Berliner Wirtschaft Hilft

Best Practice: #Wirtschafthilft

Berlin's business community proves how fast and unbureaucratic help works. We have compiled examples on this page.

Wage donation: KNAUER’s campaign invites others to do the same

The result of the fund-raising campaign by Berlin manufacturer of scientific instruments KNAUER is more than impressive. 65 employees have donated a total of 13,450 euros for the charity Aktion Deutschland. That is an exceptional result. Alexandra Knauer and Carsten Losch, managing directors of KNAUER, rounded up this fantastic sum to an unbelievable 50,000 euros, donating the difference of 36,550 euros to Ukraine-Hilfe-Berlin e.V.  (More information here (in German) about KNAUER’s fund-raising campaign.)

Gross wage donation

The gross wage donation is a fund-raising campaign started by the individual company: Employees donate part of their gross wage, and this sum is then exempt from income tax. The deduction is taken care of by the income tax office. The company then donates the total amount of all gross wage donations to an aid organisation agreed beforehand. More information (in German) from the Federal Ministry of Finance here.
In our experience, employees are happy to donate when it costs them less and they don’t have to do anything themselves. However, the donation can then not be deducted from the income tax declaration.

How it works:

  1. Management decides which aid organisation will be donated to
  2. HR begins an appeal for donations with information on gross wage donations (example “gross wage donation X equals net deduction X ...”)
  3. Employees send an informal mail stating the amount of the gross wage donation to HR (mails used as evidence for the payroll office)
  4. HR creates an Excel table (name, staff number, donation amount) that can then be loaded into the payroll system (e.g. DATEV) by the payroll office
  5. The company donates the total amount of all gross wage donations to the aid organisation
  6. Post fund-raising campaign on social media and write a press release

Take note:

Discuss your idea about a gross wage donation with the payroll office BEFORE it begins. Gross wage donations can be income tax-free AND exempt from social insurance contributions (catastrophes in Germany) or only income tax-free yet subject to social insurance contributions for donations for another country. The payroll office may also have to prepare itself in an administrative sense, i.e. if wage types first have to be created for this.

ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg gives donations in kind, logistics management, and overtime and holidayse

ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg is now providing assistance with collecting and transporting donations in-kind to help people affected by the war in Ukraine. The regional club is not just donating first-aid kits and power banks from its own stock but is also making its offices in Berlin and Brandenburg, the Mobility Space by ADAC in Friedrichshain and the Berlin-Brandenburg drive safe centre in Linthe available as donation collection points for Ukraine-Hilfe-Berlin e.V.
ADAC logistics employees transport the donations in kind and bring them to the association. Employees have also donated their overtime and holiday days (in monetary form). ADAC Berlin-Brandenburg e.V doubled the amount, resulting in a total donation of over 35,000 euros,. (Lear more about ADAC’s Berlin-Brandenburg donations.)

DB Cargo / Schenker: Humanitarian rail bridge for Ukraine

Since the beginning of March DB Cargo / Schenker have been running a rail bridge to bring aid supplies and donations into Ukraine. The railway has now set up a hotline for major contributors and company donors. Company and major contributors can use the hotline to register and organise the pick-up of freight. Transport of the goods is free for donors.
The hotline is open on workdays from 08:00 to 20:00. Telephone number: 030 720 220 640