Zoom Cares: amplifying social impact with the power of Zoom
Zoom Cares helps nonprofits like Ready Set Push provide life-changing programs to people in need. Learn how they impact their communities.
Updated on October 01, 2021
Published on September 13, 2021
Last year during Zoomtopia 2020, we introduced Zoom Cares, our social impact arm that builds upon our core values to drive positive and lasting change.
Since then, we’ve focused on providing community leaders with the funds and tools necessary to further their goals. We’ve distributed grants, in-kind product donations, and activated our caring Zoomies to support nonprofits with their time, expertise, and dollars.
We recently shared about our partnership with Taraji P. Henson and her foundation – dedicated to destigmatizing mental health while providing Black culturally competent therapy resources to students, parents, and teachers. We’re excited to share our most recent efforts in youth mental health, including details on our community-centered approach to grantmaking.
Given Zoom’s role in keeping the world connected, along with our deep commitment to serving the education and healthcare sectors, it was a no-brainer for us to play a role in advancing the well-being of young people. We know that youth are heavily impacted by — and under-resourced in addressing — today’s ongoing challenges of COVID-19 health inequities and structural racism in schools, workplaces, and communities.
Research tells us that 7 out of 10 youth between 8 and 23 years old are likely to report experiencing common symptoms of depression, with suicide as the second leading cause of death. When it comes to funding needed services that support this population, according to the World Health Organization, there is currently a significant need for donations to advance mental health. Charitable giving in this area is only 2% of global health funding and currently just 0.5% of all philanthropic health-giving.
At Zoom, we are obsessed with a customer-first approach to all that we do. This mentality drives our social impact efforts — including how we select and fund organizations. In the same way our customers know what they need to operate and deliver their services effectively, nonprofit leaders and issue area experts know what solutions they need to make positive change happen in their community.
This is exactly why we turned to seven individuals with lived experience and career knowledge in addressing mental health challenges to advise us in moving $2 million to support the well-being of young people disproportionately impacted by both COVID-19 and systemic racism. These advisors brought an intersectional lens of geographic diversity, cultural and racial identity, funder and classroom expertise, entrepreneurship, and firsthand understanding of marginalized communities around the world. Not only did the group select the organizations, they communally determined the allocation of funding as well.
This approach is oftentimes referenced as trust-based or participatory grantmaking and was facilitated by Forward Movement Consulting. The goal in ceding decision-making power to our advisors was to achieve greater impact than if we went about this work on our own. We trusted that their proximity to, and understanding of, the deeply rooted, centuries-old challenges affecting underserved populations would lead to more informed and more impactful funding outcomes.
We are indebted to our advisors for connecting Zoom to eight organizations implementing transformative solutions. These organizations represent grassroots nonprofits, each with a budget under $5 million and leadership team demographically representative of the populations being served. For many, Zoom is the first corporate funder providing large, unrestricted financial support.
We encourage you to get to know these leaders and their critical work:
We’re excited about all the work Zoom Cares has been doing since last year’s Zoomtopia celebration. If you’d like to read about our work from 2020, check out our first annual Social Impact Report.
We can’t wait for what’s to come as we continue forging partnerships and making an impact in our local and global communities. Follow our blog for the latest Zoom Cares news.