The Yelp Foundation has existed since 2011, as the charitable arm of the ubiquitous online review platform. Yelp stock created the corpus of the foundation, which now uses one percent of company equity for charitable giving. Its grantmaking aims to support projects advancing access to information, education, freedom of expression and community development.
The foundation is run by a five-person board, the members of which are all high-level employees within the company including Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman. The foundation is also the piece of the Yelp puzzle that enables philanthropy by providing matching grants for employees up to $1,000 per year.
Major Program Categories: The foundation’s mission is to “support charitable organizations and activities addressing the needs of local communities, including access to information, education, local economic development, and freedom of expression, and to promote a culture of philanthropy among employees of Yelp, Inc.” A closer look at the foundation’s 2015 giving shows a long list of varied organizations receiving donations via the employee-matching program.
Its largest gifts in 2015 were $25,000 grants to several organizations throughout the country that emphasize youth development and education, including chapters of KIPP and the Boys and Girls Club, as well as KIVA, 826 National, Aim High, Playworks and Great Hearts. It also contributed significantly to Yelp’s donor-advised fund.
How to Apply: Unsurprisingly, the most accessible way for projects to receive grants from the Yelp Foundation has to do with online crowdsourcing support for your project.
Every holiday season, the foundation hosts #YFGivesLocal. This is an opportunity for nonprofits or projects in each of Yelp’s 64 U.S. markets that fit into one of the foundation’s giving categories (access to information, education, local economic development, freedom of expression) to nominate themselves and become part of an online voting contest for grants.
Click here to see the list of finalists for 2016, and learn details about the prizes, which range from $2,000 to $5,000.
Name of Foundation: The Yelp Foundation
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact Information: [email protected]
Coverage Area: National
Subject Area: Education, Community Development, Access to Information, Freedom of Expression; Employee matching grants
Assets: $12,905,627 (2015)
Last Year Total Giving: $1,550,625 (2015)
Recent News and Grantmaking: