Over the years we have benefited from local companies in a variety of ways. Because our work relies so heavily on volunteers, we’ve developed partnerships that have provided both the trainers we need and the financial support.
One of our first corporate funders was Dell. Their funding allowed us to expand our youth program, now called Ready, Set, Connect!, to Oakland. Other companies that have been involved in that program, either through grants or providing volunteers and site visits, are Google, Adobe, Bluewolf, Prezi, Schoolzilla, Oracle, Western Digital, Yahoo, and IBM.
In 2011, with the help of AmeriCorps Vista volunteers, we established our Tech Teach-in events. These events are a great way for companies to engage a group of employees in service for a few hours. These events happen at a partner location where we match a volunteer with a learner, who then work together on questions that the learner has about the computer, tablet or smartphone. Companies we have worked with in the past include Salesforce, Symantec, Google, Quantcast, Optimizely, Goldman Sachs, and more.
In 2015 we developed a partnership with Comcast that allowed us to offer more digital literacy training and help low-income seniors in San Francisco learn about their low-cost option called Internet Essentials. Together with other nonprofit partners, we helped over 2,000 people get connected to the internet in their homes.
Our biggest corporate partner by far is Twitter. They have done an amazing job building a community space called the NeighborNest. We were fortunate to connect with them during the planning stage and have seen them make a huge impact on the local community. Here’s a quote from Caroline Barlerin, Head of Community Outreach & Philanthropy:
CTN has proven to be a trusted and valuable partner in helping Twitter execute our vision of creating new possibilities by cultivating technological literacy and a love for knowledge. It is a diverse community where Twitter volunteers, partner organizations, and their clients can learn, connect, and grow.
Not only does Twitter provide grants to partner agencies, but they also provide a beautiful event space. For the last two years we’ve been fortunate enough to use this space for our Digital Leaders Awards. Other sponsors of this event have been Microsoft, AT&T, Box, Greenberg Traurig, and Zelle.
Thank you to all these companies and their staff who are dedicated to closing the digital divide!