The Solidarity AccorHotels endowment fund celebrates its 10th anniversary during Solidarity Week 2018
Helping to combat the economic and social exclusion of the most disadvantaged people was the rationale behind the creation of the endowment fund Solidarity AccorHotels. Ten years on, more than 300 projects have been supported in 45 countries to help 172,800 direct beneficiaries with the aid of 20,000 AccorHotels employees directly involved in projects to help the most vulnerable.
Ten years of commitment on the ground
The Group created its Accor Corporate Foundation in 2008 to promote the training and professional integration of the most disadvantaged. A dedicated Board of Directors and a Selection Committee were set up to decide on the projects submitted by employees and evaluated by the permanent team. "Solidarity was created to structure the Group's employee-driven sponsorship activities. In 2007, an internal study focusing on initiatives carried out around the world showed that professional integration played a prominent role. Through our business and the range of occupations in the hospitality industry, the teams in our hotels are accustomed to passing on their expertise to people starting their professional careers. Addressing the issue of social and economic exclusion through training and professional integration was therefore the obvious way forward. We felt we could make a difference," said Christine de Longevialle, Managing Director of Solidarity AccorHotels.
In 2013, the legal structure of the foundation changed to become the Solidarity AccorHotels Endowment Fund. Launched in 2008 under the impetus of Christine Lagarde and based on the US model, in just ten years endowment funds have become established as one of the preferred legal structures for corporate donors and philanthropic businesses. This change specifically enabled Solidarity AccorHotels to raise funds from a wider range of stakeholders and mobilize more employees and guests in support of even more projects and beneficiaries.
Impact study: ten years of continued support, close ties and human connections
On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, Solidarity AccorHotels wanted to measure the results of its activities. Conducted by consultancy firm Kimso*, the assessment helped to analyze the initiatives undertaken over the past ten years and understand their effects.
In particular, the study confirmed the scope of the fund's activities, the type of projects supported and the nature of its support. As such, 70% of the projects provided some form of support in relation to professional integration.
The beneficiaries of the organizations supported are predominantly disadvantaged people (living below the poverty line for 80% of the organizations), who are often young, unemployed and stigmatized. The study also highlighted the standout feature of Solidarity AccorHotels' efforts, namely a commitment that goes beyond just financial support and incorporates the human connection, both at local level and over the long-term. Heads of organizations have a point of contact within AccorHotels and are also liaising with other employees. Moreover, a majority of heads of organizations cite the involvement of employee volunteers as one of the main strengths of their partnership.
Solidarity Week 2018, celebrating 10 years of action at AccorHotels
Since 2008, Solidarity Week has grown within AccorHotels properties and headquarters around the world. Each year, over the course of a week in December, it encourages employees to participate in charity initiatives, providing a practical response to the needs expressed by local organizations. From December 10 to 14, 2018, a charity Christmas market will be held at Sequana, the Group's headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris. Products made by the fund's partner organizations will be on sale. Additional charity initiatives will be held within the Group's hotels, including at Sofitel Paris Baltimore Tour Eiffel where €1 will be donated to the charity Les Enfants du Mékong for every drink sold (soft drinks, coffee, cocktails, etc.), and internationally, with The Grand Mercure Ibirapuera (Brazil) is going to donate fifty christmas hampers with food and beverage to children with disabilities.
Without changing its focus areas or the way it operates, which has demonstrated its effectiveness over the past 10 years, Solidarity AccorHotels will resolutely maintain a long-term commitment to its projects.
For more information, please click here to learn more about 10 years of Solidarity AccorHotels.
ABOUT THE SOLIDARITY ACCORHOTELS ENDOWMENT FUND
The ambition of Solidarity AccorHotels, the endowment fund of AccorHotels Group, is to combat the economic and social exclusion of people experiencing severe poverty. To achieve this, there are two key areas of focus:
Professional integration, which breaks down into two types of initiatives:
Professional training, by supporting vocational apprenticeship programs
Economic development, by supporting the creation of revenue-generating activities
And long-term support in emergency situations, by helping local populations deal with the immediate and long-term aftermath of humanitarian crises.
Since 2008, more than 300 projects in 44 countries have been supported, directly and indirectly benefiting 230,000 people. At the heart of each project, the dedication of AccorHotels employees means being involved in the lives of the communities that welcome the Group's hotels and taking heartfelt hospitality beyond borders. More information at www.solidarity-accorhotels.com