Feb. 22, 2022

Annual Report 2021

What all happened at Together for Eindhoven in 2021?
What did we change and what did we learn?
How did we stay positive as a team with all the challenges we faced? And what is the impact of our work on society, companies and employees?

We look back at 2021 and look to the future and our 10th anniversary this summer.

You will also find here a video that shows our work of the past year in a nutshell.

Impact Report 2021

Heart warming together

This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Together for Eindhoven. The role of Samen voor Eindhoven is that of connector between companies, non-profit organizations and society. By making a connection between social or social challenges and company goals, employees can learn skills and experience how they relate to others and to the social challenges we face in Brainport Eindhoven. Sometimes these experiences are even life-changing.

Share message

"The life stories of homeless people really touched me .."
''I met two people with life stories far removed from my own world. This made me experience again what a privileged position I am in. Through Nancy and Kenneth's openness about all phases of their lives, I learned more about the circumstances that can lead to how people become homeless. That touched me a lot.''

There is a gap between the well-earning, highly educated Eindhoven knowledge workers and those who are left out. That's why we kicked off our new campaign Heart Warming Together on Valentine's Day 2021. Our message to companies: let's take action together for a connected society and warm the hearts of people who are struggling. We reached almost 6,000 people with this campaign last year; people with money worries, lonely people, homeless people, refugees and people with disabilities.

Does that use of corporate employees really matter? Yes, say the non-profits we work with. The top three most frequently mentioned effects are the 1-on-1 attention they can give or the extra something the non-profits don't get to do themselves. In addition, with volunteers, they also bring knowledge into the organization.

With the corona pandemic, we find ourselves in our own "bubble" more often; when we are "allowed" to get out, it provides new insights. We have become more aware of the value of encounters; being together is no longer taken for granted. The pandemic forces us to look creatively for new ways of working, connecting and living together.

Happier and mentally healthier
"Employees become not only happier through experiences while volunteering, but also mentally healthier. They feel more committed to the company,'' says Dr. Lonneke Roza of Erasmus University.''

On Valentine's Day, all care facilities responded enthusiastically. More than 1,000 lonely seniors hung their wishes in the wish trees we had placed at all 23 locations.

Brainport Eindhoven as a Social Valley
"My dream is to make Brainport Eindhoven a Social Valley; to become one of the most connected cities." Ronald Slaats, chairman Together for Eindhoven

Our dream

Together for Eindhoven is the connector between companies, social organizations and the local government. Together we go for a closer and more connected society where everyone can participate. We help foundations and charities to make more impact thanks to the expertise, time, talent and hands of corporate volunteers.

Global goals
We see the Global Goals as the business plan for a better world. By building a closer society based on mutual understanding, we contribute to the realization of the Global Goals. After all, don't we all want a better world?

Magical moment
"We believe, and see in practice, that something magical happens in the meeting between employees of companies and people from civil society organizations who 'do good' together."
Esther Hofstede, founder and director of Together for Eindhoven

Impact on society

We work with about 160 nonprofit organizations; with 65 we have established partnerships. We also work with 37 corporate partners and founders.
We put the wishes and needs of the non-profits first. We try to best meet the interests and talents of corporate employees.

We know that this is precisely when the most impactful programs occur: at the intersection of the non-profits' needs, alignment with the company's mission and goals, as well as responding to the interests and talents of corporate volunteers.

Through all activities, we reached nearly 6,000 people in 2021 who could use vitamin A (of attention) or a helping hand. In total, corporate volunteers contributed nearly 4,000 hours of their time and expertise.

Vitamin A of attention. We called much attention to loneliness; as much as 43 percent of all volunteer hours were dedicated to Global Goal 3 "Good health and well-being. Due to the many corona measures of the RIVM, this percentage is significantly lower than in 2020.

We went through the measures to reduce physical contact in search of what could be done and what was needed. At organizations in the green space, older volunteers had quit and there was a shortage of "helping hands. What was still allowed was to go outside. So we ended up with Global Goal 15 'Living on land, focusing on nature conservation and strengthening local flora and fauna.. This fitted in nicely with many company employees who were no longer allowed to come to the office. That combination resulted in a growth to 34 percent of volunteer hours deployed for Global Goal 15.

