Corporate citizenship

Tackling key social challenges

In brief

  • More than 5.8 million people reached through our corporate citizenship programs in 2014
  • Born to Be initiatives have helped more than 1 million young people to build their potential
  • Social projects touched the lives of 1.6 million people around the world

Corporate responsibility investments

Corporate responsibility investments (pie chart)

People expect banks to embrace the highest ethical standards and live up to their responsibility for society at large. By meeting these expectations, we can better connect with society, boost employee and client loyalty, and build trust among key stakeholders. Our corporate citizenship initiatives tackle key social challenges, engage important stakeholders, and thus contribute to Deutsche Bank’s long-term business performance.

Our long-standing commitment as a corporate citizen demonstrates how Deutsche Bank and its employees combine a culture of performance with a culture of responsibility. Our initiatives focus on removing barriers to education and personal development, and on enabling communities and economies to prosper. We also make cultural experiences available to wider audiences. Whenever possible, we partner with non-profit organizations, renowned institutions, and the public sector. Employee engagement and public advocacy maximize our impact.

With a total investment of € 80.5 million in 2014, Deutsche Bank, together with its foundations, continues to be among the world’s most active corporate citizens. Around 17,000 employees volunteered over 190,000 hours of their time, offering their skills and knowledge to strengthen community organizations and their beneficiaries.

Corporate Citizenship – Governance Principles

Deutsche Bank views corporate citizenship as an investment in society and in the future success of the company. The cornerstones of our strategy are laid out in the Group Principles for Corporate Citizenship, which constitute the mandatory operating framework for all Deutsche Bank Group companies, their employees and external partners acting on their behalf. These principles are underpinned by dedicated Group policies and procedures for: donations, memberships, sponsorships, volunteering, art, etc. All governance documents are available to employees in the Bank’s policy portal. The Corporate Citizenship function must be involved whenever new projects are launched. Proposals are evaluated based on a standardized governance framework and, depending on the size of the investment, are subject to sign-off by the regional Corporate Citizenship Committee or the Corporate Responsibility Management Committee at board-level. To ensure that resources are deployed efficiently and projects are fully aligned with our strategic objectives, we monitor the impact of our corporate citizenship investments annually and systematically collect feedback from our community partners with the help of the Global Impact Tracking (GIT) tool. (See Impact monitoring)

Born to Be youth engagement program

Born to Be – The Deutsche Bank youth engagement program (photo)

Deutsche Bank created Born to Be in response to a global problem: youth unemployment. According to a 2013 “The Economist” report, there are more than 300 million young people without jobs worldwide. Our Born to Be youth engagement initiatives tackle unemployment through early intervention. The education-led projects encourage young people to develop the skills they need to pursue their aspirations and prepare themselves for the world of work. Over 1 million young people around the world have benefitted from Born to Be in 2014.

1.2 million

young people benefitted from Born to Be / education projects around the world

Born to Be was originally launched in 2013 in the UK, where one in seven 16 to 25 year-olds are not in education, employment or training (Office of National Statistics). In response to this issue, we developed a new flagship program of sports for development in partnership with the Sported Foundation. It provides four years of support to 33 grass-roots community sports clubs in London, through grants, capacity building, and the commitment of Deutsche Bank volunteers. sporteducate helps disadvantaged young people at a high risk of disengaging or dropping out of school, by providing them with extra-curricular activities, skills development opportunities, and access to role models. This improves motivation to go on to further education, training, and employment. The partnership of Deutsche Bank Middle East Foundation with the Rashid Centre for the Disabled also uses sport to overcome obstacles young people face. The Therapeutic Horse Riding Programme has helped 480 children with disabilities enhance their physical, social and academic skills.

In the US and Germany, educational achievement strongly correlates with social background. Each year, 400,000 high school students in the US become qualified to attend four-year colleges, but either never enroll or select less competitive schools. In Germany, 77 out of 100 children of parents who hold an academic degree will go to university, but only 23 out of 100 children without an academic family background will decide to do so. We aim to change this by supporting programs that create pathways to college and careers. Therefore, we support Strive for College in the US; and in Germany, Deutsche Bank Foundation is engaged in STUDIENKOMPASS. Their success is impressive: more than 90 % of participants enroll in a college or university after completing one of the programs. Similar initiatives in other regions are Columba Leadership (South Africa) or Junior Achievement (Spain), which works to prevent students from dropping out of school.

