New criteria Share4More
Rabobank employees have their own fund to support small-scale improvements to education and to water supplies in developing countries. As from January 2013, this fund - Share4More - is adopting a slightly different approach, aimed more at encouraging greater sustainability and self-reliance.
The intention behind Share4More is to help people and organisations in developing countries help themselves. The fund's growth in the past couple of years has been impressive, but it was felt that the time had come to redefine the criteria governing the approval of projects. It was decided to restrict the number of countries in which Share4More is active and also the type of project supported. This will ensure that supported projects are of the highest standard and complement the work of Rabobank Foundation more closely.
From January 2013, Share4More will only support sustainable projects aimed at self-reliance in the domain of education and water supplies. Examples of such projects include: a donation for the construction of a water well, training materials for a tailoring workshop, a training programme in which disadvantaged youngsters are given vocational training, or a train-the-trainer scheme for teachers within a community who train farmers to use special agricultural techniques. This type of project fits in well with the activities of Rabobank Foundation; where Rabobank Foundation may be supporting a savings and credit cooperative, Share4More could, for example, provide a contribution towards teaching material for the children of the members of that cooperative.
The donors who make this support possible are all Rabobank employees. Share4More has been described by colleagues as a unique fund: "It is a simple, accessible and reliable way to make a real contribution towards a very specific and tangible segment within the vast mass of supply and demand in the development aid sector." Every cent of the four euros that they donate from their salary each month, and the matching amount contributed by the Executive Board, is used to fund projects. What our colleagues particularly like is the fact that such a small amount can have such a great effect, and that they can be sure that their donation has been well spent. A newsletter keeps donors informed of the progress achieved in the projects that have been supported. "This is a good way to get involved, through my own employer", as colleagues who are already donors say. In addition, the donors play an important role in formulating the fund's policies. The new criteria <<link>> were in fact drawn up on the basis of input received from an advisory board consisting of donor employees.
Proposals for projects
Besides being involved in decision making, Share4More encourages Rabobank employees to put forward suggestions for projects in the domains of education and water supplies. For a local bank this can provide an opportunity to become involved in a specific project and to use that project to demonstrate the cooperative character of the bank. Above all, the fund provides an opportunity for each employee to demonstrate his or her personal engagement with people and society.