Meet Fenyó, Principal Product Manager at Bitrise on top of that he is the chair of the board for Ferencváros Community Foundation (9th district of Budapest). He spends most of his free time raising money for his home district and supporting projects that make life easier for those in need.
At Bitrise two of our core values are: we care and we help each other be better. Both became an integral part of the lives of our Bitrise community. We need to acknowledge and foster our own social responsibility. Living our values can not stop when we finish work, taking care of our wider environment, caring for our future is the duty of our whole society. And this job is not a one-man show, we have to join forces and support each other in this.
We are proud of all our employee’s volunteer work! This month Bitrise was fortunate to be able to support exceptional projects of the Ferencváros Community Foundation supporting great causes, people in need, and projects that care about our environment, sustainable future.
Fenyó, I appreciate the passion and efforts you run this Foundation with. How can you balance work and arrange your free time so effectively?
It’s not an easy task for sure, but I’m lucky to be able to do what I love both at work and during volunteering so I have the motivation to do it. We have become board members on a voluntary basis because we love and want to do it. There are fixed board meetings where we make decisions on current topics and there are projects in which we put as much energy and time as we can, there is no accountability, but we have a reward for doing so.
Can you tell us about your proudest moments and achievements in 2021?
In terms of work, perhaps the biggest thing this year is that with the teams we work at Bitrise, we’ve delivered the new pricing model and are constantly working to help our customers transition from the old model to the new one and make it easier for new customers to onboard and see the value that Bitrise can provide to them early on their journey.
In addition, I am very proud of the whole foundation. We are 10 years old, we are the first community foundation in Hungary, this concept is not known in Hungary, it is very difficult to explain what community building and fundraising opportunities are. We are constantly exploring new possibilities and trying out new ways of doing things. We held the first Live Giving Circle in Hungary (based on the pattern of The Funding Network) or the first Swimathon (the first time we saw this in Romania). We have continuously adapted to new situations, created a crisis found for Covid victims, moved Live Giving Circle to online space, and changed the Swimathon concept. This year we tried another community event, a Community Hackaton - Hackaton as a concept that has been a favorite of tech companies like Bitrise. Every year, we raise more and more money for the organizations we support. However, raising our operating costs is a constant challenge.
What is the best part of your volunteer work?
Would that be a silly answer to help others? 😊 I think it is very important here in Hungary today to stand up for issues that are important to us and to support them as much as we can.
What is even more important for me is how the foundation answers more complex questions, I am used to solving complex problems with the teams at Bitrise or looking for simple answers to complex problems and it is very instructive for me to talk about complex human and social problems at the foundation, searching solutions and how subtle we are at communication, for example.
A shorter answer could also be what we always remind ourselves of at the foundation “Personality - Shared Responsibility - Common Experience”
What differences can donations bring to a project?
Make it or break it. In my experience, there are superb social workers in Hungary, they can solve any complicated issues, but the resources available for them are very limited - so the support of companies and individuals is essential in many cases because it just would not work without it.
Bitrise supported our foundation in two ways, once the projects we embraced and secondly the operation of our foundation.
At the last Live Giving Circle, Bitrise supported all three projects:
- To provide a break (4 hours a month) for mothers for a year raising their disabled children, providing them constant care
- A community space can be created where young artists can present and get to know each other
- Environmental sustainability project focusing on no packaging and composting with an anxiety-free communication campaign that can be launched to reach people
In addition, Bitrise also contributes to the operation of our foundation, which is actually supporting all of our activities, including next year's Swimathon, Live Giving Circle, another Social Hackaton. This support provides us more security in our operation, we can implement and support better events, groups and other foundations from a really wide variety as we did this year, such as the handling grief for families, cultural events and planting 10 million trees to was for example, because we know that Bitrise is also supporting carbon offsetting.
What are your future plans?
As the chairman of the board of the foundation, one of my most important tasks is to solve the financing of the foundation. We are constantly challenged to raise our own operating costs, which also blocks the operation of the staff and the board members. It is easier to make money for others than for ourselves - the concept of a community foundation in Hungary is still unfamiliar and difficult to communicate well. We are lucky that Bitrise understood the importance of this and the multiplier effect that our foundation represents.
Is there anything else you would like to share with others?
It has given me a lot, to work with completely different people while volunteering, I can work on completely different problems and have a different impact. I can use my professional knowledge and I can apply it, even during volunteer work, but I can take it back to work what I’ve learned there as well. It moved me out of my comfort zone and also helped me better understand and grasp more complex problems.
Once during a study tour of an Italian foundation in northern Italy, I had dinner with the owner of a worldwide company - who was the curator of a community foundation there - and asked why it was important for him to give back to society. I can’t quote exactly what he was saying, but the bottom line was that he didn’t take anything and don’t need to give back, he does it because he cares.
Care is one of our values at Bitrise - so I do volunteer work “just” because I care… care about others, care about our society and care about my company and foundation.
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