Hospitality Eindhoven: a large part of this 9 percent was filled by the hospitality entrepreneurs. The cooperation between these entrepreneurs, the Salvation Army and the volunteers through Samen voor Eindhoven existed this year for 5 years. Despite the hard times, the hospitality industry remained committed to providing meals for the soup bus twice a week: more than 1,000 liters of soup per year plus sandwiches for the homeless in the city.

We worked on the 'Poverty and money worries' program in the new citywide collaboration with Partnerfonds Brainport, Impact040, Lumens, Werkplaats Financiën and the Municipality of Eindhoven. We helped to bring the concrete demand to the surface and ensured that the corporate volunteers were trained. Together with Lumens and a DLL corporate team we developed the 'Take care of yourself' campaign to create visibility among the people of Eindhoven. In this way we joined forces and helped fellow city dwellers apply for collective health insurance. That way, the money doesn't stay on the shelf and (children of) social assistance families get a better deal.

ED coat action Oct 2021
Together with 8 companies, newcomers and corporate volunteers who helped sort, we gave 2,200 collected winter coats a second life. We made sure they ended up in the right place with the 10 social partners in our network.

Impact on company and company volunteers

Volunteering can help strengthen professional and personal skills and also provide a greater understanding of social issues such as poverty, loneliness or climate change. Volunteering makes you look differently at certain issues or groups in society and you develop more empathy on many levels.

Our number of corporate volunteers grew to 828 last year, 23 percent more than in 2020. Unfortunately, the number of mediated volunteers in 2021 is only one-third of what it was before the corona pandemic.

Finding, engaging and enthralling
Volunteering can also contribute a lot to professional and personal leadership. Young professionals nowadays scan what a company is doing in the social sphere before they think about applying. It also provides a great learning context. According to the 70-20-10 learning model, people learn 70 percent through experience, 20 percent from others and 10 percent by taking a traditional course.

"It was impressive to give seniors a fun evening and give them attention. We all live on our own island and we forget what our lives will be like in 20 or 30 years.It was avery good reflection of life itself," said one of the volunteers.

Pilot: learning skills
Through volunteer work you can develop certain skills such as empathy, listening, communicating or putting yourself in someone else's shoes; in a world that may be unfamiliar to you. Together with the People & Organization department of Woonbedrijf we set up a first pilot for this purpose. We had to postpone this last minute ̶ after one of the coronapers conferences and changed rules ̶ to March this year.

Corporate volunteers' rating of the activities averages an 8.5. They feel connection and find their work impactful and successful. Sometimes they are a little tense beforehand. After the summer vacations, government regulations had been relaxed and we noticed a huge run on volunteer activities. For one company, we even mediated 180 employees in 6 weeks, something we normally had a year to do. The number of volunteers could have been 30 percent more than 828 people. Because.....nearly 250 volunteers had enthusiastically signed up and were scheduled, the scripts were already on the shelf. So our disappointment was great when we had to cancel all activities again due to a lockdown in the last two months of 2021. With pain in our hearts, we cancelled all non-profit organizations.

The negative impact of COVID-19 on the number of corporate volunteers
The number of volunteers mediated is one-third of before COVID-19. Due to RIVM guidelines, almost all companies in our network advised their employees to work from home. So going out the door for volunteer work was also no longer possible during certain periods. Of course, we also offered online volunteering. Interest in this is not (yet) as great as (physical) activities where you can meet.



We did not sit back and persevere, despite the challenges we - as a home-based team - encountered. We also became increasingly creative in coming up with solutions and came up with innovative ideas.

Successful was the new Online Meet & Match for businesses. Online we pitched social questions to companies. Employees could immediately sign up as corporate volunteers during the session. This happened in abundance. After a successful pilot, we also organized this Online Meet & Match for Eindhoven Airport, DLL and Philips, among others.

'Drive-Thru for Xmas '
Volunteers obviously could not visit lonely elderly people to give them a cheer. As an alternative to all the cancellations, we organized a 'Drive-Thru for Xmas' at the request of the care facilities. Unfortunately, it was on a smaller scale than what we had envisioned.

Together for Eindhoven: creative and persistent
"We received great responses to the Care & Share 'Drive-Thru for Xmas'. Good that something could still be done for people and great that we have such a creative and persistent partner as Together for Eindhoven!" Frank Visser, Philips Benelux

New programs that will continue to be relevant in the years to come:

  • Online programs
    About 10 percent of corporate volunteers worked online or from home. Teams of communications specialists provided online communications advice during our annual Pro Bono Communications Day. The annual community coaching program also worked online. In it, community organizations receive a sparring partner from within the company for 9 months on an issue.
  • Doubling interactive knowledge cafes and match events
    Compared to 2020, we almost doubled the number of online knowledge cafes for civil society organizations and online (match) events. We ended up with 21 meetings with 440 participants. Only 1 more of these was a physical partner meeting at our founder HTC Conference Center.
  • Donation advice
    A number of companies - including Hurks - approached us asking for advice on donations. We did a needs assessment on how this money, appropriate to the purpose, could end up in the right place. This yielded more than 75,000 euros for good causes in the Brainport region.
  • Online MO040 Late Night
    The 18th MO040 Dinner in May was adapted and continued online for the second time in the form of MO040 Late Night at Hotel van der Valk Eindhoven. We organized this matchevent together with DLL, NXP, Philips and the Municipality of Eindhoven. The biannual matchevent in November was cancelled last minute.

Duo presentation by Marije Rhebergen (DLL) and Esther Hofstede (Samen voor Eindhoven) 'in the studio' at MO040 Late Night. Photography: Thomas Abrahams | Beeldbaas
Social awareness indispensable for employers
"Anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur without social awareness is doomed to failure." Frits Philips.

What hit us in 2021?

Last year, we again worked with passion and enthusiasm for a nicer society. Our Together for Eindhoven team consists of 6 people, totaling 3.8 FTE. We are all certified by Chris Jarvis' RW Institute in the methodology of transformational volunteering. Our office at NXP was closed all year and we mostly worked from home.

Sometimes encounters while volunteering are "life changing. This is what touched us this past year.

Looking ahead 2022: 10th anniversary Together for Eindhoven

"Voluntary commitment from businesses to society is more important than ever and contributes to social cohesion and an inclusive society. It gets people out of their own 'bubble' and thus bridges the gap with others. Companies are a huge potential, a "force for good. Together with them we can achieve much more. We dream of a more fundamental and structural collaboration between commercial and ideal. Of a close and connected Brainport Eindhoven. A Social Valley," said Esther Hofstede.

We are celebrating our tenth anniversary this year. We would like to share with you some wishes and reflections. We have wondered all these years what the world would be like if idealistic organizations - running on volunteers - had access to the same facilities as large corporations. Access to the same knowledge, skills, networks and resources in areas such as strategy, marketing, finance, IT, organizational advice and development. What might the world look like then? We are convinced that if this were to become the new reality, the gap between participation and exclusion would narrow substantially. It would significantly improve our prosperity and well-being.

Towards structural contributions
How can we transform the good will of mostly occasional one-day contributions into fundamental and structural contributions? We want to create a movement in which companies and teams of employees "adopt" social organizations for a longer period of time - from six months to a year. We also hear this desire often from our civil society partners. Our goal is to start at least three long-term adoption programs by 2022. We are committed to fundamental and structural cooperation between commercial and idealistic.

Social Valley
We would be proud if Samen voor Eindhoven - together with all our social partners, Impact040 and all the companies involved - could ensure that Brainport Eindhoven becomes the most connected city in the Netherlands. A Social Valley. If we encourage employers and their employees to make a long-term, active commitment to people who are struggling, we should succeed.

Volunteering creates a different organizational culture where people think from an inclusive world. Therefore, we hope that even more people will want to take on the experience of volunteering.

In this way we make impact together, contribute to the global goals and ensure a closer society. Together for Eindhoven, together for Brainport.

Joining forces and a collaborative approach works.

We achieve our mission thanks to the help of our fans, founders, business partners, community partners and our board who support us with money, capacity, knowledge, network and volunteers.
The Municipality of Eindhoven has been an important partner since our founding and, through subsidies, is also partly responsible for approximately 30 percent of our income. The remaining income comes from committed companies, donations and funds.

With a special thanks to our 'Brainport founders' NXP, Philips Benelux and DLL. Something we are very grateful for.