Community in times of corona
ING colleagues are getting used to working from home or in almost-empty offices and branches, finding ways to help both customers and corporate clients weather the corona crisis. But the communities we operate in are also in need. What are we doing for them?
ING businesses have donated materials and funds, while also organising local fundraising initiatives with customers and colleagues. Here’s some examples.
We launched a fundraising campaign in Italy, where employee donations for the Italian Red Cross are being matched by ING. In Spain, we joined with UNICEF to launch a fundraising campaign for clients and employees that will purchase medical equipment for the country. ‘Sometimes heroes also need help’ raised more than €500,000 in just four days, an amount that will also be matched by ING.
"Our clients are very aware of the situation we are experiencing in Spain and they love being able to help their country in such a simple way,” said Pilar Ruiz-Giménez, from the Sustainability team in Spain. “It is very gratifying to know that all the health personnel in Spain can be a little more protected thanks to our help.”
In Belgium, ING Lease has given a local hospital access to an empty building to upgrade capacity for corona patients, and IT colleagues prepared and delivered laptops to set up posts to triage new patients. Other refurbished laptops and screens were donated to Digital4Youth, which distributes them so more students can learn digitally from home.
“It gives a sense of pride and fulfilment, to know that there might be patients who are being helped just a bit better, or students who have the possibility to stay on track with school courses,” said Bart Vercammen, from Workplace Services. “But it also feels good to see that in times like this, you can find people ready to help others.”
Face masks were very needed
In the Netherlands, colleagues have also been responding, with our Crisis Management team donating nearly 6,000 face masks that were in ING’s supplies to two hospitals in Brabant, the most heavily impacted area of the country. The ING Netherlands Fund has also allocated funding to support recovery and longer-term impacts on people’s financial health, investing in existing initiatives and the 25 social entrepreneurs it works with to help keep them afloat.
Several ING countries are making it possible for customers to donate through our mobile banking app, including Poland, Spain, Australia and Romania. ING in Poland also made a large donation to health services in the country.
In Romania, we created an emergency fund for three hospitals to help doctors cope, donating protective equipment and PCR tests for corona detection. We also donated to Code4Romania to help build six apps that can help the NGO communicate better with the population and decrease the stress on medical system.
“We think 2020 will be the year of community investment, not only in Romania but all around the world,” said Silvia Mihailescu, director of Marketing and Communications at ING in Romania. “It’s super important to be quick, actively look at where our efforts will best serve the communities, and not to hesitate when it comes to helping.”
Helping young people
In the Czech Republic, we’re supporting kids in children’s homes and foster care by giving them IT equipment so they can learn online. In the UK, we’re supporting two charities that are responding to increased needs for social services, while also donating food, drink and cleaning products.
In Turkey, ING created a fund that will provide three months of support for children from about 1,000 financially disadvantaged families. The business started the fund with a donation and will match all donations from colleagues. The campaign kicked off with an online concert from famous Turkish singer Sertab Erener (see photo).
There are more actions being taken and options being looked into in other ING countries, including France, Germany, the Philippines, Russia, Bulgaria, Australia, Brazil and the US. And at global level, ING has created a global fund that will increase the donations made by the countries so far.
ING sets up global fund to help countries fight corona
The fund will increase the donations made so far by the countries, who can also apply for additional funds. Each country has different challenges and can allocate the funds in a way that will make the biggest impact. The first phase is for immediate disaster relief support, while the second phase is for longer-term projects that positively impact the socio-economic recovery.
Responding to the communities’ need in such a crisis is in line with ING’s corporate responsibility, and in addition to our role of supporting customers and our employees.