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Support concept for civic engagement

  • Concept and first measures
    The Wolfsburg Concept

    The Wolfsburg Concept

    You don't have much time and would like to get an initial overview of the concept with a short version?

    The presentation 1684/2015 was unanimously approved by the Wolfsburg City Council on 07.10.2015. It shows which measures are prioritized in the funding concept.

    Question mark
    Cmon / fotolia.com

    How did the concept come about?

    The framework conditions for civic engagement in Wolfsburg have changed significantly in recent years. Social change poses new challenges, especially for traditional areas and forms of engagement.

    Across Germany - including Wolfsburg - it has been observed that associations and organizations are having increasing problems recruiting new members and filling volunteer leadership positions. At the same time, interest in volunteering has not fundamentally declined, but has merely shifted to other areas and forms of involvement.

    How does the situation look in Wolfsburg in concrete terms? How can associations and organizations position themselves for the future? How can people who are already active be supported and people who are not yet involved be won over for voluntary work? How can new forms of engagement be meaningfully integrated into the Wolfsburg engagement landscape? What supportive infrastructures for engagement need to be expanded or newly created?

    We are addressing these questions with the new funding strategy.

  • (Interim) results

    In its last two meetings, the network working group on aid organizations looked at possible measures to strengthen the voluntary work of its sector.

    The Wolfsburg Civic Engagement Network was founded on 27.04.2016 - you can find out more here.

    In its 2nd meeting on 17.03.16, the Initiators' Circle prepared the event for the establishment of a Civic Engagement Network.

    On 25.02.16, the working group of the aid organizations met for the 2nd time and developed an action plan on the prioritized topics.
    The joint work will be continued on 07.04.16.

    On 27.01.16, the circle of initiators met for the first time to discuss and concretize the essential aspects for the foundation of a network of civic engagement. A further meeting for final consultation was agreed.

    On 22.01.16, the working group of the administration met for the second time and will continue to work on individual topics that have a beneficial effect on the framework conditions for volunteering in Wolfsburg.

    On 21.01.16, the network working group for aid organizations met for the first time and dealt with specific issues in this sector.

    On 11.12.15, the newly established working group of the administration for the implementation of the support concept for civic engagement met for the first time.

    Nabeel Zytoon / fotolia.com

    On October 7, 2015, the Wolfsburg City Council unanimously approved the concept for promoting civic engagement in Wolfsburg and decided to implement the first measures.

    06.10.2015 Management Committee

    06.10.2015 Management Committee

    The funding concept was unanimously recommended.

    01.10.2015 Finance and Controlling Committee

    The funding concept was unanimously recommended.

    On 16.09.2015, the Citizens' Services Committee discussed the submission V 1684/2015 including the funding concept. After intensive discussion, a unanimous recommendation was made to the City Council.

    The draft funding concept for civic engagement in Wolfsburg can be viewed here.

    Council bill no. 1684/2015 contains the management proposal for implementing the first measures of the funding concept.

    Fourth meeting of the steering group on 25.06.2015

    During the meeting, the revised version of the funding concept was presented and discussed. The steering group approved the funding concept in this version.

    Third meeting of the steering group on 19.05.2015

    The first draft of the funding concept was presented and intensively discussed. A more sharpened version of the funding concept is to be presented at a further meeting of the steering group in June 2015.

    Public information meeting on 19.03.2015

    Public information event

    The public presentation and discussion of the interim results was attended by around 200 participants in the CongressPark.

    Mayor Mohrs welcomed the guests and Dieter Schöffmann, on behalf of the commissioned bidding consortium, presented the results of the inventory, the analysis and possible conclusions to those present.

    The citizens were able to contribute with evaluations and comments on the various statements. The corresponding presentation walls can be viewed here. The presentation shown at the event can be viewed here.

    Participants also had the opportunity to provide feedback on the event. More than half of those present took advantage of this offer, and here are the summarized evaluations.deration walls can be viewed here. The presentation shown at the event can be viewed here.

    Interested parties also had the opportunity to provide their contact information.

    Second meeting of the steering group on 24.02.2015

    Once again, the steering group met and discussed the presented survey results and analyses with possible conclusions.

    You can find the short report on the meeting here.

    Eight forums were held at Wolfsburg City Hall from Jan. 13 to 15, 2015

    In these forums, the findings obtained so far were discussed primarily from a practical and implementation perspective. Each of the eight forums brought together around 15 practitioners from the following areas and functions: "Youth and schools", "Administration", "Volunteer fire departments and rescue and aid organizations", "Citizenship", "Sports", "Local mayors", "Welfare associations and social institutions", "Immigrants / migrant self-organization".

    In particular, quantitative results from the organizational survey and qualitative statements from the personal interviews were presented to them, each with a focus on the aspects that are essential for their field of practice.

    In the discussion, indications of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks of civic engagement in Wolfsburg were examined in more detail and partly confirmed or modified. Tendencies toward measures in the funding concept that emerged in the organizational survey and the interviews were largely confirmed in the forums.

