The Engagement & Volunteering program is an essential component of the company’s role as a responsible citizen. The program unleashes the power of our people by leveraging their diversity, energy and creativity to build trust with society. Born as a grassroots movement, the program has evolved from a philanthropic, hands-on approach to a sustainable, skills-based model that generates impact for associates, Novartis, partners and communities. In supporting our communities, the program engages with a wide range of strategic partners, from areas of global health to environmental sustainability.
Since 1997, Novartis has hosted an annual Community Partnership Day, an opportunity for associates around the world to give back to their local communities, mostly through hands-on volunteering activities. In 2017, Novartis began increasing skills-based volunteering opportunities, enabling associates to provide pro bono expertise and knowledge while engaging with causes and beneficiaries they care about. Based on these experiences and building on our learnings, we developed the Engagement & Volunteering program, expanding the Novartis commitment beyond a single day of service, with the focus on community partnership every day. Our aim is to transform the relationship between a global industry player and local communities and to become a partner of choice for civil society.
The program provides learning and development opportunities for associates through meaningful, stretched experiences. Novartis empowers associates to engage and volunteer on their own terms – they decide when, where and how. As one of the most inclusive volunteering programs, the program does not set an upper limit on the number of volunteering or engagement hours. Every associate is encouraged to engage with responsibility.
We offer an AI-enabled online platform, matching associates’ profiles with a range of opportunities, from on-the-ground projects in underserved communities to virtual volunteering from home. The tool integrates skills, expertise and competency-building in line with the Novartis learning and development architecture. For the first time, external partners have direct access to posting engagement and volunteering opportunities. Additional opportunities such as associate giving, crowdfunding, matching funds and the expansion to family, friends and Novartis retirees are in the roadmap.
Our ambition is to embolden this associate-led movement, position Novartis as a leader in Engagement & Volunteering and focus on impact measurement to capture the ‘return on engagement’, such that every country offers an inclusive, diverse and responsible response to society’s biggest challenges.