Involvement in the community
Entrepreneurship and putting the community at the heart of what we do has always been in our DNA and that of our team. Involvement in our communities, mainly through supporting education, is an integral part of the organizational culture we have built at Autonom.
Implicitly, throughout this time, we have sought to maximize positive impact through investments with long-term applicability, from 2013 to date, materializing our vision through over 630 projects with impact in education and environment, carried out directly by Autonom or indirectly through Autonom Foundation.
The year 2021 was a natural continuation of our established way of getting involved in the community, supporting a large number of organizations that had ongoing or proposed new projects that we could and wanted to support.
Number of organizations that benefit of direct support
Total value of contribution, Lei
Donated products and services, Lei equivalent
Total number of volunteering hours
Also in this second year of the health crisis, we ran the HELP project, continuing to be mobility sponsors for NGOs and institutions directly involved in mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Main results of 2021
Autonom, direct impact:
- We continued to support projects (culture, society, sport, education) worth RON 3,125,457 and supported 34 organizations. The amount allocated in 2021 was about three times more compared to 2020, maintaining a very high rate of direct investment in the community as a share of net profit: 14%;
- The largest contribution was to the Autonom Foundation, totaling RON 2,515,459, to support education projects in which Autonom employees are directly involved as volunteers;
- The total value of the amounts allocated in services, in the form of sponsorships of mobility services, was the equivalent of RON 342,503, amounting to 2,282 rental days, supporting 29 organizations and honoring 66 requests;
- More than 300 colleagues chose to volunteer again this year and dedicated 512 hours to programs run in educational projects in the communities they belong to, primarily via Autonom Foundation.
Examples of projects where employees have been involved in the community:
The largest national mobilization in Autonom was The Big Christmas Campaign, through which more than 50 colleagues from 24 counties of Romania happily supported TOTUL ESTE POSIBIL (EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE) NGO by preparing and offering more than 4,800 gifts to people from disadvantaged categories, in the form of school supplies, books, toys, sweets, cosmetics and personal hygiene products, clothing and footwear.
“AutonOM in Zanzibar” was a pilot project that proved that team union and the desire for community involvement knows no boundaries. In March 2021, a significant part of a colleague’s holiday was spent on charity and education projects with children in schools and villages on the island of Zanzibar, Tanzania. In addition to the support provided by the Autonom Foundation, in the form of educational materials for three local schools, identifying basic needs on the spot, 10 other colleagues also mobilized and contributed to the purchase of more than 200 complete sets of equipment (uniforms, school bags and school supplies).
Tree planting, Piatra Neamț: 40 Autonom employees, 25 adults and 15 children, planted 500 saplings together with representatives from the Gârcina Forestry Office.
CASA BUNA – 10 colleagues, during 12 hours, helped with transportation of donations and materials for the new “Casa Buna” established in Nucșoara.
Running is one of the favorite sports at Autonom and is always associated with a humanitarian cause. Since the pandemic context prevented us from physically meeting at sports competitions, the innovative spirit of our company gave birth to the idea of the “Autonom Fun Run” project, through which our colleagues were encouraged to run individually. Overall, 50 of them joined the project and managed to total 630 km nationwide, in about 100 sessions, raising also the amount of 7,272 lei for the Autonom Foundation. Also, by participating in Autism 24 Ultramarathon (Mamaia) and Galați Ultramarathon, 20 colleagues managed to raise around 10,000 euros, which contributed to the construction of a rehabilitation center for children with autism and to equip the Rainbow Cottage, where rehabilitation therapies take place, with the necessary software.
Indirect impact, through the Autonom Foundation:
- The total value of the amounts allocated to projects through the Foundation was RON 417,265.84;
- This year again, educational institutions and NGOs were the main community partners, the Foundation offering support to 128 partners.
For more details on the Autonom Foundation’s projects, please visit the Foundation’s Report 2021 - https://fundatia.autonom.ro/sustine-fundatia-autonom/.
By supporting the education system by investing in children’s development and positively influencing the wellbeing of our employees, we maintain a strong involvement in our communities and believe we can best make our mark in the future. We consider business to be one of the most competent actors in society in terms of knowledge sharing, therefore we will continue to promote continuous learning and raise awareness about more sustainable behavior.
In 2021 we carried out 128 educational projects, the highest number ever, providing scholarships, modernizing and equipping several schools with educational materials, organizing various creative workshops and field trips, supporting talented students and providing mentoring. Most of them have been implemented through the Autonom Foundation.
We have initiated a new program “Become AutonOM” through which we reached 241 students, from 8 top urban and rural schools spread across the country. As part of this program, we met (in person or online) every week during the leadership classes and talked to the students about values, involvement, volunteering, financial literacy, passions, the importance of reading, managing feelings and more. Feedback from participants, students, teachers and parents, confirmed that we can contribute to the development of key competences and the evolution of those around us by giving of our time, knowledge and experiences. The pilot program ran from November 2021 to March 2022 and will continue in 2022.
Mentoring for students and teachers
Schoolmaster mentoring: a total of 9 colleagues were involved in mentoring under the program business-mentor for Leadership Academy 2022, where they each mentored 2 future school principals to maximize their impact in their position of desire, thereby increasing their chances of winning the job competition. Our intervention took place after some nice and successful activities for school principals done together in
Also, in order to get involved and contribute to the educational process, we continued our collaboration with the Teach for Romania. For the second year in a row, we were able to offer a scholarship for a development program and thus supported the expenses of training a Teach for Romania teacher, who will certainly succeed in making a positive impact on the lives of many students. Additionally, a number of 25 autonomous volunteers actively participated in the selection process of future Teach teachers within the Assessment centers run by Teach For Romania.
Change Architects Program, from All Grow ONG, meant direct engagement of 10 of our colleagues both as jury members and as mentoring. Through this program, our colleagues reached 316 students and 18 teachers, totaling 50 hours of volunteering, with an estimated economic value of EUR 750. The impact on the final beneficiaries was even greater, their number reaching 2035.
The Scholarship Fund is a support program initiated by the Buzau Community Foundation (FCBZ) in 2018 for students in Buzau county, with great potential but limited resources. Starting 2021, the Scholarship Fund will be developed in partnership with local NGOs and the scholarships will be accompanied by mentoring programs offered in collaboration with entrepreneurs and teachers from Buzau. In this project we were 3 teams of 2 Autonom volunteers, with each supporting financially and through mentoring hours a child with potential from Buzau county.
“VALUABLE coloring stories” is a project based on the values promoted in Autonom, in which 10 colleagues created stories and coloring pages for each value, with ED and his friends as characters. The 1,000 copies printed were enjoyed both by our colleagues, invited to color together, one copy per agency and department, and by all the children belonging to educational projects we were already part of.
The “Summer School” Campaign brought together 20 colleagues who, during the summer months of June-August 2021, held open lessons for 176 primary and secondary school children, proposed by TOTUL ESTE POSIBIL ONG. The meetings were, depending on the restrictions of the moment, held in physical format or online, in 10 settlements in the country, spread over 8 counties.
The “I want to go to school” Campaign, which ran from August to September 2021, mobilized colleagues nationwide, encouraging them to donate over 800 sets of school supplies, new or in very good condition, to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. As a token of appreciation and gratitude for their effort, the Autonom Foundation has doubled the number of school supplies donated directly by our colleagues.