Social Responsibility

Sponsorship activities realized by PKO Bank Polski SA

Sponsorship activities realized by PKO Bank Polski SA are aimed at building the image of the Bank as a reliable financial institution, socially engaged, modern and open to the needs of its customers. By almost century-long history, the Bank is particularly predestined to participate in projects that promote the common good, make closer to the society our heritage, culture, art. The experience and leadership in the financial market obliges also to help young people to face the future challenges and achieving success in the implementation of innovative projects, determining the directions of development of Polish science and entrepreneurship.

In 2016, Bank completed 348 projects of different scale: national - communicated in the media, supported by promotional activities, but also smaller, dedicated to local communities, which is difficult to obtain funds for the organization of meetings with culture, exhibitions, Science Picnics.

The largest share of Bank sponsorship budget is being spent on support of culture and the organization of the sports project, ‘PKO biegajmy razem’ (‘PKO let’s jog together’).

One of the most important sponsorship projects in 2016 was endorsing the 2016 World Youth Days. The Bank assumed the title of Strategic Sponsor for this exceptional event which attracted 3 million participants from 187 countries.

Sponsorship of culture and arts

Supporting culture and art is a significant tool for managing corporate social responsibility. It creates the image of the institution and provides operational satisfaction.

The Bank engages in interesting cultural events and supports numerous cultural institutions throughout the country. Activities include establishing sponsorship cooperation, patronage of the exhibition, festivals or support of literary contests. The Bank strives to ensure that the projects pursued have an impact on promoting patriotic attitudes in our society, reinforce ties with our Polish heritage and deepen knowledge about Polish history. Key sponsorship actions in this area:

Cooperation with cultural institutes

Bank provides support to numerous cultural institution in Poland such as museums, theatres, opera theatres, concert halls. Repertoire events of individual institutions attracts large audience of music lovers and art lovers among local, national and international communities.

  • National Museum in Warsaw
    In 2016, the Bank continued patronage of modernized Gallery of Medieval Art, and engaged in preparing a modern application ‘Gallery of Medieval Art’ with multimedia VR goggles. The application had its premiere at the Polish Pavilion of PAIiZ during the World Youth Days. Additionally, the Bank sponsored the temporary exposition ‘Brescia. Renaissance of Northern Italy. Moretto-Savoldo-Moroni, Raphael-Titian-Lotto’.
  • The National Museum in Gdańsk
    An exhibition was organized in the National Museum in Gdańsk ‘New Gallery of Polish Rulers. Świerzy versus Matejko’ which presented a collection of portraits by Professor Waldemar Świerzy, who is sponsored by the Bank. Due to their nature, the collection of 49 portraits is considered to be a practical history lesson, appealing to the imagination of modern recipients, including school youth.
  • Collaboration with the National Philharmonic Hall
    Last year the Bank continued cooperation with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, in particular sponsoring the symphonic concert to commemorate the jubilee of Jerzy Maksymiuk, or the Carol Concert.
  • National Music Forum in Wrocław
    The National Music Forum in Wrocław is another prestigious institution supported by the Bank. In 2016 NFM hosted all music projects related to the initiative ‘Wrocław – European Capital of Culture’.

Opera theatres and philharmonics are also on the list of cultural institutions cooperating with the Bank, such as: the Kraków Opera, Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz, the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Theatre – the European Centre of Arts in Białystok, the Centre for the Meeting of Cultures in Lublin, the Raczyńskis Library in Poznań, the Feliks Nowowiejski Warmińsko-Mazurska Philharmonic Theatre in Olsztyn. The sponsored theatres include: the Arnold Szyfman Polish Theatre in Warsaw, the Stefan Jaracz Theatre in Łódź, the Summer Stage of the W. Gombrowicz Theatre in Gdynia, the Musical Theatre in Poznań.

