|Sean Rico Fisher|
Since 2014, when Silicon Valley Community Foundation first hosted the 24-hour online giving day known as Silicon Valley Gives (SVGives), corporations throughout the region have leveraged SVGives in different ways to boost employee engagement and connect with the community.
From offering matching grants to hosting speakers from nonprofit organizations or on-site volunteering events, local companies offer some thoughts about why SVGives presents valuable opportunities for them.
Symantec's Community Relations Program Manager Ashley Savageau said, “Symantec’s overall focus for SVGives has been to engage our employees in this giving day as well as showcase the outstanding work of local nonprofits.”
Through Symantec’s corporate advised fund at SVCF, the company provided matching donations up to $10,000 to the nonprofit organization TechBridge in 2014 and 2015. The company plans to support the nonprofit again during SVGives 2016. Symantec let employees know about the opportunity to participate in SVGives through internal newsletters, flyers and social media. The company also hosted TechBridge Girls staff on campus to encourage employee participation.
“Inviting TechBridge Girls staff to campus helped personalize the impact our employees could have on local nonprofits,” Savageau said. “Employees were able to donate live in our café through the SVGives Razoo donation platform as well as Symantec’s internal matching grants portal, maximizing their donation’s impact. Employees also had the opportunity to share what motivated them to donate during SVGives via social media. When they did, it helped encourage other colleagues and friends to get involved too!”
Silver Spring Networks has also supported SVGives since 2014. The company has provided grants for operational support and matching grants for nonprofits, organized on-site employee engagement activities and provided matches to employee donations made on SVGives day.
Christine Yap, Director of Human Resources - Operations at Silver Spring, explained that the company’s main focus regarding SVGives has been to demonstrate its engagement in and support for its community.
“For Silver Spring and its Foundation," Yap said, "operational support and sponsorship of matching grants for SVGives demonstrates that businesses of all sizes – not just large corporations – can lead by example and make an impact in our community.”
Silver Spring chose to structure a matching grant to align with their Foundation’s focus areas, supporting local organizations whose efforts focus on STEM education, energy efficiency, caring for the environment or supporting those in need.
SVGives has raised nearly $16 million for nonprofit organizations since 2014. The event could not be as successful without the unwavering support of our long-time corporate partner, Microsoft. In addition to providing crucial operational support, product donations and matching grants, Microsoft has provided conference space to host SVGives trainings.
Jessica Weare, Microsoft’s philanthropy and civic engagement manager for Silicon Valley, has served as a thought partner for everything from planning to execution to evaluation of SVGives. Lakshmi Krishnan, SVCF's development officer and SVGives 2016 committee co-lead, is appreciative of Microsoft's involvement and how Weare has helped SVCF improve SVGives through capacity-building trainings for nonprofits and much more.
"Jessica goes above and beyond for us," Krishnan said, "because she genuinely cares about the success of the program. She is a champion.”
There are many opportunities for corporations to increase their involvement with SVGives. The most common methods are listed in the corporate toolkit. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the program.