Featured on 11/8/2017
One Degree is a one stop shop for low-income families on the hunt for resources to achieve upward social and economic mobility. Think Craigslist for getting people the help they need, no matter what the problem is. Thousands of families use One Degree’s platform to access health care, food banks, employment services, and more. It should also be noted that One Degree is a favorite resource among case managers and social workers.
Featured on 6/21/17 || $100 donated
TechSoup gives nonprofits access to discounted software and hardware. Better tools means increased productivity. Increased productivity can make a world of difference to bootstrapped nonprofits and their volunteers. The extra resources that Tech Soup provides allow nonprofits to focus their attention on shaping a more positive future for us all. To learn more about the incredible work TechSoup is doing, click here.
Out & Equal
Featured on 6/28/17 || $168 donated
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is the world’s premier nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workplace equality. Since 1996, they have partnered with Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies to provide executive leadership development, comprehensive training and consultation, and professional networking opportunities that build inclusive and welcoming work environments. To learn more, click here.
Save The Bay
Featured on 7/5/17 || $110 donated
Founded in 1961, Save The Bay is the largest regional organization working to protect, restore, and celebrate the San Francisco Bay. Weaving together environmental education, policy advocacy, and hands on volunteer opportunities, Save The Bay mobilizes a network of over 50,000 donors and volunteers to protect the Bay for future generations. You can thank Save The Bay for halting the practice of dumping raw sewage straight into the water. Yes, that used to happen.
The Bay is our region's most important natural resource--essential to our environment, economy, and quality of life. It's about time we treated it with respect! To learn more about Save The Bay, click here.
San Francisco SPCA
Featured on7/12/17 || $119 donated
Founded in 1868, the San Francisco SPCA is the fourth oldest humane society in the United States. The SF SPCA has proudly stood at the forefront of animal rights ever since. They pioneered the national No-Kill movement in 1994, and earned San Francisco the lowest euthanasia rate of any major city. In 2012, the SF SPCA laid out Vision 2020, a bold plan to end animal abandonment in San Francisco by 2020. Their comprehensive strategy incorporates tandem prevention, rescue, and education efforts. To learn more about how the SF SPCA is helping our furry little friends and making the Bay a more purrfect place click here.
Rebuilding Together Peninsula
Featured on 7/19/17 || $129 donated
Since 1989, Rebuilding Together Peninsula (RTP) has provided renovation and repair services for the Peninsula’s most vulnerable homeowners—seniors, veterans, persons with disabilities, and families with children and community facilities. As the only local organization addressing this particular need, RTP has built the expertise and infrastructure to tackle critical home repairs, securing safe and healthy housing for those most in need. Today, Rebuilding Together Peninsula serves approximately 250 homeowners each year with the help of over 3,000 volunteers. To learn more about RTP, click here.
Featured on 7/26/2017 || $117 donated
Since 2001, EARN has worked to create prosperity for low income families by helping them save and invest in their futures. As the nation’s leading microsavings provider, EARN designs and launches online savings tools that incentivize smart financial decisions. They recently launched their new program, SaverLife, in San Francisco. EARN’s ultimate vision is that well-informed American households will achieve financial success through proven strategies, fair public policy, and their own hard work.
Why is EARN’s work so important? Forty-seven percent of Americans are considered “financially fragile” by the Federal Reserve Bank and could not cover an unexpected $400 expense without going into debt. Households with a savings of just $250 to $749 are less likely to be evicted, miss a housing or utility payment, or receive public benefits after a financial shock. America has a savings problem and EARN is fixing it. To learn more, click here.
Five Keys Schools and Programs
Featured on 8/2/17 || $135 donated
Founded by the SF Sheriff’s Department, Five Keys Schools and Programs is redefining the role of education in restoring communities. In 2003, Five Keys opened the first charter school in the nation to operate inside of a county jail. Today, Five Keys operates accredited charter schools and programs for transitional aged youth and adults in 70 locations. In all, they teach around 3,000 students per day. Utilizing a specially designed curriculum for the incarcerated, recently incarcerated, and disenfranchised populations, Five Keys is lifting communities up by giving them the opportunity to succeed.
Why is Five Keys’ work so important? There are almost too many reasons to count. Here’s a big one: California’s overall recidivism rate is 68%, compared to only 28% for Five Keys students. That rate doesn’t just benefit the incarcerated population, that benefits the taxpayer. Recidivism costs taxpayers millions of dollars each year. Helping the incarcerated and disenfranchised populations find the road to success is everybody’s business. Five Keys is leading the way. To learn more, click here.
