The faces behind our foundation | Deloitte Impact Foundation

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The faces behind our foundation

Who are the people leading the Deloitte Impact Foundation? What do they do? And what is their intrinsic motivation to support this societal part of our organizational culture? These are the faces behind our foundation.

Through the Deloitte Impact Foundation, Deloitte colleagues can start or join initiatives that have an impact on society. The programme is embedded in the company culture of Deloitte and has many stakeholders who have an active role in the foundation's daily work. Read who is involved and how this programme is organised.

Organisational structure

The Deloitte Impact Foundation is the official foundation of Deloitte The Netherlands. It’s Programme Management Office is located in the Corporate Strategy Office in the heart of Deloitte’s purpose and strategy. Additionally the Deloitte Impact Foundation is led by an Advisory Board and a Board. 

The Board is responsible for defining and maintaining the strategic direction of the Deloitte Impact Foundation. The Board also grants the approvals of the employee-led initiative submissions. 

The Advisory Board consists of colleagues on various levels and departments, who advise the Board on the strategic direction of the Deloitte Impact Foundation and support in its execution. Additionally, they provide an advice on each initiative submission, after which the Board makes a decision.

The heart of the foundation

The Deloitte Impact Foundation Programme Management Office (PMO) consists of four colleagues who run the day-to-day business of the Deloitte Impact Foundation. The team is located within the Corporate Strategy Office, led by Emeric van Waes (Chief Strategy Officer Deloitte). Read more about what they do and why they do it, in the blogs below.

Director | Christel Samson

“Connecting organisations and people to reach our common societal goals.”

 

Leading impact

My role as Director of the Deloitte Impact Foundation has both an internal as an external function. Internally, I manage the Programme Management Office including my three enthusiastic colleagues. Being their even enthusiastic lead and taking the challenges on together regarding the implementation of our strategy is a great and inspiring combination. The past years, the foundation has grown to become the professional programme it is today. My team has worked hard to embed and align our ‘impact on society’-ambitions in our organisation and there is still a lot to win! My vision for the team and the foundation is to establish a foundation, that is known for its connecting power to enable great social and endurable things to happen, acting as a bridge between both entities and people. After 12 years of working at Deloitte in various roles, I have developed an extensive network and have learnt a lot about our way of working to make this happen.

Externally, I am the foundation’s main point of contact and aim to seek collaboration with other organisations to tackle our common societal challenges. One of the great things of working at Deloitte, is that many of our partners and directors have an ancillary position in a board of an NGO or Foundation. This enormous network, in addition to our young work force – with an average age of 32 -enables us to make a large impact on society.

 

Passion for philanthropy and CSR

Basically, I was practicing CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), before it was even called CSR. Before I started at Deloitte, I worked at a large Dutch bank where I founded a so called “charity desk” which we set up for Private Banking clients for their estate and philanthropy planning, both on a private and business level. At Deloitte, I started in the Private Clients Sector, where I encountered increasingly more private foundations and enjoyed speaking to the families about their passion to use their resources for good. This gave me a lot of positive energy! That’s when I saw the need to start a “philanthropy desk” at Deloitte. Back then, this idea did not get a lot of support. It’s great to see that now there is a more holistic approach to how we can add value for our people, clients and society. 

Through my professional network and personal passion which was continuously increasing, I started ancillary positions at various boards and am still involved in three of them. One of which is at a museum where we create awareness about being blind or visually impaired for those who can see and at the same time try to create jobs for visually impaired people. They provide for example experiences in the dark to show others what it’s like to be blind. It’s incredible to see how this great team can both provide a working environment for the visually impaired and make a difference on others at the same time. Being part of such thing teaches me that all of us can make a difference and create great joy, even if you invest just a little of time and energy.

 

Finding common grounds

Before becoming the Director of the Deloitte Impact Foundation – or having any role within the foundation at all – I worked within Deloitte’s Tax & Legal department and started a Deloitte Impact Foundation initiative called ‘Docking the Amsterdam’. I am still involved in this ongoing and unique project which gives me a lot of inspiration. In meetings, I like to take on a connecter-role between different “types” of people who sometimes feel like they’re living in different worlds; e.g. cultural, governmental, corporate, financial etc. Enabling these people to step outside their comfort zone to connect on a deeper level with others and work towards a common goal, is something I’m really passionate about. My experience has taught me that with a positive attitude, an open mind and a civilized and in-depth discussion, mutual respect will be created. Together, we can realize the things no one could do alone, or even thought was possible at all.

Measuring & Positioning | Tamara Veldkamp-Blaauw

"You only have to share your talents for a better society."

 

Conversations that inspire

What I love about my job is that no working day is the same for me. One day I have inspiring conversations with directors of foundations about the possibilities to cooperate with Deloitte. Other days I might have talks in schools about and with young people who are looking for inspiration for their future career.

I also have drinks with my colleagues and discuss how we can make an impact as Deloitte via the Deloitte Impact Foundation. Furthermore I am responsible for measuring impact and reporting the results of the Deloitte Impact Foundation.

 

Giving back by sharing

The reason why I work for the Deloitte Impact Foundation is that I believe in our concept. The most valuable thing you can give back to society is using your knowledge and sharing your talents. 

