Okta for Good & Full Circle Fund Help Bay Area Nonprofits Navigate COVID Era Challenges

Topics: Corporate Employee Engagement

Okta for Good & Full Circle Fund Help Bay Area Nonprofits Navigate COVID Era Challenges

Okta for Good to Provide Grants and Hands-On Technical Assistance

in Economic Security New Initiative

(San Francisco, CA) December 10, 2020 -- Full Circle Fund (FCF), a community that leverages resources and accelerates nonprofits to build a better Bay Area, today announced three grant recipients of a contribution from the Okta for Good Fund at Tides Foundation. Okta, Inc. (NASDAQ:OKTA), the leading independent provider of identity for the enterprise, is a major sponsor of FCF’s initiative to Accelerate Social Justice in a Post-COVID World through Okta for Good. The FCF initiative will provide Bay Area-based community organizations with resources to navigate the evolving COVID era landscape which has been challenging for the nonprofit sector. Okta for Good, Okta’s social impact arm, focuses on supporting the technology needs of nonprofit organizations. They are supporting the FCF initiative with resources including grants and skills-based volunteer hours from Okta team members.

Grant recipients, which include Centro Community Partners, SaverLife, and WorkIt (an app by United for Respect), were selected for their work to help disrupted retail and service workers, as well as minority-owned small businesses. As part of Okta for Good’s investment in local communities, each nonprofit will receive a grant along with dedicated time from Okta team members assigned to each grant partner for a total estimated value of $450,000 including $150,000 in a direct grant plus volunteer time and program management by FCF.

“At Okta, we understand the power of building strong connections between people, technology and community. The goal of this collaboration is not only to deliver critical tech advising and support to these three organizations; it’s also to pilot a new model for tech companies to deploy skills and expertise to the nonprofit sector,” said Erin Baudo Felter, Vice President, Social Impact, Okta. “Full Circle Fund has been a fantastic, long-term partner of ours, and we look forward to furthering our work together with this initiative.”

The service sector and small businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in unprecedented unemployment and economic downturn. Many nonprofits have seen an immediate need to create new digital tools and processes to support the millions that have been disrupted by the evolving challenges of the pandemic. The concentration of minority-owned small businesses in the service sector, such as food services, laundry, and retail, makes them the most susceptible to business disruption. Many small businesses have to contend with higher cost operating structures to adapt to COVID-related restrictions or safety practices but lack the financial means to weather an extended cutoff of cash flows.

“The global pandemic has had major implications on local nonprofits. This collaboration will help community organizations respond to the current challenges as well as position them to expand their programs and services in the COVID-era,” said Jay Hirschton, CEO, Full Circle Fund. “We understand the critical need to build a more resilient nonprofit sector by strengthening their operating functions and capacity building so community organizations can emerge stronger and serve more people.”

Six to seven Okta team members will be assigned to each nonprofit and work on specific projects including:

  • Centro Community Partners builds thriving communities by providing underserved, low-income entrepreneurs with entrepreneurship education, one-on-one business advising, mentorship, and access to capital. Okta-FCF support will increase downloads of its Go-To-Market app and increase usage among aspiring small business entrepreneurs planning to start or grow their small business.

  • SaverLife (formerly EARN) assists working families by helping them save money and invest in their futures. Okta-FCF support will help integrate technology systems with a goal to secure Service Organization Control (SOC2) Type 2 certification to verify SaverLife’s data management, privacy, and security.

  • WorkIt (an app by United for Respect) helps people working in hourly jobs get answers to questions about workplace policies and rights from trusted and trained peer advisors. Okta-FCF support will help WorkIt design a data dashboard to allow its collect data to allow WorkIt’s partners to scale their use of the platform faster, which will ultimately allow them to support and activate more low-wage workers.

As part of the collaboration, Okta team members kicked off the initiative by participating in a FCF-designed “Power and Privilege” training to share insights on the under-represented communities that the nonprofit sector traditionally serves. The technical assistance projects will be completed by April 2021 when Okta and FCF will evaluate the success of the initiative.

For more information on FCF’s Accelerate Social Justice in a Post-COVID World initiative, which includes Equitable Education, Economic Security, and Healthy Communities, visit www.fullcirclefund.org. Companies interested in assisting local nonprofits with grants and volunteers may contact info@fullcirclefund.org.