Last month in San Francisco, a popular media outlet the SF Business Times honored some of the largest corporate philanthropists in their area, an honor they bestow annually. This year well known technology company Yelp was among the top givers to the community. Senior VP of Sales, Erica Alioto ran the giving program for the company in the Bay Area and was interviewed regarding the nature of her leadership. Yelp is a large company with offices in four cities across the country, by having leaders like Erica in each city and individual charity budgets, the company can connect with each communities on a more personal level.
One non-profit organization that personally inspires and attracts Alioto is Glide, who offers various programs including meal service, child care, and counseling for those who escaped violent backgrounds. She has been quoted saying, “ Just walking in there and talking to their staff inspires me to do good deeds.”
Another organization Erica finds to be contagious and inspiring is 826 Valencia. This company uses storefront themes for each of their locations to help make it a friendly place for students looking to receive some help with their writing skills.
For Alioto, choosing organizations to support comes down to how their donations are spent. Many non-profits fundraise very well but have their money tied up in administration costs. She focused on programs where she could see the money put use, as it was intended. Also a part of the choosing process is recommendations and nominations by employees who present their case for why their particular organization should receive the company’s support. Under her watch for the giving program she has also made it easier for employees to make a larger impact giving to their favorite charities. She instituted a platform called Benevity which matched any contribution by an employee to a charity, up to $1,000. Being able to double a donation to a cause gives employees the power to make a significant impact.
To read the original and full interview, click here.