The Bread Project
Featured on 8/9/17 || $120 donated
Founded in 2000, The Bread Project is creating job opportunities for low income bay area residents one bite (and job) at a time. TBP runs an award winning three-week intensive Bakery Bootcamp in Berkeley, equipping individuals with the skills necessary to enter the food industry. It’s a tastier twist on the coding bootcamps that have exploded in recent years and it’s proven incredibly successful.
Why is TBP’s work so important? They have created a viable path to stable employment for individuals in our community with limited resources. Since 2008, The Bread Project graduates have earned an estimated $13.3 million to provide for their families. TBP has built relationships with over 100 food industry employers in the area and in the last two years alone as secured jobs for 210 graduates.
If you find yourself in Berkeley, stop by their bakery and treat yourself. Proceeds from each item sold support their bootcamp and training programs. Click here to learn more.
Silicon Valley FACES
Featured on 8/16/17 || $121 donated
Founded in 1965, Silicon Valley FACES creates and promotes inclusive communities free of bias, bigotry, and violence. To create systemic change, they have turned their focus towards educating school-aged children, teaching them to recognize and resist biases. FACES runs a series of social-emotional learning (SEL) camps that teach empathy, respect, self-worth, honesty, and integrity. Campers are also equipped with the leadership skills to spread these positive attributes to their peers.
Why is Silicon Valley FACES’ work so important? In the current political climate, bias and bigotry are out in the open. Silicon Valley FACES is addressing this problem head on by teaching children positive values with proven experiential learning tactics. Not only does this serve our communities in the short term, but it promises exponential returns in the future as communities are lifted by open minded tolerance. Click here to learn more.
Featured 8/23/17 || $135 donated
Founded in 1988, Tax-Aid provides free high-quality tax return preparation for Bay Area families with incomes less than $54,000. Anyone that has ever had to do their taxes knows it’s more confusing than the plot of an old Tarantino movie. It’s hard enough to finish, let alone take advantage of the various refunds available to you. Having a “tax guy” isn’t feasible for low-income families. Luckily, the good volunteers of Tax-Aid have stepped in to help.
How is Tax-Aid making an impact? In Tax-Aid’s most recent fiscal year, 837 volunteers prepared tax returns for 3,035 low-income families. These families received over $2,878,743 in refunds. Those savings allowed families to pay rent, put food on the table, enroll their children in extracurricular activities.
Click here to learn more.
Bay Area Legal Aid
Featured on 9/6/17 || $125 donated
Founded in 2000, Bay Area Legal Aid is the largest civil legal aid provider in the Bay Area counties. They provide low-income clients with free civil legal assistance regardless of location, language, or disability. In short, they work to ensure justice is within arm’s reach of everyone in our community. They operate under the guiding belief that the quality of legal assistance someone receives should depend solely on the merits of their case, not where someone lives or the size of their bank account.
Why is their work important? In the Bay Area more than 1.2 million people live in poverty. Without legal assistance, justice would often be out of reach to these members of our community. Bay Area Legal Aid helps their clients with: Consumer protection, health care access, domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, immigration, economic justice, housing preservation, and homeless prevention.
Essentially, Bay Area Legal Aid does it all. Oh, and they are really good at what they do. In 2015, they won 92% of their cases. Lady Justice is lucky to have them on her team.
UC Botanical Gardens at Berkeley
Featured on 9/13/2017 || $125 donated
Established in 1890, The UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley is one of the most diverse landscapes in the world. Over 34 acres, visitors can explore over 10,000 types of plants, many of which are rare and endangered. A trip to the gardens takes explorers meandering through vastly different regions of the world from the tropics to Italy, to South Africa. The gardens are home to plants from all seven continents!
So is it all just for show? Nope. The UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley utilizes its collection and beautiful space to support groundbreaking research, aid conservation efforts, and educate the public. Specimens are available to researchers outside of the UC system. They also run a seed exchange program.
Click here to learn more.
Featured on 9/20/2017 || $125 donated
Since 1993, Youth Radio has been revolutionizing how youth tell stories and empowering next-generation journalists and artists. Youth Radio provides a hands-on, six-month digital media technology education to diverse, low-income youth throughout the Bay Area. Throughout the process, students have the opportunity to learn the basics of journalism, music production, design, and code. They also get a foot inside a hard-to-crack media industry. The coolest part? All the hard work culminates in award winning productions. Read or listen to Youth Radio here.
Featured on 9/26/2017 || $125 donated
Founded in 1987, Food Runners alleviates hunger and prevents food waste in SF. The concept is simple, but the impact is tremendous for thousands in the Bay Area. Food Runners picks up excess perishable and prepared food from businesses like restaurants, caterers, bakeries, hospitals, and hotels and delivers it directly to neighborhood food programs for those in need. Food Runners currently redirects over 15 tons of feed each week, providing enough for 3,000 meals per day.