    The City of Wolfsburg and the bidding consortium from Cologne would like to thank the participants for their enthusiasm and commitment:

    Forum Youth and School:
    Jürgen Borchers, Gunnar Czimczik, Philipp di Leo, Christopher Donath, Melek Fahr, Markus Grese, Matthias Keil, Nele Kunstmann, Joel Peesel, Edwin Rahn, Clemens Rother, Swen Schinzel, Claudia Schmalkuche, Frauke Seeger.

    Forum Administration:
    Raina Becker, Petra Benecke, Ursula Cremer, Beate Ebeling, Petra Fischer, Manfred Hüller, Monika Kamphenkel, Gudrun Kneiske-Spitzer, Klaus-Dieter Lenz, Dr. Karin Luys, Petra Ringmann, Ingeburg Schoß, Hartmut Stapelfeld, Elke Sternberg

    Forum Voluntary Fire Brigades and Rescue and Aid Organizations:
    Sören Böttcher, Jörg Deuter, Rudi Ferdinus, Markus Goltz, Stephan Hein, Martin Jerabek, Tabea Karwehl, Carsten Klinzmann, Björn Lembck, Daniel Rodemeier, Thomas Siber Tischer, Arne Stalhut, Helge Stautmeister, Jürgen Teichmann, Helmut von Hausen

    Citizenship Forum:
    Kristiane Albertin, Marianne Blisse, Radhia Gritli, Herbert Hecker, Karin Koll, Barbara Mitulla, Maike Neumann-Balzereit, Hermann Schulze, Maria Schlelein

    Forum Sport:
    Ulf Geffers, Gerd Hummel, Jens Kirsch, Selman Öz, Klaus Pahlmann, Ursula Sandvoß, Ina Schinzel, Antony Spatola

    Forum Local Mayors:
    Hans-Georg Bachmann, Adam Ciemniak, Detlef Conradt, Hans-Jürgen Friedrichs, Immacolata Glosemeyer, Peter Kassel, Andrea Kienapfel, Andreas Klaffehn, Günter Lach, Ralf Mühlisch, Ludmilla Neuwirth, Friedhelm Schlak, Marcus Stenzig

    Forum Welfare Associations and Social Institutions:
    Barbara-Maria Cromberg, Sylvia Draber, Ralf-Werner Günther, Rigo Gute, Falk Hensel, Hartmut Hünecke-Roost, Ernst-Bernhard Jaensch, Dieter Kalm, Evelyn Kumpf-Wilke, Matthias Mitulla, Dagmar Schaumburg, Monika Schmidt, Hubert Volkmer, Günther Wagner, Gisela Witzke, Christiane Wolter

    Immigration Forum:
    Rocco Artale, Alessandro Bartolomei, Arnulf Baumann, Rocio Carbajal Bodenburg, Marius Dehm, Angelo De Mitri, Giuseppe Gianchino, Ahmet Gökpinar, Mohamed Ibrahim, Bettina Krüger, Ludmilla Neuwirth, Jürgen Schewe, Dimitri Tukuser, Dr. Christiane von Finckenstein-Wang.

    Interviews for the development of the support concept from 09-12.12.2014

    With 33 individual or double interviews, most of which were conducted in person at the Alvar Aalto Kulturhaus, selected key persons from various perspectives, organizational or engagement areas in Wolfsburg could be interviewed on the following topics:
    • What is the current status and development perspectives of civic engagement in Wolfsburg?
    • What are the current conditions that promote or hinder civic engagement in Wolfsburg?
    • What are the requirements for infrastructures or infrastructure services (in) the city that promote engagement?
    • Which groups in the city's society are underrepresented in civic engagement and need to be specifically addressed or barriers to engagement removed?
    • How is the current state of municipal support practice assessed and what development needs are there in this area?
    The interviews usually lasted 60 to 90 minutes and took place in a very constructive and supportive atmosphere. The city of Wolfsburg and also the bidding consortium would like to thank Stefan Boger, Iris Bothe, Gerhard Chrost, Willi Dörr, Christopher Donath, Boto Dreher, Hartwig Erb, Gitti Fahse, Matthias Grote, Ralf-Werner Günther, Markus Goltz, Thomas Hoffmann, Jens Hortmeyer, Ernst-Bernhard Jaensch, Gerda Kamphaus, Ina Kinschert, Dr. Udo-Willi Kögler, Manfred Kolbe, Prof. Hanna Löhmannsröben, Michael F. Müller, Ulrich Neß, Cornelia Neumann, Ludmilla Neuwirth, Stefan Pinelli, Hans-Jürgen Poppek, Ulrich Raschkowski, Frank Rauschenbach, Ursula Sandvoß, Swen Schinzel, Tobias Schmidt, Iris Schubert, Ralf Thomas, Axel Wagener, Hendrik Wolf-Doettinchem, Abdallah Zaibi and Elke Zitzke for their cooperation.

    Survey of Wolfsburg clubs, associations and institutions from 29.10.-28.11.2014

    Of 640 organizations contacted, 323 processed the questionnaire sent out and returned it to the consulting company. This is an extremely gratifying response rate of 50.5%! The City of Wolfsburg would like to thank everyone who participated so enthusiastically in the survey!

