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Mediation: „Aufrunden bitte: Wer den Cent nicht ehrt“ by K. Ludowig


Read through the following task and then write a text of about 250 words in English, using the relevant information from the two German texts below. For an international student workshop on social projects every participant has to write a blog entry in English about an innovative project from his or her country. You have decided on the charitable trust “Aufrunden bitte!”. Describe the project, its history, the reactions of the retailers and the way donations are used. Find a suitable headline for your blog.


How small change can make a big difference

Inspired by similar projects in the UK and the USA, Christian Vater launched his charity project “Please, round up!” (German: “Aufrunden bitte!”).

The idea is quite simple. Each customer can donate while shopping simply by pressing a button at the cashier’s desk and thereby agreeing to round up the billing amount to the nearest ten-cents-limit. The donations are used to support social and ecological projects in Germany.

Vater came up with the idea for his campaign, “Germany rounds up“, in 2009. Although many retailers agree that it is a great project, only few have joined so far. There are various reasons why just a very small percentage of the German retailer industry, has answered Vater’s call to join his campaign.

First of all, joining Vater’s project means having to face additional efforts, especially financial ones. Besides having to modify the cash registers and training the staff, retailers also have to pay an annual membership fee, according to their volume of sales.

Secondly, even though it is a charity project most retailers aren’t satisfied with playing an unrecognisable part in a large project, but want to be unique and recognised for their individual commitment.

Due to the annual membership fees, which are used to pay for the administration costs, Vater guarantees that all of the money that is donated goes directly to the chosen projects. In 2012, the campaign focused on projects concerning children and teenagers, like fighting child poverty.

Hopefully Vater’s project will establish itself among German stores and customers, so in the end by giving just a small change many people can make a huge difference and help those in need.

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