Support organization of music festivals

The Bank actively supports important musical events in the country. Classical music teaches sensitivity, inspires and influences shaping the tastes of Poles. It is also an important part of life, an effective antidote to the noisy everyday life. Bank patronized many festivals with the participation of world-class artists acclaimed by crowds of music lovers. The most important of them include:

  • Bydgoszcz Opera Festival - organized since 1994 by Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz,
  • Summer Opera Festival Krakow which attracts the audience also to plays performed outdoors,
  • the Traveling Festival of the Łódź Philharmonics ‘Colours of Poland’ – the largest enterprise in Poland connecting high culture with tourism and marketing of particular places,
  • the International Festival of the Wieniawski Brothers, organized by the H. Wieniawski Philharmonic Orchestra in Lublin,
  • the Music Festival in Łańcut, known for 55 years.

Supporting projects which promote patriotic attitudes

Historical education and forming patriotic attitudes are significant aspects of the Bank’s sponsoring activities. In 2016 the Bank engaged in projects related to celebrating the memory of the Cursed Soldiers, the most important of which are: the film Festival NNW ‘Niepokorni, Niezłomni, Wyklęci’, during which a special show of the documentary sponsored by the Bank ‘The Wrocław Battle’ was held, the concert ‘Honour to the Enduring’ – a show celebrating the National Commemoration Day of the Cursed Soldiers, a concert of the Enduring entitled: ‘Wilczy ślad’ in Warsaw, interactive history lesson about the Cursed Soldiers addressed to senior students, a recording of 50 thousand audiobooks with the novel: ‘Klamra-mój ojciec?’ commemorating the fate of Major Adam Lazarowicz pseudo. ‘Klamra’ and support for placing the statue of Danuta Siedzikówna, pseudo. Inka, a nurse in the 5th Vilnius Brigade of the Home Army, in Miłomłyn.

Supporting the organization of film festivals

Since 2011 the Bank has been the patron of projects aimed at consolidating, promoting and popularizing Polish cinema. In 2016 support was continued for the 41st Film Festival in Gdynia, the Gdynia Film Academy, the Film Festival NNW ‘Niepokorni, Niezłomni, Wyklęci’ and the 34th International Festival for the Young Viewer ALE KINO! organized by the Children’s Centre of Arts in Poznań.

The Bank engages in competitions and festivals, promoting new creative talents. In 2016 the Bank for the second time was the sponsor of the event ‘FRAZY. Festival of the Word in Songs’ (‘Festiwal Słowa w piosence FRAZY’) organized by the Raczyńskis Library in Poznań, and sponsored the 4th International Theatre Festival of World Classics organized by the Stefan Jaracz theatre in Łódź.

Education, science and innovation

Support for science and education is the natural direction of Bank sponsorship, the Bank cooperates with universities and educational institutions across the country. The main projects in this area: valued by students of higher-than-secondary schools Contest on Poland and The Modern World, Polish Academic Championships in Team Programming which qualify students for the Europe and World Championships, Mars Rover RED – constructed by students of the Białystok Technical University.

Projects aimed at building awareness of the huge potential of startups and coaching of the most promising young entrepreneurs, such as Startup Weekend Warsaw and Acceleration Programme MIT Enterprise Forum Poland, which connects the potential of beginning creative entrepreneurs with the infrastructure, experience and resources of large companies, are also important.

Similarly as other large Polish companies, PKO Bank Polski SA is interested in acquiring valuable human resources from among Poles studying in prestigious foreign colleges, in particular British ones. To this end, the Bank engages in initiatives organized by Polish academic and business circles in London: LSE SU Polish Economic Forum and the Poland 2.0 Summit, which present the manner in which innovation and technological progress form the future of startups, business and public policy, with special emphasis on the role of Poland as a player achieving the lead position.

In 2016 the Bank sponsored many educational projects addressed to young students from schools at over-elementary levels throughout Poland. These initiatives promoted creativity, entrepreneurship, mathematical sciences and the economy. The most important of them include: ‘My first business before 20’, addressed to young students from schools at over-elementary levels in Wrocław and Opole, ‘Decius’ Ducats’ in Kraków, Mathematical Conference for the Young TriMAT in Tricity, Warmia and Masuria Mathematical Competition, Ambassador of School Inventiveness organized by the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland, Colourful University organized by the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, or the Bydgoszcz Science Festival organized by the Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz.

