Voluntary & financial commitment

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Our approach to voluntary and financial commitment

Further to our strategic focus topics, we also support additional educational, cultural, sporting, and health initiatives. Besides implementing our own projects and initiatives, another aspect of our social commitment involves encouraging our employees to pursue voluntary commitments. For example, we provide financial support for associations in which our employees are active. We also give our staff time off for volunteering. 

In addition, we provide financial support – for example, via donations to, and collaborative efforts with, non-profit organizations that work to promote more harmonious coexistence and combat marginalization.

We collaborate closely with our business segments across national borders, sharing experience and best practices. In many cases, we invite our national companies to regionally implement, under their own responsibility, initiatives that we launch centrally.

Our close collaboration with key figures in society such as non-governmental organizations, associations, and initiatives also plays an important role. The reasons why we place priority on such interaction, across organizational and national boundaries, include the opportunities that it provides for mutual impetus and for the development of new ideas.


Sponsorships and corporate giving

In Germany, we are involved in the fields of sport, culture, and social issues. In addition to providing funding, we help artists, athletes, event organizers, and associations with their communication and marketing activities. Our Sponsorship Policy provides the framework for sponsoring activities. Being involved in the regions where we are based is another important aspect. 

In the reporting year, Deutsche Telekom supported the Special Olympics World Games 2023 in Berlin as a premium partner. It is the biggest inclusive sport event in the world for athletes with intellectual and multiple disabilities. This partnership was a clear choice for us, as we share the organization’s values. After all, it is only when we all take part that social participation can truly work. For this reason, besides providing telecommunications services, we also contributed to the broadcast of the event.  To raise the profile of the World Games in the public eye, we joined forces with 10 other major sports media companies to form an unprecedented media alliance. We provided entirely barrier-free access to content. As part of the German media alliance for the Special Olympics World Games 2023 in Berlin, we won the HORIZONT SPORTBUSINESS AWARD as “Medium of the Year.”

We also published our first press release in simple language (only available in German) in January 2023 and aim to further promote linguistic participation, using our reach to raise awareness of this important issue.

Other examples of our financial commitment include:

  • Music sponsorship
  • Competitive sport sponsorship with partners such as the DFB (German Football Association), FC Bayern München, Telekom Baskets Bonn, and Deutsche Sporthilfe, DFB’s Sepp Herberger Foundation, and the German National Paralympic Committee
  • Technology partnerships with other soccer clubs in the German first and second leagues (Bundesliga 1 and 2)
  • Partnerships in the esports sector
  • Support for recreational and youth sport
  • Sponsorship of social activities within partnerships
  • Regional activities in the areas of classical music and culture

Additional information on the sponsorship activities of Deutsche Telekom AG is available here

Corporate giving
Through our corporate giving img program, we support the work of aid organizations – preferably in the form of long-standing partnerships – and provide rapid assistance in disaster situations. Our Group Donation Policy lays out the guidelines for these activities.


Support for employee commitment

Our corporate volunteering activities help our employees to contribute to society by enabling them to donate their time and/or expertise to non-profit projects or social causes that extend beyond the company’s regular activities. Through their commitment, our employees play a major role in strengthening social cohesion, while also broadening their own horizons, and boosting their skills. This in turn has a positive impact on teamwork at the company. 

For example, we offer our employees the option to participate in “social days,” when they can actively contribute to society and come together as a team to support non-profit organizations. Moreover, if they are volunteering in a non-profit organization based in Germany, they can also apply for a donation of 200 euros to that organization once per year. 

Civil servants who are 55 or older also have the option to take early retirement if they commit to some form of active contribution to society during the first three years of their retirement. For example, they might spend 12 months working with the Bundesfreiwilligendienst (German Federal Volunteers Service) or 1 000 hours with church, charity, or non-profit organizations.

Furthermore, in the reporting year, our employees were able to support the Special Olympics World Games 2023 in Berlin which were held under the motto #UnbeatableTogether. We gave our employees the opportunity to volunteer at the event, freeing them from their regular activities and providing accommodations in Berlin. The placements we offered were taken up in a very short space of time, with a total of 110 Deutsche Telekom employees taking part as helpers. We value this as a strong sign of our employees’ readiness to contribute to society. In recognition of their commitment, the 110 “Magenta volunteers” were presented with the internal Inclusion Award by the Group Representatives for Persons with Disabilities. 

Our employees also had the opportunity, once again, to volunteer for the yearly “Ein Herz für Kinder” children’s charity gala in the reporting year. In a drive to champion the focus topics of our CR strategy, many of our employees organized themselves in numerous employee networks known as Employee Resource Groups img (ERGs) and Corporate Communities img

During the reporting year, we were a premium partner to the Special Olympics, the world’s biggest sport event for athletes with intellectual and multiple disabilities. The World Games were held in Berlin in summer 2023 under the motto #UnbeatableTogether. 

