Our commitment to San Francisco

By Colin Crowell
Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Twitter was born in San Francisco, and from the start, our employees have cared about being a force for good here. With more than 2,000 employees based in our HQ office, we’re deeply ingrained in the life of the city.

Building on CEO Dick Costolo’s vision of creating enduring relationships with our neighborhood partners and employees, we’re pleased to announce our plan to greatly increase our support for central Market Street and the Tenderloin neighborhood. We’ve outlined our plans in our Community Benefit Agreement (CBA), including the Twitter NeighborNest, grants to nonprofits, volunteering and in-kind contributions.

In crafting this plan, we set out foremost to understand the issues that matter most to our neighbors. When our Community Liaison Caroline Barlerin arrived in late March, she conducted a listening tour around the area to hear about the needs of the community and inform our approach.

Grants to local nonprofitsOur commitment to San Francisco

Over the next four years, we will commit at least $3 million in financial grants to nonprofits serving residents of the central Market Street and Tenderloin community.

This doubles our 2014 CBA investment of $300,000 in 2015, and triples it to more than $900,000 by 2018. These funds will continue to support nonprofits focusing on education and digital literacy, women in technology and homelessness, and include the Bay Area Women’s and Children’s Center, Black Girls Code, Boys & Girls Club Tenderloin Clubhouse, City Impact, Compass Family Services, DrawBridge, GLIDE, Hamilton Family Center, Larkin Street Youth Services, Oasis for Girls, Tenderloin Community School, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, Tenderloin Technology Lab and United Playaz, among others.

Local events at our office
We continue to make our Market Street office available as an event space for local group gatherings and fundraisers. Just last year, for example, we hosted Mural Music & Arts Project, Curry Senior Center, GLIDE, DrawBridge for its 25th anniversary, Oasis for Girls for its 15th anniversary, and AsianWeek Foundation and TEDP’s Asian Heritage Street Celebration. We also convened gatherings to raise awareness and tackle local issues, such as Friends of the Urban Forest’s #TechPlantsSF launch event, Market Street for the Masses, YMCA’s #iamastartup, SAFE Bikes WorkshopTaproot Foundation’s workshop on nonprofit capacity building, and a workshop for Tenderloin organizations on how to use Twitter effectively.

Our commitment to San Francisco

YMCA’s #iamastartup panel at Twitter. Photo courtesy of Eugene Yi for Twitter, Inc.

Twitter NeighborNest
Moreover, we’re making a major commitment to build the NeighborNest right across Market Street from our office. Staffed by Twitter volunteers, it will provide clients of our community-based partners with access to computer technology, education and training. Access to, and understanding of, technology is no longer a luxury – it’s now a necessity for many – and we’re excited about developing a physical space where people can gain the skills they need to unlock new opportunities. In addition to the financial grants we’re committing to local organizations, we estimate that Twitter’s contribution to the NeighborNest will be at least $3 million over the next four years.

Our commitment to San Francisco

Twitter NeighborNest floor plan. Image courtesy of Twitter, Inc. via Flickr.

Our commitment to San Francisco

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Compass Family Services Executive Director Erica Kisch at Twitter NeighborNest event. Photo courtesy of Stacy Webb for Compass Family Services via Flickr.

Volunteering in the community
Our employees also recognize the value of working directly with local nonprofits and are enriched by the experience. We’re committed to tradition of a biannual company-wide day of service, #FridayforGood, when hundreds of us spend the day helping community organizations serve their clients, as well as engaging with these groups on an ongoing basis. Our support can include reading with kids through Reading Partners at Tenderloin Community School, tutoring computer skills at the Tenderloin Technology Lab, teaching math at Bessie Carmichael, volunteering with St. Anthony Foundation, mentoring at the Boys & Girls Club Tenderloin Clubhouse, and providing pro bono legal assistance for residents of central Market Street and the Tenderloin, just to name a few.

Most importantly (and why all of this matters) is that we believe these commitments have a positive impact on the community and build strong, enduring bonds between our employees and our neighbors. We will continue to develop long-term partnerships in our neighborhood to raise awareness and address many of the social needs surrounding us.

Here’s what some of our partners say about how our contributions have made a difference:

To keep up to date on our community efforts in San Francisco, be sure to follow @TwitterSF.