Christian Vater

Ashoka Fellow
Germany,
Fellow Since 2012

Citation

This profile was prepared when Christian Vater was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Christian is changing the current norms around citizen engagement in the social sector, in particular relating to one’s engagement with and likelihood of donating to good causes. Even though everyone can donate to a cause if they wish to, currently only half of Germany’s population regularly does. In addition, monetary giving is rarely aligned with the social impact it achieves. Christian is introducing a mindset in which everyone can and should become active in achieving impact-driven social change, even in small amounts. In order to do so, he transformed and launched a major “rounding up” scheme at retailers in Germany. He is actively engaging every player along the chain of selling products, from the consumer to the cashier, in-store employees, management of retail companies, cashier company management, media and marketing people, and the organizations that will receive the funds. The scheme allows him to reach the 50 million people who go shopping daily. Christian engages competing retailers, major pro bono support, and smaller citizen organizations (COs) to advance his mission.

Christian envisions a world in which social change is a common pursuit that benefits all the target groups it touches. Focusing on COs with proven positive impact, yet lack marketing opportunities and visibility, Deutschland Rundet Auf (DRA) provides a platform to broadly promote these COs and their solutions. On the customer side, Christian is proving that giving is not only for the rich but can be easy, painless and even fun. For retailers, he pulls in all companies who might engage, despite intra-retail sector competition. Christian brings all of these groups together with a shared vision of changing Germany for the better by supporting solutions to social problems that work.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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