Bank Polska Policy on Corporate Volunteering, which defines the areas of volunteering activities, describes the procedures and presents the indicators for volunteering. The units responsible for corporate volunteering in the bank are Santander Bank Polska Foundation and the Public Relations Department, acting in cooperation with the HR unit.

Every employee of Santander Bank Polska has 8 hours a year to spend on volunteering in the three areas of activity mentioned above:

  • Supporting education and scientific development

  • Equal opportunity activities

  • Building civil society

  • GRI:
  • Custom indicator Number of employee volunteers involved in corporate volunteering projects in the reported year
    Number of employee volunteers involved in corporate volunteering projects in the reported year
  • Custom indicator Number of beneficiaries of corporate volunteering activities / year
    Number of beneficiaries of corporate volunteering activities / year
  • Custom indicator Total amount of money allocated to social engagement activities / year
    Total amount of money allocated to social engagement activities / year
  • ESG: S – Society Our approach to Social Responsibility
    Our approach to Social Responsibility

Corporate volunteering 2020 in numbers:

  • 2,487


  • 75

    reported and accounted for projects by the end of 2020

  • 97,679

    persons helped as a result of corporate volunteering activities

  • PLN 118 890,60

    allocated by the Santander Bank Polska Foundation for volunteering activities

2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of Bank’s employees involved in Corporate Volunteering 580 1,312 2,003 2,487

Volunteering initiatives

Volunteers supported senior citizens from the „Win for yourself” association and together they implemented the „Wrapped in flowers” project. The project involved delivering flowers to the homes of senior citizens and organising workshops on plant composition. The project resulted in an album containing the compositions and portraits of the people participating in the project dressed in black – representing people with cancer. It was a continuation of the project, the first edition of which took place a year earlier and was co-financed by the City of Leszno.

As the largest petrochemical refinery is located near Płock, the city and its surroundings have a significant air quality problem. Trees are necessary to clean the air and produce oxygen. The volunteers decided to organise the planting of trees from the nursery of the Płock Forestry District in the state forest in Brudzeń near Płock. Our employees want the project to be a long-term engagement and have already announced its continuation.

Volunteers planted 60 fruit bushes (raspberries, blackberries and blueberries) at the „Dolina Słońca” (Sun Valley) therapeutic and rehabilitation centre for people with intellectual disabilities in Radwanowice. They placed a plaque next to each plant with the patent’s name reading „Please take care of me and remember to water me”; they also attached a personalised letter to each tree. The patients will now nurture their trees, and when the time comes, volunteers and patients will meet to harvest the fruit together. The project won the annual volunteer of the year competition.

Our volunteers came across the „Przytul Pyska” animal adoption centre in Boguszyce during the „On All Fours” campaign. The centre recently received a large caravan as a donation. They decided to use it as a mini hospital, where minor operations could be carried out and animals with various wounds or diseases could quickly recover in sterile conditions. The caravan was cleared of old furniture and insulated. Volunteers adapted the kitchen furniture and a table and chairs for the new purpose, bought a new worktop, and organised a collection of bandages, sterile dressings and other sanitary items to equip the hospital first-aid kit. In this way, a mini hospital was created under the name „Hospital On All Fours”.

The bank’s volunteers decided to support a hospital library in Świdnik. The grant financed the purchase of a new library trolley for transporting books to the hospital wards (until now an old medicine trolley was used for this purpose). A carpenter made to order a colourful trolley in March, and the remaining funds were enough to fund new shelves for the bookcase. The volunteers also launched a collection called „A Cure for boredom”, collecting board games, puzzles, office supplies for creative work and books, especially for the youngest hospital patients.

In cooperation with the Wrocław City Hall, our volunteers joined in the organisation of a summer camp for children from the School and Kindergarten Complex in Wrocław. A number of attractions were prepared for the group of 70 participants, such as singing lessons, bracelet making, ceramic work, sports competitions, blowing soap bubbles, paddle boarding, aerobics and macarena dance lessons. All the activities took place under the sanitary regime related to the pandemic. At the end, each participant received gifts from the bank and T-shirts from the Foundation.

The volunteers started an initiative called „Tylko koni żal” (Sympathizing with horses), the beneficiary of which was the Tara Foundation, a horse shelter in Piskorzyno. Under the pandemic sanitary restrictions, the shelter was deprived of any income, so the volunteers got involved in raising money to buy and transport 20 bales of hay for the shelter’s animals. They also offered a helping hand. After unloading the hey, the volunteers and their families rolled the bales into the barn with their own hands.

Volunteers took care of a section of Książański Nature Reserve near Świebodzice. They cleared the forest of rubbish left behind by people. As the area is a popular strolling destination for local residents, the effort will certainly make their relaxation in nature more enjoyable.

During the pandemic, blood shortages have become particularly severe and blood donation events were rare. Our volunteers organised an honorary blood donation event. They donated blood themselves in a mobile unit of the Regional Centre for Blood Donation and Hemotherapy in Wałbrzych, and invited the inhabitants of Kłodzko to participate in the donation. They coordinated the process and made sure it was carried out safely, registered the donors, distributed drinks and snacks, and made sure they complied with the sanitary regime. More than 12 litres of blood was collected.

Volunteers – employees of the Employer Brand Office from the Recruitment Team – conducted an online workshop on „How to enter the labour market”. The participants of the workshop were young people from children’s homes all over Poland, preparing to look for their first jobs. The volunteers taught the workshop participants how to write a proper CV and how to prepare for a recruitment interview, what a Temporary Employment Agency is, and where and how to look for the job of their dreams. During the meeting, they also talked about volunteering – as a valuable experience before starting a professional career.

Since 2019, a number of educational activities have been carried out jointly by the Santander Foundation and the Police, including projects aimed at seniors, such as „Happy Senior”, „Grandson and Police Scams „, „Seniors don’t give up!”, „OLABOGABABCIU” and „Senior Time”. During meetings in clubs and seniors’ homes and at third-age universities, volunteers together with police officers taught seniors the principles of safe behaviour online and warned them about threats occurring in real life and in virtual reality. To date, we have educated nearly 3,500 people.

In addition, the Foundation’s volunteers prepared original scripts for classes on „How not to be fooled by online fraudsters and keep your money and data safe”. The COVID-19 pandemic has thwarted our plans to carry out classroom workshops with seniors so we have modified our programme and volunteers are now ready to conduct online workshops.

For more information about the workshop go here