Corporate Communities
To achieve shared goals and actively contribute to socially relevant issues, our employees can join Corporate Communities, or even set up one of their own. Numerous activities are being run by our employees under the focus topics of our CR strategy, including “digital society” (with the subtopics “digital participation” and “digital values”) and “low-carbon and circular society.”

Projects that promote media literacy are one focal point. With such projects, our employees help people better understand digital phenomena, thus laying the groundwork for participation in the digital world. One example is the Group-wide DIGITAL@School initiative. Using age-appropriate strategies and language, the committed employees in that initiative help children in schools and other educational institutions become acquainted with STEM img (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects and help teachers and parents gain and expand their knowledge. In addition, they teach skills that children need in order to use digital media responsibly.

Our employees also work hard in Corporate Communities that aim to promote diversity and tackle prejudice. One example of these networks, which are known as Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), is MagentaPride. The LGBTQIA+ employee network at Deutsche Telekom looks out for the interests of staff who identify as queer. Similarly, BIPOC@Telekom is dedicated to supporting anyone who is affected by various discriminatory structures in society and aims to promote collective growth and create a safe space for black, indigenous, and other people of color. MerhabaMagenta, the network for staff who share a connection through the Turkish language, is actively involved in private fundraising campaigns for disasters such as the earthquake that hit Türkiye and Syria. Additional information on our approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion is available here

The environment is also a critical issue. As part of our commitment in this area, employees active in our Green Pioneers movement in Germany have initiated efforts to help reduce our carbon footprint. These efforts contribute to our Group efforts in the area of sustainability. 

There is also a steadily growing number of employees participating in the Human-centered Technology Community to help ensure the digital transformation is geared toward the values and needs of people. In the reporting year, this initiative won second place in the “CDR and Employees” category of the Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR) Award.

In 2023, our employees contributed almost 180 000 volunteer hours. Further information on measuring the impact of our personnel commitment can be found here.


Emergency assistance in crisis situations

Our concept of responsibility also includes responding immediately in times of crisis, which is why we take action straight away when crises strike, particularly in regions where Deutsche Telekom has a presence. 

For maximum effect, we help on the ground, through our core business activities and strategic partnerships. Our employees also contribute their time and skills on a voluntary basis where they are needed – and are released to do so after consultation. This underscores our commitment to social responsibility and our willingness to actively help during difficult times. 

Germany segment

Free phone calls and text messages in earthquake regions (Türkiye, Syria, Morocco)
It is especially important in disaster situations that people who are affected and their relatives can make contact with each other. After the devastating earthquake in the border region between Türkiye and Syria in February 2023, Telekom Deutschland made all phone calls and text messages from Germany to Türkiye and Syria free for Telekom and congstar customers when using Deutsche Telekom’s mobile and fixed networks. This took effect retroactively from February 6, 2023 through February 15, 2023. What’s more, the Deutsche Telekom Group enabled free roaming img for data, text message, and voice services for Deutsche Telekom and congstar customers in Türkiye and Syria up to February 15, 2023. Prepaid customers have already been recredited accordingly for the credit they had already used. This initiative was extended to February 24, 2023. In total, this move enabled more than five million minutes of talktime in the disaster zone. Telekom Deutschland also supported the benefit concert Drei Akkorde für deine Spende (Three chords for your donation) in February 2023 in Düsseldorf, which saw numerous musicians take to the stage for free to raise money for the earthquake victims in Türkiye and Syria. All proceeds from the ticket sales went to the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and Medico International. The Group also donated one million euros to Germany’s Relief Coalition for earthquake support.

After the devastating earthquake in Morocco, Telekom Deutschland once again made phone calls and text messages via the mobile and fixed networks of Deutsche Telekom free, to, from, and within the country. This applied to all consumers and business customers of Telekom and congstar from September 8 through September 30, 2023. What’s more, the Group enabled free roaming for data, text message, and voice services for Telekom and congstar customers in Morocco up to September 30, 2023. 

Free phone calls and text messages to Israel
As a sign of solidarity with Israel, Telekom Deutschland made all phone calls and text messages to, from, and within the country via mobile and fixed networks free between October 12 and October 31, 2023. This applied to all consumers and business customers of Telekom and congstar. Roaming was also free for Telekom and congstar customers in Israel for data, text messages, and voice services during this period.

Ukraine aid
After Russia’s attack on Ukraine in February 2022, Telekom Deutschland responded quickly and introduced extensive emergency aid services for refugees from Ukraine. In Germany, free pre-paid SIM cards were given to refugees in the spring of 2022 in coordination with the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). The SIM cards, which included free phone calls and data volume, were distributed through Telekom Shops and official aid organizations to those affected. Over the course of 2022, the free SIM cards were replaced with a new, low-cost rate plan, MagentaMobil Prepaid Ukraine. This offer was extended in 2023. Since June 2022, Nummer gegen Kummer e. V. has been offering refugees in Germany a free telephone counseling line through its Helpline Ukraine. Telekom Deutschland is providing the technical infrastructure free of charge and is covering the connection fees.