Promoting talent in competitive sports – Dr. Michael Ilgner, Chairman of Deutsche Sporthilfe; Malaika Mihambo, long jumper and Sports Fellow of the Year 2014; Jürgen Fitschen, Co-Chairman of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank (photo)

Dr. Michael Ilgner, Chairman of Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe; Malaika Mihambo, long jumper and Sports Fellow of the Year 2014; Jürgen Fitschen, Co-Chairman of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank

Promoting talent in competitive sports

Talented young athletes work hard for their sporting career, often investing around 60 hours per week in their training and education, which leaves them with no time to earn an income. The Deutsche Bank Sports Scholarship, in partnership with the non-profit Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe, supports 300 collegiate athletes with € 300 in monthly funding, increased to € 400 for 400 athletes from 2015 onward. In addition, we foster future career opportunities through mentorship from Deutsche Bank employees participating in Sprungbrett Zukunft. Deutsche Bank also supports the Praktikantenbörse – Unternehmen suchen Spitzensportler, an online internship exchange, launched by German Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel, in October 2014.

Further information

Well-trained teachers are critical to ensure the good quality of education. Deutsche Bank thus promotes programs such as TEACH South Africa, Enseñá por Argentina, and Teach For China, which recruit talented graduates to teach in under-resourced schools for two years. Brainwave Careers pursues a comparable goal by helping pre-school teachers create a stimulating learning environment. Brainwave Careers was the main beneficiary of the Bank’s 15th Annual Charity Trading Day in South Africa, which raised over ZAR2.5 million. Over the last three years, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation has supported PROED to raise the quality of education in public primary schools in disadvantaged communities in Mexico. PROED’s unique approach engages community leaders, teachers, school principals, students, and parents in a collective effort to create a better primary education system. To date, it has worked with more than 100 primary schools, reaching over 67,000 students, teachers, and families. PROED schools outperformed the national average for both math and Spanish in recent national examinations (ENLACE 2012).

Born to Be beneficiaries per project category:


Aspirations raised


Skills improved


Better access to education / employment

Barriers to educational success vary worldwide. While most young people in more developed markets pursue education without worrying about basic necessities such as clean water and sufficient food, millions of children and young people in emerging regions face these problems every day. We support a variety of global programs to address this issue. Through the Families and Children for Empowerment and Development Foundation (FCED), Deutsche Bank Asia Foundation provides 300 children in Manila with an education that can lift them out of poverty. In China, our partnership with INCLUDED, a non-governmental organization, provides early childhood development and extracurricular programs for the children of migrant workers. Further examples of partnerships that take a comprehensive view on promoting the development of children and young people include the Angkor Hospital for Children (Cambodia), the Satya Bharti School Program (India), Sem Pringpuangkeo Foundation (Thailand), and the Mothers and Vulnerable Children’s Project (South Africa).

Deutsche Bank and its foundations are also committed to developing young people’s vocational skills in order to enhance their employment prospects. For example, each year in South Africa, Sparrow Schools Educational Trust helps 300 students from underprivileged backgrounds, many of whom have learning difficulties, to gain the skills to become self-sufficient members of society. In Vietnam, Hagar International’s Career Preparation and Employment Project helps vulnerable women identify and access various career options. The Code of Talent, the flagship program of the newly established Fondazione Deutsche Bank in Italy, is a unique cultural initiative that bridges the gap between the arts and the manufacturing sectors. Deutsche Bank also supports several projects to strengthen entrepreneurial skills: Initiatives like Design Ventura (UK), Creamos nuestro proyecto (Spain), Kaliyan Mith (Cambodia), Be! Fund (India), and Peuan Peuan (Thailand) provide young people with the knowledge they need to set up their own businesses.

More than


young people have taken part in the Education Programme of the Berliner Philharmoniker since 2002

Cultural exposure can positively influence aspirations and boost academic achievement. The Education Programme of the Berliner Philharmoniker helps participants to develop their creativity, overcome personal and cultural boundaries, and experience team spirit. It has reached more than 37,000 young people in the last 13 years. Since 2013, the new choir program, Vocal Heroes (Vokalhelden) creates spaces for young singers in three districts of Berlin. Stay Tuned, a Born to Be partnership between Deutsche Bank and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), is designed to engage children, especially those from schools which have little music provision, in the thrill of live music through workshops and concerts with CBSO musicians. It reaches 17,000 school students in the UK’s West Midlands every year. The Hong Kong Arts and Festival’s Young Friends program, the Art Bus (Singapore Art Museum), Yayasan Kampus Diakoneia Modern (Indonesia), Sinfonía por el Perú, and Little Artists (South Africa) also inspire the youngest to venture into new grounds.