Why is their work so important? The number of meals served each day (3000+) speaks for itself, but even that number only tells half the story. Roughly one third of the food produced in the US is wasted. According to Feeding America, one in eight people in the US struggles with hunger. It doesn’t take long to realize those two sides of the equation shouldn’t add up. Nonprofits like Food Runners are changing the narrative and using existing food that would otherwise be wasted to solve America’s hunger problem.
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Featured on 10/4/2017 || $125 donated
Founded in 1993, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is now the premier resource for legal expertise and information regarding state and federal firearm laws. The Law Center is dedicated to preventing the loss of lives caused by gun violence. To accomplish their goal, they strategically invest their time and resources in multiple areas: educating the public about gun laws, working with policy makers to improve gun legislation, and filing amicus briefs in critical Second Amendment cases across the country.
Why is their work important? Simply put, gun violence is a crisis in this country. 117,000 Americans are shot every year. Many of these deaths are entirely avoidable. Our country needs smart legislation that puts safety first.
Featured on 10/11/2017 || $120 doanted
The fires throughout California’s wine country have decimated the North Bay. It’s being called one of the worst fires in California’s history. The death toll has climbed to 21 and thousands have seen their homes go up in smoke. With the fire only 3% contained and high winds expected Wednesday night, these numbers are expected to rise even higher.
It’s easy to feel helpless in situations like these, but people have a way of rallying together and lending a hand when it’s needed most. The line to volunteer at the Red Cross is out the door, people are taking in lost pets, and mass shipments of clothing and food are being sent north. Even companies are embracing the helping spirit. Airbnb launched its Open Homes Program free of charge for those who need shelter. It’s high time In Lieu Of pitched in, as well.
We are donating to The Napa Valley Community Disaster Fund because they are well positioned in the community to make an impact in both the short and the long term. Too often recovery efforts focus solely on the present crisis. Once the final embers have flickered out, the long process of rebuilding will begin. That work takes strong community relationships, careful planning, and vast resources. The Napa Valley Community Foundation will work in tandem with local nonprofits to get the community back on its feet as quickly as possible.
Featured 10/18/2017 || $120 donated
With an end to the North Bay fires finally in sight, a resilient community is turning their attention to rebuilding. It is going to be a long and grueling process that requires community members, government, private businesses, and nonprofits to work in close collaboration. Collectively it is our job to make sure no group gets left behind. Our mind often jumps straight to humans, but hundreds of animals have been displaced by the fire, as well.
Marin Humane has stepped up to the plate, taking in and sheltering hundreds of displaced pets. They are now working with officials to locate and notify owners. Marin Humane is also offering to board pets free of charge for pet owners who have lost their homes.
**On a sidenote, California just became the first state to pass a law requiring pets sold in pet stores to be rescues. Stores can no longer get pets from private breeders. This is a HUGE step forward for animal rights.
10 Books A Home
Featured 10/25/2017 || $120 donated
Founded in 2009, 10 Books A Home provides home tutoring to high poverty preschoolers and their parents in East Palo Alto and East Menlo. By focusing on early childhood education, they are eliminating the achievement gap before it ever has a chance to surface.
What’s so special about 10 Books A Home’s tutoring? A number of things! Perhaps most importantly, 10BH cultivates intrinsic learning motivations in preschoolers. That means kids aren’t just learning, they are getting excited about learning. Kids are taught to engage in effortful learning around specific activities that they enjoy - playing with playdoh, cutting, coloring, etc.. Not only are the kids learning, but they think they are playing. That small change builds interest and curiosity that sets each child on an early path to academic success.
Click here to learn more about 10 Books A Home.
Back on My Feet
Featured on 11/1/17
Founded in 2007, Back on My Feet offers a truly revolutionary approach to homelessness. This program is everything that is right about philanthropy. They use running and community to motivate and support individuals every step of the way from homelessness to independence. BoMF uses running as a catalyst to build confidence, commitment, and perseverance.
How does it work? Homeless are invited to become BoMF members and join the running club. Members make a commitment to run with the club three mornings per week. After 30 days, members with 90% attendance earn the opportunity to move into the second phase of the program called Next Steps, which provides educational support, job training programs, employment partnership referrals and housing resources. Over 80% of individuals who start our program move into the Next Steps phase.
But...does it work? You bet your best pair of running shoes it does! Over 80% of indivudals who start the program move into the Next Steps phase. Six months out of the program, an astounding 90% of BoMF alumni maintain their employment, 60% receive a wage increase, and 20% achieve a promotion.
Want to learn more about one of my favorite organizations out there? Click here.