The Yelp Foundation announced plans today to give $1 million to charity, including four local nonprofits in the Phoenix area. In 2011, the Board of Directors of Yelp Inc. established the Yelp Foundation with one percent of company equity devoted to supporting community literacy and small business growth. These initiatives are imperative for local economies to thrive, and embodied by the four local nonprofits chosen to receive grants from the Yelp Foundation: Local First Arizona, Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County, Accion and Make Way for Books.
“The Yelp Foundation is thrilled to be able to support literacy and entrepreneurship in local Arizona communities through our grant program,” said Erica Galos Alioto, Yelp Foundation Board Member. “We hope that these grants will further local nonprofits’ efforts and bring awareness to the need for programs that cultivate reading and writing skills and provide opportunities for small business owners to succeed.”
In its first two years, the Foundation matched Yelp employee donations to give a combined total of more than $100,000 to nonprofits each year. The Foundation also created an annual grant program that awarded $400,000 to several charities in 2013. In 2014, the Foundation plans to give a total of $1 million to charity, through grants to nonprofits across the U.S., including up to $200,000 to the four Phoenix-area nonprofits, plus additional awards matching donations made to charities by Yelp employees of up to $1,000 per person.
“On behalf of Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County we would like to thank the Yelp Foundation for their generous donation. Their financial support helps us to continue in our mission to assist adults in learning how to read, communicate in English, and prepare for the GED,” said Arcelia Zamora, Acting Executive Director. “It is because of organizations like the Yelp Foundation that Literacy Volunteers is able to empower those in our community to achieve improved employment, participate in higher education or job training programs, and to create a sustainable quality of life.”
“Local First Arizona Foundation is a proud recipient of a 2014 Yelp Foundation grant, which is an absolutely amazing gift that will help us do extensive outreach and programming around our Be a Localist campaign,” said Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona Director. “Our Be a Localist campaign, which is less than a year old, includes exclusive events at locally owned businesses that are curated to create special experiences for both the business owners and customers. When you’re a Localist, you get to meet the chef, be the DJ, or tour the show behind the scenes. Localists support our mission, which is to celebrate and support entrepreneurship, which helps build prosperity for communities everywhere. The more local a place is, the more people love it! We are proud to partner with the Yelp Foundation to bring more people into a sustainable and Localist lifestyle.”
Fortunately, the impact of the Yelp Foundation’s endowment continues to multiply, thanks to Yelp’s decision to make philanthropy a priority early on by funding the Foundation through a gift of Yelp stock. While it started small, the Foundation currently has more than $30 million in assets, which allows it to make substantial grants each year.
For more information on the Yelp Foundation, go to the Yelp blog or email firstname.lastname@example.org.