Life at Yahoo!
Introducing the Yahoo! Employee FoundationPosted: 15th of January, 2013
Founded by Yahoo! employees in 1999 with leadership from David Filo and Jerry Yang, the Yahoo! Employee Foundation (YEF) is a grassroots, philanthropic organization that brings together the talents, time, and financial resources of Yahoo! employees to serve the needs of communities around the globe.
YEF is a unique foundation, as it is employee run, employee driven and employee funded. Throughout the year, YEF organizes volunteer events and seasonal donation drives, such as school backpacks, toy drives and food banks. Yahoo! offers all employees a paid volunteer day and encourages them to reach out and support local communities individually or through the YEF volunteer events. The efforts spread out internationally to nations like India, Singapore, Egypt, the UK and more. Yahoos not only made a tangible difference to people’s living conditions, but also touched their hearts and souls and brought them much-needed cheer.
YEF US chapters cover the majority of Yahoo! offices across the US, including Sunnyvale, Santa Monica, Burbank, Hillsboro, Omaha, Champaign, Chicago, Boston and New York. Besides volunteer events, YEF US raises money each year to support nonprofit organizations with programs that address issues of concerns to Yahoos, among which are Youth & Education, Family & Community Building and Environment. Yahoo! employees have the opportunity to champion their own organization and the employee-run Grants Committee reviews proposals and make final funding decisions. “YEF offers the gift of opportunity both for Yahoo! employees who want to make a bigger difference in their world, and for our community members who receive YEF grants and volunteer support from engaged Yahoos,” says Danielle Bricker, YEF Board President in the US.
In 2012, YEF hosted a campaign in which Yahoo! double-matched all employee donations after Yahoos achieved their goal of 65% participation rate. With efforts of all the US employees and Yahoo!’s 2:1 match, YEF will be able to deliver more than $1 million for grant funding in 2013! “To see the lives that, in every sense of the word, are saved by the Yahoo employees who so generously donate to YEF is not only humbling, but is also one more reason to be proud to work at Yahoo!” says Bob Upham, YEF Board member and co-chair of the Grants Committee.
In 2012, YEF US supported 11 organizations through partnership grants varying from $30,000 to $150,000, and 46 organizations with smaller grants of $5,000. Any Yahoo! employee who has donated $50 to YEF is eligible to champion a grant for an organization that they care about. Student Rising Above (SRA), an organization investing in low-income, first generation college students who have demonstrated a deep commitment to education, received a partnership grant from YEF last year. “I decided to champion SRA because of the sheer determination of these youths who want to give themselves the option: the option to make a life for themselves, a choice that is not predicated by the circumstances of their life. These are humble kids who truly succeed and overcome the obstacles in front of them,” said Irene Henderson. Cristina Avina, a freshman at USC, told Irene “I want to personally thank you for sponsoring students like me to fulfill their dream of a college education. I know that without the enormous help I have received time and time again, I would not be where I am today, ready to continue my journey at college.” The support and help from YEF also inspires students of SRA to pursue majors in Computer Science and work for a great company like Yahoo!. Check out the video here