There is a quick remedy for anyone at PTV who finds themselves in a sugar low: In the “Napf” (bowl) on each floor, there are chocolate bars, jelly babies, nuts, etc. available for colleagues to purchase. That’s not so unusual, but here the bowl is more than just a snack box. Snacking actually means doing good in this case. The bowl income flows from the employee-initiated association Clever Spenden e.V to assistance projects around the whole world. We spoke with association chair Marc Zimmermann and treasurer Marcus Thäle about this unusual engagement.
Compass: The association Clever Spenden e.V. was established almost 13 years ago. How did the “Napf” get its start?
Marc: Our colleague Christian Mähler had the idea to set up a snack box for hungry colleagues and donate the excess funds in the year 2000. At the start, this was a small project, but then it snowballed so that it could no longer be handled cleanly via private bank accounts. Therefore, the association Clever Spenden e.V. was established in 2005.
Marcus: Today, the association has 76 members – of course most of them are PTV employees, but there are also former colleagues as well as family members and friends. Many of them volunteer to help, for example, with filling up the bowls. Here at PTV headquarters, there are a total of ten bowls plus two large freezers, which must be filled up regularly.
Marc (laughs): And how they have to be filled up! We counted it all up once. We have sold 26,000 chocolate bars and such in the last few years. All together, they would weigh approximately one tonne.
Compass: Wow, that really adds up! But you don’t just get donations from the sweet snacks, do you?
Marcus: No, an important, very reliable source of income is the members’ fees. These are EUR12.00 per year, but most members pay a little more than that. However, we use this fixed sum as the basis of our calculations. Furthermore, there are generally two events a year: a mulled wine evening and a summer festival.
Marc: Since last year, you can also support Clever Spenden e.V. with each Amazon purchase. To do this, you have to log in through smile.amazon.de with your normal Amazon account and select Clever Spenden e.V. as the organization. Amazon then donates 0.5% of the purchase value for all items that are marked “qualified for smile.amazon.de” to Clever Spenden e.V. But don’t worry, the purchase prices remain the same.
Compass: And what happens to the money?
Marcus: There are two projects that we always support. One is the Niko Nissen Stiftung, which advocates for children and youths from the Tschernobyl region in Belarus. We also support six “godchildren” in Africa and South America via the children’s aid organization Plan International. All six keep sending us letters and pictures. We are always happy to receive these.
Marc: In addition, we also make individual donations each year. Depending on what we have taken in, these range between EUR2,500 and 7,000. At our members’ meeting in the fall, the members make suggestions about where the money should go. In 2017, we donated to the outpatient Children’s Hospice Königskinder in Münster, the St. Franziskus Hospital in Münster for the expansion of the paediatric ward, the Wünschewagen of the ASB, and the Karlsruher Kindertisch.
Compass: What do I need to do if I would like to become a member?