The Novartis Giving & Volunteering program is an essential component of the company’s role as a responsible citizen. We empower our people to contribute on their own terms to have an impact on society’s biggest challenges and unmet needs – via employee giving, community initiatives and skills-based volunteering. Our aim is to transform the relationship between Novartis and local communities and to be a partner of choice for society. The program unleashes the power of our people by leveraging their diversity, energy and creativity to build trust with society. In supporting our communities, the program engages with a wide range of strategic partners, from areas of global health to environmental sustainability and helps Novartis create a positive social change and embody societal impact as a core business objective.
The Novartis Giving & Volunteering program was featured as best practice for impact measurement and valuation and for non-profit partnering at the 26th World Volunteer Conference in 2022. Additionally, the Novartis Giving & Volunteering Team were awarded the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals (ACCP) Corporate Social Impact Team of the Year Award 2023 as part of the ACCP’s annual Purpose Awards for exceptional leaders in corporate social impact.
Our people told us that purpose-driven engagement with the wider community gives them a greater sense of wellbeing and the satisfaction of being able to play their part in society. Through employee giving, community initiatives and our skills-based volunteering program, our people can give back to partner organizations across 63 causes and beneficiary areas. Our people’s expertise and preferences are matched with organizations where their time, skills and generosity can make the most sustainable impact.
All our people on a permanent contract can choose when, where and how they engage plus which skills and expertise they wish to share. The Novartis Giving & Volunteering platform matches our people’s profiles with a range of opportunities to give and volunteer both in their local communities or further afield, and integrates skills, expertise and competency-building in line with learning and personal development. As one of the most inclusive programs, there is no upper limit on the number of giving or volunteering hours and volunteering is permitted during work hours.
Listening first to where we may make an impactful difference to society, we aim to develop sustained, enduring partnerships with organizations where our people can choose to give and volunteer for a purpose and cause they personally care most about.
Estelle Roth, Global Head Giving & Volunteering
Our projects are partner-led and we are committed to listening to partners’ needs and collaborating fully with them on an end-to-end journey. Novartis has a wide range of skills, knowledge and expertise to share with our partners. Through our Giving & Volunteering program, our people give and volunteer to partner organizations on projects which address their greatest challenges. The focus of giving and volunteering at Novartis is on nurturing long-term strategic partnerships with organizations where our people’s generosity, time and skills can make the most sustainable impact.
An example of this is the long-term engagement of Novartis volunteers in Hyderabad, India, who completed the launch of the Leprosy Patients Records Database (LEOPARD). The volunteers helped design and build a health management tool for the Sivananda Rehabilitation Home. Through the project, Novartis volunteers also plan to support other organizations in the fight to eliminate leprosy.
Novartis Giving & Volunteering works with a range of partners: Switzerland for UNHCR and various UN agencies and organizations, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, International Rescue Committee, The Max Foundation, Medicines for Malaria Venture, Mercy Ships, Save the Children, the Swiss Red Cross, the Tent Partnership for Refugees and the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition to name but a few. Example projects include mentoring health tech entrepreneurs and LGBTQI refugees, supporting environmental sustainability in the supply chain, developing a long-term communications strategy and driving innovation in the UN system.
Our ambition is to embolden this movement and focus on long-term impact via impact measurement to capture the ‘return on engagement’ with every country offering an inclusive, diverse and responsible approach and response to society’s biggest challenges and unmet needs. In supporting our communities, the program helps Novartis create a positive social change and embody societal impact as a core business objective. Through an enterprise-wide giving and volunteering framework, we will gain a much better understanding of the impact we are making on society – making this a win for society, our partners, our people and the company.