Fostering thought leadership and advocacy

With a presence in over 70 countries, Deutsche Bank is well-positioned to tackle global challenges. Our public advocacy maximizes the impact of our initiatives. In the UK, we support the Centre for Social Justice, a social policy think tank, and its research into new education systems. In Germany, Deutsche Bank Foundation cooperates with the Council for Cultural Education (Rat für Kulturelle Bildung), which promotes the quality of cultural education in Germany. We also partner with organizations that foster international dialog and understanding. Deutsche Bank is a founding partner of the Transatlantic Outreach Program, which reached around 4,000 North American educators and more than 100,000 students in 2014.

We advocate sustainable improvements in academia and support state-of-the art research that bridges the gap between theory and practice. We partner with recognized institutions like Bocconi University, Milan, or the Luxembourg School of Finance, and recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of our partner, the Goethe University in Frankfurt. Its Center for Financial Studies will award the Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics 2015 to Stephen A. Ross for his groundwork and fundamental contributions to the analytical development of financial economics.

Promoting social innovation and creating opportunities

Graffiti on a wall (photo)

We leverage our global network and expertise to empower social enterprises, help develop the communities we work in, and support the disadvantaged to enable them to lead a self-supporting life.

Enabling enterprise

One in four companies formed in the EU is a Social Business. In 2014, almost 870,000 young entrepreneurs in Germany alone pursued their business ideas. However, many struggle to succeed due to a lack of resources. The social investment programs of Deutsche Bank and its foundations can help these people by providing support ranging from microfinance and impact investment funds to business plan competitions and pro-bono consulting programs.


made available to eight social enterprises through crowdfunding

In November 2013, Deutsche Bank Foundation and Social Impact gGmbH launched Social Impact Finance, an online crowdfunding platform that enables individuals to jointly finance social projects – even with small contributions. The funding adds up to secure the capital needed for innovative projects that drive positive social change. In its first year, the platform made € 320,000 available to eight social enterprises.

Around the world, Deutsche Bank’s volunteers play a key role in helping new businesses become commercially successful in the long term. UnLtd, a UK charity, supports social entrepreneurs by matching them with a Deutsche Bank mentor. The startsocial business plan competition and the Investment Readiness Initiative in Germany and the Yunus Social Business Accelerator Program in Albania also strive to kick-start social enterprises. In total, around 700 employees around the world volunteered in 2014 as consultants, jury members or coaches, thereby helping to build capacities in the third sector. We will build on this commitment further in 2015. (See Employees)

Regenerating and developing communities

US $2 billion

provided to community initiatives in the US since 1992

In addition to empowering start-ups and supporting non-profits, we also strengthen local economies by working in partnership with the public sector to contribute to the social and economic stabilization of disadvantaged areas.

Deutsche Bank’s experience of public-private partnerships in the US includes more than 20 years of support to initiatives for affordable housing. Our commitment goes well beyond the requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), with the Federal Reserve Bank consistently rating Deutsche Bank’s performance as “outstanding”. In 2014, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation launched the Community Development Financial Institutions New Partners Program to support communities in underserved regions in the Appalachia region, Maine, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico. The initiative has granted US $ 2 million in low-interest loans to six organizations. Since 1992, Deutsche Bank has distributed a total of US$ 2 billion in loans and investments to community initiatives throughout the US.

The cities of the future are growing fast. By 2030, around five billion people – 60 % of the world’s population – will be living in urban centers. This will have a dramatic impact on our cities. The Alfred Herrhausen Society, the international forum of Deutsche Bank, is working with the London School of Economics and Political Science to research the future of these cities. Urban Age brings together mayors, architects, city planners, academics, and NGOs to initiate innovative urban development projects. This year’s Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award recognized two waste management initiatives in India, granting US$ 50,000 to each.

Over 2,700

projects have earned prizes in the Landmarks in the Land of Ideas competition since 2006

In Germany, Deutsche Bank has enabled the annual Landmarks in the Land of Ideas competition since 2006. Following a focus on urban innovation in 2013, last year’s limelight was on projects that promote the development in rural areas. Since 2014, awardees and Deutsche Bank employees are matched in tandems. Our colleagues share their economic and management expertise with the selected awardees over a period of up to six months. In 2014, twelve of these tandems kicked-off this new network. The core theme of the 2015 competition is digital innovation (Stadt, Land, Netz! – Innovationen für eine digitale Welt).

For more information on corporate citizenship units and foundations, see section Corporate citizenship units and foundations.

