Annual Nonprofit Roundup for 2020
It’s no secret that nonprofit organizations play a vital role in many different communities. They focus on providing goods, services, and resources to those who need it most. Nonprofits “raise money but they spend it to further their mission, not to benefit the donors or founders.” Their work can benefit economic development, health, education, culture, and so much more.
In conjunction with our value to Better the Community, Online Optimism has several programs and policies in place to ensure we’re consistently working with nonprofits and that our business has long-term benefits for the communities we touch. Read on to learn more about some of the steps we’ve taken to increase our impact.
The Optimists use Slack as their main internal communication tool. While there is plenty of business talk, we also have several Slack channels dedicated to our company culture and employees’ well-being. One of these, the #appreciation channel, is where anyone may recognize the work done by another Optimist and highlight how that work aligns with our values.
We tally up each Optimist’s shout-outs (both given and received) three times a year. We convert this number to a monetary amount and make a donation to a nonprofit of their choice. Not only do our Optimists feel appreciated by their coworkers and supervisors, but they also get to support a cause they believe in such as environmental issues, racial justice, animal welfare, and LGBTQ rights.
Through our Donate, Elevate program, Online Optimism makes 2:1 donation match any time an employee gives to a nonprofit. We match 100% of what the employee gave to the nonprofit of their choosing, and give an additional 100% to a nonprofit chosen annually by our team. In 2020, we chose Innocence Project New Orleans, an organization that works to exonerate innocent, incarcerated people.
This program encourages Optimists to get involved with nonprofits whose mission and values align with their own. It’s especially exciting knowing their donation will be doubled, and that Online Optimism is benefiting the selected nonprofit more deeply by making numerous donations throughout the year.
Monthly Nonprofit Spotlights
In addition to making monetary donations, we use our social media to spotlight the work local nonprofits are doing in the community, and tell our networks how to get involved. Optimists and our social media followers are able to learn more about the nonprofit, and how to actively help them, whether by volunteering, donating, or attending events.
Optimists have even gotten to suggest their favorite nonprofits for this program, which only raises their enthusiasm to engage.
Because increasing visibility online is one of our company’s strengths, we see these regular features as an opportunity to draw attention to the important work that nonprofits are doing all year long
In 2020, we featured the following organizations on our social media:
- Son of a Saint
- Ubuntu Village NOLA
- The Roots of Music
- Youth Run NOLA
- Rolling River Rescue
- House of Tulip
Our Optimists enjoy giving their time to Better the Community too, which is why we regularly schedule volunteer opportunities. Although COVID-19 has made group volunteering more difficult than ever, we have been fortunate to find safe ways to help.
In the summer, our design team worked with Ubuntu Village and Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights to create the Platform for Youth Justice to spread awareness about the criminalization of Black youth. The online platform offered comprehensive information on how New Orleans voters could help to end this injustice.
During the holiday season, we took part in Black and Pink Penpal’s annual letter-writing campaign. Our team sent letters filled with words of holiday cheer and hand-colored images to over 200 incarcerated trans people throughout the United States.
Are you looking for a nonprofit that aligns with your values? Below is a list of all organizations Online Optimism gave to in 2020. Use this list as a starting point to find a nonprofit that’s right for you! Many are local to New Orleans, several are based in Atlanta, and others are national or based in other regions.
- Access Health Louisiana
- Alzheimer’s Foundation
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- St Jude Children’s Hospital
- St. Thomas Community Health Center
- Bridge House
- Covenant House New Orleans
- Hospitality Cares Pandemic Response Fund
- Louisiana Bar Foundation
- Second Harvest Food Bank
- The Data Center
- The Lens
- The Safety and Freedom Fund
- The Urban Conservancy
- Georgia Innocence Project
- Innocence Project New Orleans
- Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition
- The Bail Project
- Vera Institute of Justice
- Voice of the Experienced (VOTE)
- Birthmark Doula Collective
- New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter
- Planned Parenthood
- Planned Parenthood, Gulf Coast
- Support the Women FIRST
- Women’s International Network For Guatemalan Solutions Inc
- Women with a Vision