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Giving Back At SendGrid: What We’ve Done And Where We’re Going

Below is an article originally written by Christina Frantz, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at PowerToFly Partner SendGrid, and published on November 27, 2018. Go to SendGrid's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.

Happy #GivingTuesday!

Giving Tuesday is celebrated every year on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving, and encourages people and organizations to give back to the community.

The day also marks the 4th anniversary of Pledge 1%–a movement SendGrid joined just prior to our IPO in November 2017. This movement was created with the idea that all companies, no matter their size or stage, can make a social impact by donating 1% of their assets including equity, profit, people's time and/or product. SendGrid has committed 1% of our equity over the next ten years to help our communities thrive.

Corporate responsibility at SendGrid

I was lucky enough to join SendGrid to create and shape our community investment strategy. Over the past several weeks, I've met with Gridders to better understand what we do and what we're passionate about in an effort to identify what we are uniquely positioned to do to drive positive change in our communities.

What I've found through these conversations is that giving back is already part of SendGrid's DNA. I've learned about amazing things my team members are already doing to support our community that has laid the groundwork for our corporate social responsibility initiative.

Stem volunteering club

For example, Gridders Jessy Sweet and Hannah Apuan started a STEM Volunteer Club to improve STEM initiatives around Denver. The club connects Gridders to volunteer opportunities such as:

  • Teaching coding to Boys and Girls Club youth
  • Mentoring at hackathons that serve underrepresented community members
  • Tutoring elementary students in math

"The idea of our club was inspired by discussions from one of the Diversity and Inclusion weeks at SendGrid," says Hannah. "Gridders were asking: how do we improve diversity in tech? We decided one of the ways to bring new perspectives into the technology industry would be to start from the beginning and emphasize STEM education for students from all backgrounds."

SendGood with SendGrid

SendGood is a program created in 2018 by Gridders Austin Whiting, Carly Brantz, Mike Pace, Corinne Nagel, and Veronica Hudson. The team focused their efforts on how to leverage our product to support nonprofits.

SendGood is a program that allows marketers to sign up for our Marketing Campaigns tool and once they send 5,000 emails, a $50 donation is made on their behalf to charity.

"SendGood makes a difference by helping drive our new product Marketing Campaigns, but we're equally excited that it supports organizations whose values align with SendGrid's 4H values: hungry, happy, humble and honest," says Austin.

Learn more about the program and beneficiary nonprofits.

Community week

We just wrapped up our annual Community Week, which is an opportunity for Gridders to volunteer, arm in arm, in support of our communities. Over the course of a week, more than 150 Gridders volunteered in eight unique cities with 19 nonprofits for a donation of over 1,000 service hours!

Events like these are valuable because they help people develop new skills, foster connectivity between colleagues, and also make a huge difference for nonprofits who rely on volunteers to accomplish their goals.

Through the team's efforts, we were able to feed hungry neighbors, encourage self-sufficiency, educate low-income children, build homes for families, care for abused and neglected animals and provide support to families with critically ill children.

Pledge 1%

And now today, I have the honor of representing SendGrid at Nasdaq to ring the opening bell alongside the Pledge 1% organization and other companies who have taken the pledge. We're here to celebrate the power companies have to be a force for good and are hopeful that we can encourage other companies to join us.

No matter the size or stage of your company, every organization has the capacity to help their communities.

Making a profit and making a difference does not have to be mutually exclusive–in fact, together they are a profitable business strategy.

As I collaborate with Gridders to identify our social impact strategy, I'm grateful we already have the ingredients I believe are essential to a successful strategy: a passion for giving back, a commitment to utilizing our unique skills and products to improve the lives of others, and a long-term dedication to investing in our communities. We'll be back soon to share our social impact mission and strategy!

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Join Our #LocalLunchChallenge.

Join Us to help #FlattenTheCurve AND support local business along the way. Eat lunch at home today — and use the money you saved to support others in need. Because We All Have the #PowerToHelp

As members of a fully remote team, we know we're extremely privileged not to have our livelihood directly impacted by COVID-19.

And while we're encouraging everyone who can to work from home to help flatten the curve, we know that not everyone has this luxury. We also know that many people are being forced to stay home without pay.

We wanted to do something to help support the individuals and small businesses who are being directly impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19, so we came up with the #LocalLunchChallenge.

If, like us, you're able to work remotely, eat your meals at home, etc., then please join us in supporting those who are being directly impacted by this pandemic.

If we all come together, it doesn't take much to make a difference — even donating the amount you would have spent on lunch had you gone out today, or buying a gift card, can be a great way to support those whose livelihood has been jeopardized by this pandemic. Whether you want to give to a local restaurant, or support an organization that's helping to feed the millions of children who relied on meals at school each day, no amount is too small!

How You Can Participate

  1. Take a pic of your lunch on/near your remote workspace. If you've got a makeshift workspace, even better! We're trying to share, not shame.
  2. Post your picture with the following caption & hashtags (depending on what you're doing, your preference, etc.):
  • I'm doing the #LocalLunchChallenge by ordering carryout from locally-owned restaurants to help them stay open. I challenge these 5 friends with the #PowerToHelp and participate in their community: tag 5 friends [pic of your delivery food at your desk, tag the restaurant to get them some business]. #FlattenTheCurve
  • For the #LocalLunchChallenge I'm donating the money I would have spent eating out to my local food bank. I challenge these 5 friends with the #PowerToHelp and participate in their community: tag 5 friends [pic of your lunch at your desk, tag the foodbank/Meals On Wheels/local org donating food/etc.]. #FlattenTheCurve
  • Or come up with a post of your own! Just be sure to make a donation to a local organization in need and use #PowerToHelp and #LocalLunchChallenge.
Let's come together to #FlattenTheCurve and support our communities during this challenging time!
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