Zoom Cares Grants $5.5M to Support Youth Leadership, Climate Progress, and BIPOC-Serving Groups

At Zoom, our company’s purpose — to help the world connect — is interwoven with our core value of Care. That’s what led us to establish Zoom Cares, our social impact arm, in 2020, furthering our commitment to our communities and making a difference in our world.

Over the past two years, we’ve seen challenges exacerbated across interconnected areas of society, including racial and social inequity, climate disasters, limited education access, and lack of mental health support. Often these issues impact young people, low-income families, and communities of color, who might experience multiple challenges overlapping at the same time. Recognizing the urgent need to address these issues, we dedicated our most recent funding to these areas.

We’re writing to share that Zoom Cares donated $5.5 million in January to support over 20 organizations globally. Read on to learn more about these phenomenal organizations and their work.

Our approach to community-centered grantmaking

We aim to distribute resources in the way community leaders have asked us to — with them at the decision-making table. 

We take a community-centered grantmaking approach, looking to expert advisors with deep issue understanding and lived experience to help us identify organizations to fund. We believe these nonprofit leaders and issue experts have a strong understanding of the solutions needed to enact change. Our social impact efforts at Zoom could not be achieved without their help.

Our advisors guide us to diverse organizations serving those most affected by inequality. Grantees are recommended to us with the following guiding principles in mind:

  • Led by individuals representative of the community being served
  • Focus on supporting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), with a particular interest in young people
  • Grassroots organizations with budgets less than $5 million in size

Supporting intersectional solutions to pressing community needs

Photo courtesy of Oakland Kids First - students holding signs at a rally supporting teachersPhoto courtesy of Oakland Kids First - students holding signs at a rally supporting teachers
Photo courtesy of Oakland Kids First

Leading with our community-centered grantmaking approach, we asked eight experts in the climate and social equity space to map where Zoom Cares resources are most needed. The group helped us direct $5 million to grassroots organizations all steered by representative leadership, focused on empowering young people and communities of color across the globe. 

We encourage you to get to know these organizations and their critical work:

  • Black Land and Power, coordinated by the National Black Food and Justice Alliance, is a strategic alignment of Black land institutions and organizations around the U.S. working to deepen collective strategy towards regional and national Black land retention, protection, and recovery.  
  • Geledés, Black Women Institute is a Black feminist organization in Brazil that emphasizes youth leadership of Black girls, public policy, and campaigns to address discrimination.
  • IALA Puerto Rico supports and promotes agroecological initiatives led by small-scale farmers in Puerto Rico as grassroots solutions to climate change.
  • Local Clean Energy Alliance promotes a clean energy future at the local, state, and national levels through the development of local renewable energy resources in California. 
  • Michigan Alliance for Justice in Climate (MAJIC) is a coalition of Michigan organizations striving to achieve and actualize climate justice for the house of the Great Lakes.
  • MPP Haiti is a Haitian farmers’ organization that pioneers in agroforestry/ecology as solutions to ecological crises by planting native flora.
  • Native Movement supports Indigenous-led local grassroots projects in Alaska to build healthy, sustainable, and just communities for all with Indigenous values.
  • NSS / WAS is a collaboration of women-led family farmer organizations in West Africa that promotes female leadership in agroecology through local knowledge.
  • Oakland Kids First works to increase youth leadership and power to create engaging and equitable public schools in Oakland, California, for working-class youths.
  • PODER in Action invests, trains, and supports POC, youth, queer folks, and mixed-status communities in Arizona to build power to disrupt systems of oppression.
  • RSF Social Finance will direct funds to support the Pawanka Fund, which promotes Indigenous peoples’ rights and knowledge globally.
  • Saúde E Alegria (Health & Happiness) places Brazilian Indigenous communities and youth at the heart of decision-making processes for environmental justice and education.
  • Seed Mob is Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network promoting a sustainable future with strong communities and renewable energy.
  • Tamil Nadu Women’s Collective organizes 100,000+ women in India to establish collective farms to address climate change by popularizing traditional seeds.
  • The Rise Fund provides comprehensive grants to Black and POC-led organizations in the U.K. women and girls’ sector on leadership and representation.
  • The YP Foundation empowers young Indian people by increasing access to information, services, and leadership opportunities in policy initiatives. (Lead blog image courtesy of The YP Foundation)

Continuing our support in the youth mental health space

Last September, we announced a $2 million mental health grant round, in which issue area experts connected us to eight mental health organizations. 

As part of our continued dedication to addressing challenges experienced by young people, Zoom Cares has committed an additional $500,000 to organizations in Brazil and Japan focused on serving youth and communities of color.

  • Association for the Emotional Support of Children (ASEC) is an emotional learning school in Brazil with a focus on mental health support for children, youth, and teachers in the home and learning environment. 
  • CVV is a free-of-charge national volunteer hotline with 24/7 community support for Brazilians via email, phone, chat, and 11 residential homes and clinics.
  • Light Ring helps youth peers in Japan get trained by mental health professionals to support young people at risk of suicide.
  • TELL Japan is a 24/7 hotline in English and Japanese that targets youth with bilingual counseling and national public education campaigns.
  • Vita Alere promotes the mental health of the individual, organizations, and society in Brazil with a focus on the prevention of suicide and self-injury.

Building connections together

As a next step, we are partnering with each group to understand how we can collaborate beyond funding — in the ways they identify, such as capacity building or network connections. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to support these organizations and look forward to following their progress. 

If you’d like to learn more about our work, visit our 2020 Social Impact Report and stay tuned for our 2021 report, coming soon!

Read more >