Long Read

Interview with AXA and TADA on their corporate volunteering programme

As part of our course on Employee Engagement on 26-27 March 2020, we will have a site visit to AXA and TADA (ToekomstATELIERdelAvenir) and hear about how they have managed to build a successful corporate volunteering programme together. They answered a few of questions to explain how they built their programme, to give you an idea of what you might learn from them during our course.

Interview with AXA and TADA on their corporate volunteering programme
Haidar Mohammed Ali, AFP, Getty Images


Can you introduce your organisation in a few sentences?

TADA (short for ToekomstATELIERdelAvenir) is a network that involves citizens, civil society and businesses in the integration and emancipation of Brussels’ socially most vulnerable teenagers and their entourage. In Brussels, TADA supports over 1000 socially vulnerable teenagers through a network that intensively coaches them during many years. Through our weekend schools and our alumni network, we offer extracurricular activities that set the (learning) bar high, while equally fostering the wellbeing of the child.

How do corporate volunteers help you in your work?

TADA would not exist without its thousands of guest teachers. They are passionate volunteers who devote one or several Saturdays per year to sharing their enthusiasm and their professional experience with the TADA kids. Corporate volunteers see their participation at TADA as a social team building as well, which makes their motivation to participate even bigger.

Can you name one aspect of your partnership with AXA and AXA’s corporate volunteers, that makes the collaboration successful?

Together with AXA, we created the course ‘Finance for kids’ where children get to know concepts such as ‘price setting’, ‘negotiating’, ‘circulation of money’, ‘insurances’ and ‘fraud’. We organise this course since 2014 and every year the number of volunteers grows. We now have over 70 AXA employees who participate.


When did you decide to support TADA and why?

The cooperation between TADA and AXA Belgium started quite some time ago now. As a founding partner of TADA, we support the NGO in a variety of ways that are not limited to financial support. A lot of people keep TADA running. They are almost a small SME and they need the facilities to be able to carry out their noble business throughout Brussels in the best possible circumstances. (We offer them to do so in our offices, where they are based.

AXA is a large company in Belgium, located in the centre of Brussels. And as part of the civil society, we want to give something back to it.

Together with our numerous volunteers, we see it as our mission to strengthen the curiosity and self-confidence among the children, to motivate them and make sure that they get to know themselves better as well as the world around them.

What was one key learning about corporate volunteering that you would like to share with other practitioners?

By explaining the insurance profession to the TADA children, you realize that you have to go back to the basics of insurance. In this way, we learn to reflect on the core of our business. By being volunteers, your employees are given a unique opportunity to learn and apply competencies that they can use in their day-to-day tasks or in life. Volunteering has an undeniable impact on your personal development and changes you as a human being. There is no doubt that this also contributes to the commitment of your employees.

As an alumni of the Employee Engagement training, what would be your advice to everyone doubting/considering to follow the course?

As an alumni I can only advice you to follow the course. Even though I’m already in charge of our corporate volunteering program for a few years, it was an enriching experience to see how other companies create impact through employee engagement. It inspired me to go one step further with our partnerships. Only by sharing our knowledge and experiences, our opportunities and challenges we can make an even bigger difference together.

Join our course on Employee Engagement

Do you want to explore opportunities to scale your impact by engaging corporate employees in your activities, but you don’t really know how it is possible in your context? Join our course in Brussels on 26-27 March 2020 (registration deadline: 28