In France, the Citizens project seeks to make skills sponsorship to encourage the commitment of companies, institutions and citizens towards a society of solidarity.
Our society is full of activities. Businesses, local authorities, citizens and the network of associations are all working to shape the daily lives of the majority of people. Each of these actors has its own sector of activity and sometimes works for the same objectives or in the same field. However, it is sometimes unfortunate to notice difficulties for some structures, in the realization of projects or activities. Where competence is lacking, the activity can be slowed down or even stopped. It is then important to build bridges between the different actors to boost the actions on the territory. In certain contexts, the sponsorship of skills can respond to business problems with adapted solutions. It is in this perspective that the young company Citizens wishes to position itself by focusing its action on the needs of associations. Founded in 2020 by Pierre Paillereau, a recent graduate, Citizens is now based in Normandy, in the Rouen metropolitan area of France.
Despite all the good will of the people involved in associations, both employees and volunteers, there are sometimes areas where a lack of skills can be felt. To overcome this, we can rely on training of the recruitment of new profiles. However, there are other ways, such as skills sponsorship. For example, if an association has a specific need in a particular area of its accounting, it can benefit from the experience of experienced staff from a participating company. The possibilities are numerous: responding to a need for volunteers for an event, working on its communication, developing grant applications, working on legal issues. Citizens is a privileged partner to ensure the link between the players and to match needs and resources. It creates a tailor-made service for each actor to find what they need. Moreover, for associations, this service is free. In addition, associations can gain visibility on their territory. It is also a way to put the human being back at the center of the exchanges. The whole is directed towards a noble objective: to build a sustainable, responsible and unitedglobal society.
Born from a world tour
During 2018, Pierre Paillereau and Ludovic Payen traveled the world as part of an associative media project Citizens Portraits. During nine months, more than seventy interviews, enhanced with photos and videos, were conducted. A real highlighting of project leaders around the world, anchoring in the mind of the founder that many actors act for a positive impact on our society. Nine countries were visited: Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Australia, India, Nepal, Burma and Thailand. In particular, they met people involved in the Barefoot College in India. Throughout their journey, they exchanged with people involved in agro-ecology, fair trade, local solidarity circuits, those who help the poorest and others involved in many other social sustainable and solidarity actions.
Promoting corporate social responsibility
Companies will be able to promote their experience within the framework of this corporate social responsibility (CSR) approach. They can highlight their social impact and thus gain visibility. It is also a major profit for their employees who can find in these sponsorship missions a commitment to the general interest. The associative world is also a great reservoir of knowledge and skills. In addition, it also has a special relationship with the regions. With the help of Citizens, links are strengthened and actions accelerated, and the area of influence of each of the structures is extended. As a result, the companies' employer brand is enhanced among their employees, suppliers and customers. For employees, participation in associative missions can respond to a quest for meaning that is increasingly sought after these days. In addition, the teams are united around common social and solidarity objectives. Finally, the sponsorship of skills has a special tax system. It allows for a tax reduction of 60% of the amount committed, with a carry-over period of five years if the authorized ceiling is exceeded. In order to achieve certain Sustainable Development Goals, this project is an outstanding solution to connect people, organizations and institutions with the same mindset worldwide.