Sports sponsorship

Implementation of the Bank's own programme ‘PKO race along’

Under the ‘PKO race along’, which has been organized since 2013, the Bank encourages Poles to common activity. The aim of the programme is to promote the message that running is the best deposit interest rate

that a lifetime is expected to generate profits in the form of well-being. Running, especially long distance, shapes the character, developing the condition, it teaches humility and perseverance in the pursuit of the goal. Running can also provide help to the needy, through participation in charity events organized by the Bank during each sponsored runs.

In 2016, the programme held dozens of running events throughout the country, among which the most important were:

  • PKO Wroclaw Marathon, Half Marathon PKO Night Wroclaw, PKO Silesia Marathon, PKO Poznan marathon and cross-country series: PKO Rzeszow Runs and PKO Grand Prix of Gdynia. Special attention deserves those commemorating historical events for example Warsaw Triad Race ‘Zabiegaj o pamięć’, which consists of three runs: Constitution of May 3 Run, the Warsaw Uprising Run and Independence Run,
  • PKO Run charity - the second edition of the course organized by the Bank, in 12 Polish cities in the same time. Participants ran for malnourished children,
  • SportGeneracja – a project for the youngest whose strategic sponsor is the Bank. Finals of children’s eliminations entitled PKO Charity Run of the Young took place during the 2nd PKO Charity Run.

The Bank not only sponsors the largest running events but also enables appropriate preparation for the runs. The Bank once again became the strategic partner in the educational action ‘BiegamBoLubię’ (I run because I like to). By November free-of-charge running meetings took place in almost 80 athletic stadiums.

The slogan of the events sponsored by the Bank is ‘We aid each step’; therefore, by taking part, the participants could join the charity, ‘I'm running for...’ for people in need of support in saving the life or health. After finishing - a set number of participants - running with pinned card ‘I'm running for...’ Foundation PKO Bank Polski SA donated money to the designated target.

Sponsorship participation in other sports initiatives

Besides running events, which definitely dominated in the category of sports sponsorship, the Bank also supported other prestigious sporting events such as:

  • Piast Race - already for the 40 time. in Szklarska Poręba - Jakuszyce there was an annual Piast Race - the oldest and most popular ski run in Poland, which was attended by almost 5500 runners; the Piast Race is open to international participants; competitors from 27 countries of Europe and North America took part in it,
  • Cavaliada - is a series of International Horse Jumping Contest, enjoying immense popularity among the audience. It is the largest event of its kind in Poland. In 2016, the Bank was the main sponsor of the event, which took place in Poznań, Lublin and the finals in Warsaw; additionally, the event Cavaliada Summer Jumping in Kołobrzeg was organized as part of the horse riding celebration,
  • Sea Days in Szczecin – it is one of the largest outdoor events in Poland. Exceptional yachts and sailing boats were moored at the representative pier in Szczecin in 2016. one hundred and twenty five people participated in the event. Szczecin once again was the sailing capital of Poland and Europe.

Business supporting projects

The Bank engages in sponsorship of material events which promote business patriotism, national business and innovativeness in the area of finance.

In 2016 the Bank was the Strategic Partner of the first edition of Congress 590 organized under the slogan: ‘We are freeing Polish potential’. The purpose of the Congress was to share the ideas and experiences of representatives of the circles which have an impact on the development of business and entrepreneurship. The Bank also engaged in the new economics congress IMPACT’16, during which global experts pondered over how the Fourth Industrial Revolution may impact the development of the economy, technology and society in Poland.

Due to increasing the digitization of financial services, the threat of cyber-attacks is growing. Ensuring cyberspace security in the financial sector, protecting banks and their customers from losses became the key issue which requires innovative solutions and the use of state-of-the-art technology. Those were the topics of the conferences organized by the Kościuszko Institute: the 1st Polish Cybersecurity Forum in Warsaw and the European Cybersecurity Forum in Kraków. The Bank participated in the Forums not only as a sponsor, but also technically, through the active participation of its experts.

The Bank strongly engages in conferences during which actions to stimulate the security and financial stability of Poland and the European Union are discussed, and in industry conferences and competitions which promote the activity of Polish companies on global markets, the use of new technologies and the presentation of new strategies in industries which may be profitable to the Bank. The examples of such projects include: the 26th Economic Forum in Krynica, Polish Entrepreneur of 2015 of Gazeta Polska Codziennie, Entrepreneur of the Year – organized by EY, Polish Firm – International Champion, or the Congress ‘Polish Chemistry’.