Supporting the disadvantaged

1.6 million people

benefitted from social projects

Worldwide, 1.5 billion people live in poverty and many suffer deficiencies in their health, education, and living standards. Another 800 million people are at risk of falling back into poverty. Deutsche Bank and its foundations cooperate with local partners in developing countries and emerging markets to mitigate hardship, provide relief after natural or human disasters, and promote self-sufficiency.

Microfinance is a proven and effective tool to empower marginalized populations through the provision of small loans and other financial services. With our microfinance funds, we have enabled an estimated 3.9 million loans to microentrepreneurs since 1997, delivering social and economic value to the beneficiaries and their communities. In addition, our impact investments and social venture help to drive social and environmental change by supporting projects that pursue a double-bottom-line approach. (See Impact investments)

Homelessness is a visible issue on the streets of many European cities. We help to raise money for StreetSmart and SleepSmart in the UK and Hilf Mahl! in Germany to support homeless young people. More than £4.5 million has been donated to charities that support the homeless across the UK since we started working with StreetSmart in 2006. In 2014, the campaign raised around £600,000. Thanks to Hilf Mahl! in Munich a further sum of around € 25,000 could be raised to support the homeless in Germany.

In Indonesia, we support Rachel House’s Clinic in a Box project, which trains young nurses to have a positive impact on the local palliative healthcare system. We also support the Orbis’ Flying Eye Hospital program, a mobile teaching hospital built into an operating jet plane that will enable overseas specialists to provide hands-on training to local doctors and nurses.

Deutsche Bank is equally committed to supporting emergency relief efforts and long-term reconstruction in the aftermath of disasters. As part of our ongoing support for bushfire-affected communities in Victoria, Australia, we contribute to the Rivers and Ranges Community Leadership Program that helps emerging leaders develop sustainable skills. Moreover, 50 Deutsche Bank volunteers helped to rebuild a school in Bogo City, Cebu, an area of the Philippines that was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.

Financial inclusion

According to the OECD, 12 % of the 65+ year-olds live in relative income poverty, and only 40 % of the working population has invested in private retirement plans so far. In Germany, the volume of debt incurred by young people increased fourfold between 2004 and 2014. Client protection thus remains a key challenge for financial service providers around the world. Deutsche Bank lives up to its responsibility and promotes the financial inclusion and empowerment of its potential clients.

Initiatives such as Finanzielle Allgemeinbildung (Financial literacy) in Germany or Na minha casa poupo eu (In my house I save) in Portugal foster economic understanding among students. In Poland, Deutsche Bank cooperates with one of the country’s largest newspapers to improve people’s awareness of individual retirement plans. And globally, Deutsche Bank has been a thought leader and driving force in promoting ethical standards in the microfinance sector.

Making cultural experiences accessible

Young dancers (photo)

More than 3 million

people reached by art and music initiatives around the world

Art and music thrive on the lively interplay between tradition and avant-garde, and between established and aspiring artists. In addition to promoting cultural learning as part of our Born to Be youth engagement program, Deutsche Bank and its foundations provide a platform for talented emerging artists and musicians, and make contemporary art and exceptional music experiences accessible to broader audiences around the world.

The Festival at the Culture Forum in Berlin marked the 25th anniversary of our close partnership with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Thousands of visitors, including nearly 1,000 Deutsche Bank employees, attended the festival and were inspired by it. The orchestra’s Digital Concert Hall, a first in the world of classical music, allows people around the world to join the orchestra’s performances via the Internet. More than 550,000 visitors have registered with the Digital Concert Hall to date. EXPLORE CLASSICAL MUSIC! makes concerts accessible to younger audiences. The education initiative grants 500 free Digital Concert Hall subscriptions to schools and colleges each year. In 2014 alone, more than 2,000 institutions from 90 countries applied for the subscriptions.

Art can inspire people and become a source of innovation and growth. For more than 35 years, Deutsche Bank has provided access to contemporary art at over 900 locations, through exhibitions, targeted educational programs, and partnerships. In 2014, our Time Present exhibition tour, featuring 80 photographs from Deutsche Bank Collection, opened at the Singapore Art Museum and will travel to museums across Asia. In Singapore, it has already reached 64,721 visitors in just three months. The Deutsche Bank KunstHalle in Berlin is a unique venue for international contemporary art. Each year, it showcases three to four shows – some conceptualized by international guest curators, some facilitated by partnerships with recognized art institutions. Every exhibition is accompanied by customized offers for kindergartens, schools, families, the visually-impaired, and the hearing-impaired. In 2014, we welcomed nearly 85,000 visitors to KunstHalle. More than 10,000 guests joined its special events and education program.