The Volunteer programme aims to develop a solidarity network formed by people working in the various companies in the Group, who believe that they can contribute some of their knowledge, time and enthusiasm towards improving the quality of life and well-being of the neediest groups.
The Volunteer programme is an initiative that shows how the employees are the real protagonists in the social action carried out by Telefónica in the countries where it operates, as they are the main drivers of a significant number of the projects that are carried out.
Telefónica Volunteers, run by the Fundación Telefónica and Telefónica’s local operators in Latin America is a transnational section which for the past nine years has promoted volunteer activities among company employees who would like to share some of their resources, their professional and personal knowledge, their time and enthusiasm in order to benefit the community and its most disadvantaged members. The section offers all registered volunteers the necessary means to ensure that these activities are of real use and have a positive effect on society.
Telefónica Volunteers - currently operating in 14 countries, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela - is one of the strategic pillars of the company’s social action programme.
According to the definition established by consensus in 2009, a Telefónica Volunteer is an employee or retired employee who registers with the corporate volunteer department and who either devotes a part of his or her time or makes donations to a social action project promoted, supported or otherwise facilitated by one of the Telefónica Group companies.
The Telefónica Group today is one of the companies most closely involved with corporate voluntary work anywhere in the world. As 2009 closed, the Telefónica Volunteer programme had a total of 25,453 employees registered in 14 countries, an increase of 17% over the previous year. Extra efforts have also been made to further integrate Telefónica Europe employees within the Group’s social action environment.
Volunteers may participate in specific activities which are planned and developed by Fundación Telefónica. To this end, the foundation has identified possible future collaborations with various non-profit making organisations which might benefit from its support, as well as synergies with the company’s existing social action programmes such as EducaRed or Proniño. It is worth highlighting the fact that 2009 saw the consolidation of a number of joint volunteer initiatives in Spain, Europe and Latin America.
Volunteers may also participate in social projects proposed and implemented either by themselves or by other colleagues, with the foundation providing training as well as technical and financial assistance. Due to the large number of applications that are received each year, selection procedures are currently organised online to choose volunteer proposals from six countries: Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela. Almost 370 proposals were submitted to these selection procedures in 2009, with 63 per cent successfully set up.
Finally, volunteers may make their contribution with a donation. Most countries offer their employee volunteers the opportunity to make donations through their pay check, channelling their contributions through the Fundación Telefónica, in order that these donations may be used in projects that promote the integrated development of communities.
Whatever the form that the collaboration may take, volunteer work is carried out in collaboration with both established organisations and new organisations which have been able to clearly establish their goals and working methods. In 2009 Telefónica Volunteers worked with over 400 social organisations.
Telefónica's Volunteer programme considers appropriate training to be of fundamental importance in order to orientate those involved. There are now nine countries which offer volunteers general and specific training, as well as the guidelines required to prepare, implement and evaluate projects. In 2009, 3,085 Telefónica Volunteers took part in 244 organised hands-on and online training activities, representing over 20,000 hours of training. Some of these training activities were attended by up to 400 volunteers who put their knowledge and experience at the service of their colleagues. .