United States segment

Hawaii wildfires
In August 2023, a series of wildfires broke out in the US state of Hawaii, predominantly on the island of Maui. Homes and businesses were destroyed and many people, including employees of T-Mobile US, were displaced. To support first responders, agencies, officials, customers and communities, T-Mobile US rapidly worked to restore connectivity in areas where the fire damaged local fiber connections and where commercial power outages were impacting permanent cell sites. The company also provided concessions to all Maui customers who were not already on unlimited plans. All T-Mobile US customers with Maui addresses received unlimited talk, text and data through September 7, 2023. In addition, evacuees and emergency personnel were provided with supplies like phones and charging cables.

Hurricane Idalia
Hurricane Idalia was a powerful hurricane that caused significant damage across parts of the southeastern United States in late August 2023. Over the last several years, Emergency Management teams have extensively hardened the T-Mobile US network. Ahead of every hurricane season, our teams work to ensure readiness and resiliency in areas projected to be impacted by hurricanes like Idalia. When Hurricane Idalia intensified to Category 3 and continued its path toward landfall, the emergency plan was activated so teams could quickly begin recovery efforts to keep communities, first responders and customers along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic seaboard connected. Customer concessions for unlimited talk, text and data from 30 August through 5 September were positioned in impacted counties in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Earthquake in Morocco
In response to the destructive earthquake in Morocco in September 2023, T-Mobile US offered assistance to affected customers to stay connected to friends and family during this critical time. T-Mobile US decided to waive international roaming and international long-distance charges to and from Morocco and the US for its customers from 9 to 15 September 2023. This included calls made from within Morocco to local numbers.

Europe segment
In 2023, Greece was hit by two severe wildfires. COSMOTE took emergency measures to help ensure citizens could stay in touch with each other. In particular, COSMOTE provided continuous assistance to its customers who were affected by the fires by covering their increased communications needs. For example, for a period of 15 days, 1 500 free minutes of call time in all national networks were offered, as well as 15 GB of free mobile internet access for all mobile network users. Furthermore, up until September 5, 2023, COSMOTE suspended all procedures for permanently or temporarily blocking all fixed and mobile network and pay-TV connections in the affected regions. In addition, COSMOTE organized a Call2Action initiative to collect essential supplies for the people on the island of Rhodes who had been affected by the wildfires.

In May 2023, the regions of Gračac, Čačinci, Obrovac, and Kostajnica in Croatia suffered severe flooding. The national company there took action to help its customers. If their fixed-network service was interrupted or adversely affected, customers were not billed for the services nor were they sent reminders. With regard to mobile-network services, Hrvatski Telekom activated seven days of unlimited internet use for contract customers in the flood-hit regions. 

Systems Solutions segment

KatHelfer PRO (Coordination of Spontaneous Volunteers in Disaster Response & Crisis Management)
T-Systems has been working with partner organizations from the fields of civil protection, science, and industry since 2023 to develop a joint solution for coordinating first responders during crises and disasters. Among other things, the KatHelfer PRO project is looking into how associations, organizations, and committed citizens can be integrated into the response to crises and disasters. The project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the auspices of its funding announcement for “Innovationen im Einsatz – Praxisleuchttürme der zivilen Sicherheit” (innovations in action – practical lighthouse projects for civil security, only available in German).


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  • Highlights

    We are working on behalf

    of an online world in which all people

    can participate and coexist in

    keeping with democratic principles

    We are working on behalf of an online world in which all people can participate and coexist in keeping with democratic principles

    Via our “No hate speech” initiative, we once again reached a great many people (about 865 million media contacts), including the many opinion leaders and educators (about 5.7 million people) we contacted directly.

    Our “ShareWithCare” campaign also reached a great many people – and it has played an important role, worldwide, in discussion about online sharing of photos of children. With over 250 million media contacts, ShareWithCare has successfully raised awareness about issues surrounding online sharing of children’s photos and data.

    Also, via programs such as Teachtoday and Scroller, we have continued working to promote media literacy in people of all ages, always with the aim of helping people navigate cyberspace safely, securely and with confidence.

    More than 200 000 people work at Deutsche Telekom – and every one of them is unique. This diversity is our strength. In keeping with our understanding of diversity, we offer our employees many ways to keep developing and growing professionally and personally. Thanks to such efforts, our employees’ satisfaction levels remain high: In 2023, our “engagement score,” which is calculated on the basis of responses in subject areas such as mood, employer attractiveness, brand identity, and inspiration, totaled 76 percent.

    Detailed examples of our progress in 2023, described from the perspectives of both the Group and our segments, are presented in the subsections.

    Highlight numbers

    Highlight numbers

    Progress of selected KPIs in  2023

    • 2022 2023

    • Community Contribution 2 346m. € 1 504m. €

    • Beneficiaries – Focus Topics 41m. 51m.

    • Reach – Focus Topics 2 070m. 1 734m.

    • Employee satisfaction 78% 76%

    • Proportion of women in middle and upper management 28.1% 27.9%

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    Social in the topic specials

    Find out more about the topic Social in the topic specials