    The Cologne consulting agency now has comprehensive data material at its disposal, which forms the basis for an inventory of the situation of volunteerism in Wolfsburg.

    Public launch event on 21.10.2014

    Kick-off event

    Public kick-off event on 21.10.2014

    The public kick-off event was attended by around 200 participants at the Vorsfeld school center and was a success.

    After a welcome by Lord Mayor Mohrs, Dieter Schöffmann, on behalf of the commissioned bidding consortium, presented the occasion and goal of the process for developing a funding strategy to those present. The visitors discussed various issues and recorded their results in worksheets. In the attached documentation you can read the concrete contents of the event.

    Here you can read the evaluation of the worksheets and the feedback on the event.

    First meeting of the steering group on 07.10.2014

    The steering group will accompany the process throughout its entire duration. It is made up of representatives of public institutions/ umbrella associations, business, politics and administration. The members of the steering group have the task of helping to shape the content of the process and contributing their experience and different perspectives on Wolfsburg's engagement landscape to the process.

    Introductory workshop on 10.09.2014

    Entry workshop 2014

    Introductory workshop on 10.09.2014

    The initial workshop with representatives from politics and administration took place on 10.09.2014. The participants had the opportunity to contribute their views on the proposed process.

    On 18.06.2014, the Wolfsburg City Council unanimously resolved to develop a Wolfsburg funding strategy

    You can find the related council bill at the link below.

  • City presents support concept for civic engagement
    Birgit Maaß (Civic Engagement Coordination Office), First City Councilor Werner Borcherding, Lord Mayor Klaus Mohrs and Dieter Schöffmann (VIS a VIS & FOGS GmbH - Cologne bidding consortium) present the funding concept (from left)

    Securing and strengthening honorary office - this is the goal of the support concept for civic engagement, which has been developed in a multi-stage process since September of last year and was unanimously approved by the city council on 07.10.2015. Lord Mayor Klaus Mohrs and First City Councilor Werner Borcherding presented the concept - together with Dieter Schöffmann from the bidding consortium VIS a VIS & FOGS GmbH - Cologne. The latter accompanied a broad-based participation process that started with an inventory focusing on institutional volunteering. After an analysis of strengths and weaknesses as well as risks and opportunities of the Wolfsburg engagement landscape, the funding concept was finally developed. The concept is based on the results of the surveys, the interviews and the forums, and thus on the opinion of the clubs and associations.

    "The goal is to achieve a cultural change based on the funding concept that provides a future-proof framework for volunteering in Wolfsburg. After all, civic engagement is an indispensable value in our urban society, it serves to promote cohesion and ensures the provision of public services," explains Mayor Klaus Mohrs.

    The 35-page concept is divided into six chapters: After the introduction in Chapter 1, the following chapter first presents key findings from the survey: On the one hand, Wolfsburg promotes volunteerism significantly more than other cities - the work of nonprofit organizations is based on good financial resources in Wolfsburg. On the other hand, two-thirds of the organizations surveyed have difficulty recruiting citizens for volunteer work.

    Chapter 3 identifies the target groups of the funding concept. These are community service organizations as the main sponsors of civic engagement, groups interested in getting involved (for example, young people, professionals or migrants) and institutional players such as the city, educational institutions, employers and the media, who help shape the framework conditions for civic engagement. Various measures and ideas are proposed to these target groups to strengthen civic engagement.

    Dieter Schöffmann gives some examples: "For example, community service organizations should open up even more to new volunteers and establish a volunteer management system. It is suggested that employers show greater recognition and appreciation for volunteering and make it easier to reconcile work and volunteering. Educational institutions could teach engagement learning and work with community service organizations to do so. And the city is recommended to coordinate administrative actions in a more engagement-friendly way, to use more occasions for appreciation and recognition of civic engagement, and to appoint ambassadors for civic engagement."

    These and other measures are explained in Chapter 6. Chapter 4 sets out the mandates for the urban community and Chapter 5 outlines the recommended strategy for the city. A stronger networking of the city society is to be particularly emphasized thereby, stresses the first town councillor Werner Borcherding: The desire of the associations and institutions with one another more strongly into the discussion and the active exchange to come is result of the inquiry. Therefore a network citizen commitment Wolfsburg is to be brought into being, which brings actors from the associations and federations for example to certain topics such as Freiwilligenmanagement or to common task fields to a table. It is proposed to the Council that the administration take the initiative for this central measure."

    Exemplary for networking, a working group of aid organizations is to work on the challenges specific to their area and develop concrete measures. "As expected, the real work begins now: the administration will bear its important share of responsibility and make the internal structures more volunteer-friendly," the First City Councilor continues.

    Timeline in review:

    • Council resolution on the development of a promotion strategy for civic engagement on 18.06.14
    • Stocktaking in the form of a city-wide survey of clubs and associations, interviews with key persons and group discussions from 29.10.14 - 12.02.15
    • Public information events on 21.10.14 and 19.03.15, each with approx. 200 participants

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