The changing methods of financing social projects and the increasing pressure to justify them in terms of their quality has led, in recent years, to an increased administrative load in social work. sozial.label recognises that such projects are primarily focused on social work activities which can be exempted from tasks to do with financial and administrative matters.

The service provision of sozial.label is primarily directed towards small and medium-scale projects in social fields which have particular competence and experience in social work and knowingly concentrate their work in this area. These projects often have little knowledge of or experience in social politics/lobbying and social management nor do they usually have staff for lobbying or the aquisition of funding to finance their projects. The projects have deliberately decided to place social work right in the centre of their work and put their energy and ideas and their work with the clients. They recognise that the administrative and organisational activities of project management are a necessary part of the work to obtain approval for and achieve the development of their projects and yet they have decided to delegate this part of the work to professional service providers in order to have time and place for the work with people and for innovation.

The particularity of sozial.label lies in the fact that it follows up a chosen project until such time as the project is successful, in other words, sozial.label informs and advises, not only about possible sponsorship money, but accompanies the whole process from the selection of a suitable sponsor, through the application procedure to the granting of the subsidy.

sozial.label’s work is based on the following premises:

   1. Assistance until success is achieved
   2. Their good name is important
   3. The development of cooperation
   4. Social work takes place locally

1. Assistance until success is achieved
sozial.label stays with the chosen projects until success is achieved, in other words sozial.label informs and advises, not only about possible sponsorship money, but accompanies the whole process from the selection of a suitable sponsor, through the application procedure to the granting of the subsidy. Moreover, sozial.label also offers project management as part of its service.

2. The good name is important
sozial.label sees the basis for cooperation in the trust in social work projects. This supposition does not admit the submission of a project to a quality control evaluation before funds can be allocated. This would be elitist. So every project has time/space to present its work without the pressure of legitimisation and to admit weak points. Rather sozial.label has very high expectations of its own work and it is by this that the work of the projects is measured. The result of this is that the name sozial.label is genuinely equated with high quality projects and this gives confidence to potential sponsors. The sponsorship process is accompanied by regular visits which enable a picture to be obtained of what is going on on the spot. These visits are continued even after a successful sponsorship operation, as for example, the aquisition of funding. Any subjective evaluation which is naturally present in any criticism is cushioned by the application of the very high levels of specific competency among sozial.label’s social workers. sozial.label consciously avoids making further attempts to measure and ensure quality in recognition of the fact that developments are a necessary part of quality guarantees.

3 . The development of cooperation
The TIT FOR TAT story tells of the success of the amazingly simple TIT FOR TAT methods (« do as you would be done by ») in long-term cooperation with other people. The TIT FOR TAT method is the basis of sozial.label’s cooperation idea, as in social work it is precisely the long term nature of the relationship/cooperation with projects and sponsors which plays such an important part. Thereby sozial.label’s work produces a whole network of participants and sponsors engaged in social work.

4 Social work takes place at a local level
The TIT FOR TAT cooperation idea is extended by sozial.label around the importance of the local area. Limiting project sponsorship to the local area is an admission that social work must adapt itself to the existing local environmental conditions and it makes an effort to implant itself into existing local structures. The idea is not to create something completely new which could lead to duplication, but rather to use what is already there and join up particular parts as for example in setting up new projects, and fill in the gaps. In the same way, in some cases local experts may be called upon who have specific knowledge of local social conditions.

1 R Axelrodt tells in his book ‘The Evolution of Cooperation’ about a competition, in which professionals such as mathematicians and social research teams were asked to develop a plan to solve the prison dilemma and which could offer successful and long-term cooperation. The most successful of the ideas submitted was the simple TIT FOR TAT strategy, which says that a person always behaves in the same way that his opposite number has just behaved. This means that, if your opposite number has a negative type of behaviour, then you will respond negatively the next time you meet. Should your opposite number behave in a positive way, then you will respond positively at your next meeting. This method has led to the greatest number of positive cooperation episodes and was seen, in the long term, as the most successful. Even on a re-running of the competition where many participants submitted complex variations of the TIT FOR TAT method, this method was again the most successful.

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