When you give something of yourself back to society, like your talent, it feels natural and allows you to REALLY make a difference through the way YOU are. Because so many at Deloitte have their own talents and expertise, I am able to match foundations with our professionals just by listening to their requests for help. This is my talent, which I gladly place in service of a better society.

 

Choices that matter

The most inspiring is that I meet a lot of people who are passionate about all the things they do for society. It makes me proud when I hear that young students choose to work for Deloitte because they support The Ocean Cleanup or because they have cool ideas about Sustainability. My last sentence is: Life is a matter of choices and every choice you make makes you.

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Storytelling | Laura Grootenboer

“Creating inspiring content that activates people to make the world a better place”

 

From passion to action

As part of the Deloitte Impact Foundation Programme Management Office, I focus on branding and communication - both internally within Deloitte, as towards the outside world. My “internal” mission is to enable and inspire colleagues to start or join projects that make an impact on society. Through conversations with leadership and other colleagues, I perform research to increase the engagement in our programme. Additionally, I translate the stories of participating colleagues to impactful videos and articles to inspire others to join as well. Through external communications, these impact stories create awareness that enable collaboration with third parties to make a larger and more sustainable difference in the world. I love hosting workshops or presentations and having one-on-one conversations about people’s societal passion – and more importantly, how to turn that passion into action.

 

Bridging the gap

Before starting a Deloitte in 2018, I had a commercial job and did voluntary work on the side. Being a part of both ends of the spectrum, I was shocked to experience first-hand what the differences are between these two extremes. The commercial organisation, which at the time did not do much to give back to society and was mainly focused on profit and had the smartest, most hardworking and dedicated people to help them do so. Don’t get me wrong; I'm not saying this is "wrong" or that these people are “bad people". All of them have a heart that cares about particular societal issues. I'm just saying that they might not be following their heart at work. I remember working overtime and ending up - exhausted - at an NGO for my voluntary activities at the end of the day. Even though not all non-profits are the same, my experience showed me that these organisations have a great purpose and ambitions, but are often lacking in resources – it being time, expertise, money etc. Therefore, they are limited in the accomplishment of their ambitious, life-changing goals. 


Working at the Deloitte Impact Foundation enables me to bridge this gap. On one hand, by offering the NGO’s the expertise they need (pro-bono) to help them reach their goals. On the other hand, by offering Deloitte colleagues to follow their heart, even at work. Also at Deloitte, many of us are still stuck in our “corporate bubble” and don’t realise which value our knowledge and network could offer to the people or non-profits that need it the most. I am energized by starting this conversation on a daily basis and by creating inspiring content that activates people to make the world a better place.


A memorable moment

One of our initiatives called the Deloitte Future Academy hosted its second annual programme in which Deloitte colleagues supported refugees in creating a fresh start on the job market in the Netherlands. To raise awareness for this programme and the topic of ‘inclusion’ at Deloitte, I created videos of four participants in which they shared their experience and dreams. While recording one of these videos, I heard a participant say: ‘My dream is to become a partner at Deloitte.’ Six months later, when we checked up on the participants again, he joined the call with a big smile and announced that he just signed his Deloitte contract – the first step in accomplishing his dream. Now, that’s what I call impact. 

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Process and engagement | Omany Merièn

"Playing my part to benefit society, for the future generations to come."

 

Supporting incoming initiatives

Within the Programme Management Office of the Deloitte Impact Foundation, I focus on the employee led initiatives. This means reviewing all incoming initiatives and keeping the Deloitte Impact Foundation’s database up-to-date in combination with our internal initiatives’ platform. Furthermore an Ambassador Network has been set up with the focus on increasing employee engagement towards the Deloitte Impact Foundation, and to help support fellow initiatives where needed.

 

Passion for volunteering

Before joining the Deloitte Impact Foundation, the thought never occurred to me that I could combine my contribution to society with my career. 

Growing up in Curaçao means being surrounded by lovely beaches, but littering has had quite some negative impact on the beaches, which led to the start of my contribution to society. From a young age on I started getting involved in various park and beach cleanups, which later developed into volunteering on different projects, from creating new class rooms for the less fortunate to distributing food to the ones in need. 

Moving from Curaçao to the Netherlands can sometimes leave you feeling really small, where you might even question if your input in society is enough. I often thought: 'How can I make a difference when my contribution is so small?'. Through the years, I started reassuring myself that no matter how small my involvement is, it benefits our society and if we all play our part, we can make an even bigger impact. My contribution isn’t only for my personal benefit, but for the future generations to come. 

 

Stories that fuel your energy level

What I enjoy the most from being part of the Deloitte Impact Foundation is how excited you get just from hearing about all the great initiatives, be it big or small. It can range from colleagues having completed their first initiative ever, to milestones that were reached throughout the initiative, or even being involved in a project that is close to your heart. Being able to make an impact on society has a way of fueling you with so much energy and gives you a different view on the corporate lifestyle.

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The Changemakers Network

The Deloitte Impact Foundation Changemakers Network consists of 50+ enthusiastic and purpose-driven colleagues, spread across all business areas. Together with the Programme Management Office, they aim to increase awareness and engagement in Deloitte Impact Foundation projects to enhance our impact on society. 

Per business, the Changemakers also work closely with their Purpose Lead Partner to align the Deloitte Impact Foundation’s pro-bono societal impact activities with Deloitte’s internal responsible business policies and client work – strengthening our purpose ‘to make an impact that matters’. 

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