Business Leaders Forum | Vodafone Foundation will distribute 5,000,000 CZK among professionals to work “A Year Differently”
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Vodafone Foundation will distribute 5,000,000 CZK among professionals to work “A Year Differently”

Vodafone Foundation, a member of our platform, connects the commercial sector with the non-profit sector in an original way. The program „A Year Differently“ starting in January 2014, will support seven senior executives and experts from the private sector to work at seven Czech NGOs. The product manager of Seznam.cz, the director of the Therapy series, the attorney and investigative TV reporters will bring their know-how to non-profit sector, while receiving the same salary they were used to get.

A Year Differently is a unique program that changes the non-profit sector of the Czech Republic to greater independence and self-sufficiency. People who participate in the program are changing lives. So far, more than 70 professionals have undergone the A Year Differently program. I am delighted that this year we managed to get people with strong stories and high personal motivation to spend a year working on non-profit projects that need them. In assessing the applications, the juries focused on the project’s impact and relevance of professional know-how needed in that project. We are viewing the grants as social investment, and therefore very interested in the specific returns, not necessarily as financial effect on the non-profit organization, but as social impact. The program is particularly relevant for social enterprises, which are more than half of this year’s participants,“ said Ondřej Zapletal, Director of the Vodafone Foundation.

Motivated professionals from the world of business would provide valuable experience for non-profits that cannot afford the grant for such specialists. In Return, grantees can acquire new perspectives on their field, meaningful work and new opportunities for personal development. A Year Differently demolishes myths about incapability of the non-profit sector and cynicism in business environment. The selection procedure is always reported in a pair of one from non-profit sector and one from the business community. Together, the pair draws up a project for cooperation, which then will be evaluated by the committee of experts. 71 projects were registered during the 2014 selection procedure for A Year Differently.