Aha! Commits $350,000 to Charitable Giving in 2021
You can find Aha! teammates located across eight countries and 89 cities. Our team has a global reach — especially when it comes to helping those in need. I recently spoke to a few folks who had just completed their annual Aha! Cares community service day. One person delivered children's books to an elementary school, while others donated blood. A group of Aha!s got together virtually to decorate panels for duffel bags that will go to children in foster care. Although these acts of service might seem small, they make a real impact on people's lives.
I believe that we all have a responsibility to create as much hope as possible for people in need. And those of us who have been the most fortunate must act with urgency.
We formalized Aha! Cares in 2018. It is a philanthropic initiative to share our company's success and improve people's lives — focused on providing food, safety, and shelter. The program is unique in that rather than the company identifying nonprofits, our team members champion charitable organizations in their local communities.
Within the first two years, we were able to give $245,000 to community-based nonprofits. Our team members also clocked a collective 1,130 hours of service. These financial contributions and hands-on volunteering have directly benefited homeless families, children in need, and survivors of domestic violence — just to name a few.
But midway through 2020 it became clear to us that companies have a moral responsibility to stand for equal opportunity, too. This is why we added "opportunity" as the fourth pillar of Aha! Cares so that teammates could nominate nonprofits that address issues of social justice.
At the same time we launched the Aha! Fellowship to provide product management training to people from historically disadvantaged and underrepresented groups. And we continue to increase our overall investment via Aha! Cares as our company grows.
Today I am honored to share that we are raising our financial giving commitment to $350,000 for 2021. That will include our financial contributions to nonprofits and the awards we pay to fellows.
We kicked off our nonprofit financial giving program for 2021 by granting $145,000 to organizations in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, and South Africa. Each organization was chosen and championed by a member of our team. Here are the 26 nonprofits receiving funding so far, grouped by the four pillars of Aha! Cares:
Madison Community Services (Madison, Connecticut, USA) — food refrigeration
Moveable Feast (Baltimore, Maryland, USA) — food and transportation
P:ear (Portland, Oregon, USA) — COVID-friendly hot meals
PEAS (Austin, Texas, USA) — community garden
Servant’s Heart Ministry (Pine Castle, Florida, USA) — refrigerated truck
The Sharing Place (Orillia, Ontario, Canada) — grab-and-go snacks
Table (Carrboro, North Carolina, USA) — feeding at-risk kids
Domestic Violence Resource Center (Hillsboro, Oregon, USA) — emergency stay fund
Haven (Bozeman, Montana, USA) — emergency response fund
Impilo (Johannesburg, South Africa) — child protective services
Project Safe (Athens, Georgia, USA) — domestic violence intervention
Rowan House Society (High River, Alberta, Canada) — abuse education programs
SafeHouse Denver (Denver, Colorado, USA) — crisis line and counseling
Susie's Place (Avon, Indiana, USA) — abuse intervention
WestSide Baby (Seattle, Washington, USA) — child safety needs
The Maui Farm (Maui, Hawaii, USA) — family accommodations
Room One (Twisp, Washington, USA) — temporary housing
Rose Brooks (Kansas City, Missouri, USA) — deposits toward permanent housing
Rose Haven (Portland, Oregon, USA) — shower program
Safe Passage (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, USA) — housing costs
Simon Community (Dublin, Ireland) — shelter and programming
African American Youth Harvest Foundation (Austin, Texas, USA) — youth summer employment program
Austin Angels (Austin, Texas, USA) — foster children holiday gifts
Chess and Community (Athens, Georgia, USA) — youth STEM program
East Lake Initiative (Birmingham, Alabama, USA) — micro-grant program
New Hope for Youth (San Jose, California, USA) — at-risk youth programming
During periods of turmoil, it is more important than ever to cultivate hope, kindness, and light.
Our first class of Aha! fellows recently completed eight weeks of immersive learning. I'm thrilled to report that a number of the fellows have already accepted full-time roles at software and technology companies. And we are looking forward to welcoming our second class of fellows next year and continuing to invest in opportunity for all.
If you are interested in starting a similar philanthropic giving program at your company, these resources can help you get started. You can learn about the core tenets of our unique corporate giving program and get access to downloadable templates for nonprofit emails, funding applications, and impact reports.
Whether or not your team is 100 percent distributed like ours, we hope that you feel inspired to make a positive difference in your community — so we can all build towards a brighter future.