The Power of the Valley, and How We Can Leverage it for Good
People in our community are suffering. Everywhere we look, we see too many of our fellow citizens lacking the basic resources to provide for themselves and their families. Nearly a third of all Bay Area community members rely on some form of assistance, just to get by, and the vast majority of these resources are provided by incredible local nonprofits, who are creating bold solutions to help ease that suffering. But these organizations need MORE resources to meet the increasing demand for these services. With Full Circle Fund’s new #ImpactCloud partnership, we will partner with 11 Bay Area tech companies who are ready to try something different to harnesses the power of Silicon Valley with major tech companies to accelerate local nonprofits.
Think about the power that Silicon Valley wields across the globe. Silicon Valley attracts some of the most talented and creative people, whose vision and design move the needle on global financial markets, informing policies in every country, and controlling the vast majority of our data. Silicon Valley’s power has created better lives for billions of humans globally, providing many of us with more convenient, connected, and efficient experiences. This influence should be celebrated and continuously scaled so we can see better lives for more around the world.
Living in the Bay Area, many of us experience incredible opportunities that come from this power, and we also see first-hand the many more who are left behind because we don't distribute this power equally. It's nearly impossible to be in the Bay Area and not be confronted by this intense contradiction. Even more frustrating than seeing this intense contradiction is a feeling of helplessness for not knowing how to close this gap.
But what is “power” really? One way to think of power is control and access to resources. Consider the most powerful nations, companies, and people you know -- the common thread is that they all have control and access to a massive amount of resources. However, you as an individual or as an employee of your company, you have immense influence.
Have you ever thought about the power that you hold to make a change? Consider your own financial, intellectual, and network resources. YOU, YES YOU, HAVE GREAT POWER! How you allocate these resources is how you can leverage your power to be part of the solution.
At Full Circle Fund, we are continuously testing various models and programs that allow companies and individuals (our Members) to leverage their power and resources to build a better and more equitable community. We provide our Members with a network to explore the influence that we all hold and a platform to share their resources with local nonprofits leaders (our Grant Partners) who are solving our community's most pressing problems. Our Grant Partners are often overlooked when resources are being distributed by individuals in power, despite them being as entrepreneurial, innovative, and audacious as the private sector companies that are funded regularly at scale. Full Circle Fund knows that when our Members share their financial, intellectual and network resources we build the power of our Grant Partners to create a more equitable community that works for everyone.
Through our recently launched #ImpactCloud Partnership, 22 tech executives from 11 top Silicon Valley companies will partner with Full Circle Fund to accelerate three local nonprofit leaders leveraging tech solutions for social good. This accelerator is a first-of-its-kind engagement opportunity that will go beyond traditional skill-based volunteering. It will incorporate trainings about power and privilege into the volunteer experience for executive leaders. We are proud to partner with these 22 executives and 11 companies who see a problem and want to try something bold and new, or as we often say – DISRUPT. However, this form of disruption will look different. Together we will be exploring ways to share the collective power of these disruptors with our local nonprofit leaders who will shape innovative solutions and build a better Bay Area for all.
In our first cohort, launched last year, we saw the impact that a program like this can have. “Full Circle Fund was a game-changer. Our mobile app WorkIt supports people working in low-wage hourly jobs. As a result of going through the Tech Accelerator, we saw a nearly 300% increase in download conversions. The collaboration exceeded my expectations, and as a result, more men and women received timely advice about their workplace rights." -- Catherine Huang, Chief Technology Officer at United for Respect Grant Partner from 2018 Cohort
Full Circle Fund believes that in five years, we can unlock $100 million in new resources invested back into Bay Area nonprofits. We envision a community where we all work together to help everyone succeed because “we all do better when we all do better.”
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