The Bank also engaged in initiatives organized by regional chambers of commerce which associate representatives of local business. The Bank’s participation in projects which are important for local communities is aimed at integrating various circles, building a platform for sharing experiences, developing entrepreneurship among citizens. The actions taken contribute to reinforcing the Bank’s image as an institution engaged in the development of communities and care for the Customers’ needs.

Charity activities of the PKO Bank Polski SA’s foundation

Objectives of the foundation

The aim of the PKO Bank Polski Foundation (Foundation) is to deepen customer relationships, understood as the co-financing of projects aimed at building social solidarity. The Foundation sees the common good in building civil society and participates in projects, often initiated by the employees of the Bank - Volunteers, supports, substantively and financially numerous projects of environments and societies that are important for the development of the Poland.

Charity influences shaping the image of PKO Bank Polski SA as a socially-responsible business. The support provided by the Foundation contributes to building strong relationships with the environment of the Bank and to strengthen mutual trust.

Activities of the foundation

The main financing source of the Foundation are donations from the Funder, transmitted in accordance with the Foundations Financial Plan. Additional funds for grants come from the profit generated during the non-cash transactions made by customers of Inteligo associated with two affinity cards: ‘Good brings profit’ (‘Dobro procentuje’) (since 2013). PKO Bank Polski SA divided profit from each transaction conducted using the charity cards.

During the six years since the start of operation, the Foundation has allocated more than PLN 74.5 million for social activities. Subsidized initiatives are part of one of the seven programme areas: EDUCATION, TRADITION, HOPE, HEALTH, CULTURE, ECOLOGY and SPORT.

In 2016, the implementation of 42 strategic projects, including 5 special strategic projects (which do not require to establish a partnership with an external organization): Banking blood donation, Integrative Meetings with Santa Claus, Banking Collection, Banking and Gift John Weber Collection, the foundation donated PLN 17.8 million. The Foundation makes every effort to ensure that the strategic projects evolve and reach the largest possible number of Beneficiaries. In 2016 the Absolvent – Driver project was launched addressed to handicapped students of college-level schools (Wrocław University of Technology).

Foundation's engagement in the implementation of projects in particular areas as a share of budget


In a partnership at the local level for the implementation of 402 projects the Foundation provided PLN 2.4 million. At local level, a special project, the PKO Charity Run, was conducted for the second time. As in 2015, the project took place in 12 stadiums throughout Poland at the same time.

Individual help, both for children and adults amounted more than PLN 1.5 million. Number of individual beneficiaries amounted to 116, among which 31 persons are employees of PKO Bank Polski SA or their families. Help for 83 individuals was granted by the Charity Action running as part of a special project of the Foundation at the individual level.

The Foundation also mediates in the process of making donation in the form of informatic equipment and furniture withdrawn from use of the branches of PKO Bank Polski SA. In 2016 computers with a total value of PLN 5 350 went to 9 organizations. Furniture worth PLN 99 315 was handed to 59 beneficiaries.

Corporate volunteering

Since 2013 the Corporate Volunteering system has been functioning in the Bank and 1176 active Volunteers are registered. Those persons may propose their own local or individual social projects. Cooperation between the Foundation and the Volunteers is aimed at verifying the reliability of the proposer and building relations between the Bank and the local community. Additionally, all Volunteers may register their extra-banking engagement, sharing good practices and inform the Fund of local initiatives which are worth supporting.

At the same time, the Foundation aims to activate the Foundation Volunteers system and enable involvement in all types of initiatives; in 2016 it organized a country-wide help action among employees, dedicated to children in orphanages. The efforts of the Bank Group’s Volunteers enabled packaging and sending the presents collected to 120 children’s homes and orphanages. The action was entitled ‘Package for Teenagers’ (‘Paczka dla nastolatka’) as a special local project. The involvement of all people in the action proved that the Volunteers’ work is a driver of permanent change. Anyone who selflessly takes up new challenges, improves communication and cooperation within the group and gains knowledge about project work. Volunteers reinforce their self-esteem and their attitudes are an inspiration to others.