Boy smiling

Impact in 2023

A year of unprecedented engagement and impact as we marked our 50th anniversary

In 2023, the community support from Zurich employees reached remarkable heights. They dedicated over 146,000 hours to volunteering, marking a nearly 20 percent increase compared to 2022. Additionally, they raised the extraordinary sum of CHF 4.8 million, including matching contributions from the Z Zurich Foundation, which will help support a wide range of causes globally.

Zurich North America*, nominated by JA, received the Bronze U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award for the 2022-2023 school year. This recognition reflects the dedication of Zurich employees, who contributed more than 1,500 hours of volunteering with JA’s educational programs across the country. Behind this achievement are numerous young people whose lives have been positively impacted by receiving support and training that will help to set them up for success in their chosen careers.

Photo credit: Junior Achievement USA

*Zurich American Insurance Company

Woman with a girl on her lap laughing at school
Despite a global cost of living crisis, Zurich employees continue to selflessly give their time, skills and money to the causes they care about. And at the Foundation, we continually strive to find new ways to incentivize, reward and invest in our movement of activists in order for them to generate the greatest possible impact.

Mark Heasman

Head of Zurich’s Engagement​

Junior Achievement’s learning experiences wouldn’t be possible without the support of volunteers. As an official certifying organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award, JA USA is pleased to recognize Zurich North America’s incredible commitment to the power of volunteering and the positive impact it makes on the young people we serve.

Jack E. Kosakowski

President and CEO of Junior Achievement USA

At the end of 2023, we are supporting about 60 grant partners* in about 100 countries.​


*Z Zurich Foundation collaborates with charities, non-profit organizations, philanthropist investors, service providers, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd and its subsidiaries (Zurich) as well as others, but such relationships are not partnerships in the legal sense of the term and nothing in this document, including but not limited to the use of terms such as “partner” or “partnership,” should be construed as giving rise to such an inference.

Recognizing unprecedented impact and engagement

Closing our strategic cycle with unprecedented impact and engagement


Community Hero Awards

To mark our 50th anniversary this year, we were thrilled to recognize 50 Zurich employees across the globe as winners of our Community Hero Awards.

Each of these individuals stands out for the positive impact they create in their communities through volunteering, fundraising and more.

On top of their busy work schedules, these volunteers make time to show up for those in extremely challenging circumstances. From literacy programs and pro bono work to planting trees, building homes and helping people with disabilities.

Community Heroes and the work they do are crucial to addressing the needs and challenges so many face. These dedicated volunteers are transforming lives and creating brighter futures for people and communities around the world.

The joy and satisfaction I get from helping others is what pushes me to do more. Seeing that my small effort can make people’s lives just a little bit better motivates me to do as much as I can.

Swandairy Subraminiam​

Quality and Learning Lead, ​ Zurich Malaysia


Hackathons for social impact

Two global hackathons and three regional hackathons took place in 2023.

Zurich employees volunteered their time and skills to generate solutions to support local NGOs in addressing their needs and challenges.

The hackathons in numbers:

  • 22 NGOs around the world
  • 245 volunteers
  • 35+ experts from Zurich
  • 1000+ volunteering hours

We worked with charity partners to break down larger issues into specific, addressable, fixable problems. Participants formed teams and ideated around these problems, conducting idea development activities to build the seed of the idea into a validated proposition addressing the need.

The social hackathons foster activism through connection and skills-based volunteering to solve real-life challenges and create human-centered solutions that drive social impact.

Together with Ninety and Zurich employee volunteers, we aim to deliver the winning ideas from the Global Hackathons to implementation and as part of that process two Zurich employee volunteers are being upskilled to run these idea evolution workshops in the future.

What an unforgettable experience I had in the EMEA Social Hackathon! We successfully co-created solutions to the challenges faced by participating charity partners, but also discovered the limitless potential of collaborative efforts. We challenged our thoughts and time zones, made new friends and uncovered Zurich’s rich and diversified culture from different locations.

Rosana Sajise Joven

Relationship Manager, ​ Zurich Middle East ​

Two men talking

One Young World Summit in Belfast

Another highly impactful One Young World conference: we took a group of 30 young changemakers to Belfast for a week of exciting discussion on the most pressing and timely global issues.

At the summit, we hosted a mental health gala at Windsor Park Football Stadium, where many local and international organisations came together to network, share ideas, and hear from ex-rugby player turned mental-health activist, Sir John Kirwan.

Bringing together the young leaders of tomorrow sparks ideas, inspires action and creates the change we need to shape a more equal, just world.

In addition to a place at the conference, the attendees also get professional and personal development sessions to compliment and further their learning.

For the scholarship winners, this includes coaching, a three-year membership to Meaningful Business platform to help them develop their wider network, and the chance to pitch their ideas to the Foundation for seed funding.

Find out more about the One Young World Summit here.

The experience was amazing! It was very empowering. And for me it was a call to action that there is so much I can do. I just have to start  with what I know.

Ruth Tawiah

Z Zurich Foundation’s One Young World Scholar from Junior Achievement Africa

Man sharing a coffee with another person

Mahmoud's Story

Mahmoud, a Zurich employee who lives in Belgium, spent an astonishing 500 hours of his time volunteering in 2023.

He arrived in Belgium in 2015 after fleeing the conflict in Syria. Displaced from his home and witness to some appalling atrocities, Mahmoud’s outlook was bleak.

However, volunteer work served as a safe space for him, where he felt accepted and could make new friends while improving his French and English. He began volunteering with the charity Serve the City in 2019 and later on gained a full-time position there.

Although Mahmoud left that position to join Zurich as Project Management Officer in 2022, he still volunteers tirelessly for the charity. “I hope to see everybody volunteering at least once.
Once you do it one time, you are hooked,” he explains.

When Mahmoud saw people sleeping rough, many of them young refugees, he decided that he had to make a difference.

So, he made a bold plan to provide 2,000 Winter Care Bags for homeless people in Brussels. The Winter Care Bags initiative not only met its target, but exceeded the goal Mahmoud had set. In part thanks to the support the Z Zurich Foundation’sdouble-matching initiative. 

It’s posible to change the world. But you cannot clap with one hand; it takes two hands,” says Mahmoud.  “We need everyone to work  together to make a difference, and I see this happening.
Read more here
500 hours of volunteering:
Mahmoud’s story | LinkedIn