Three Hartford area nonprofit organizations have received a financial boost from the charitable foundation of Yelp, the website of business recommendations. This past fall, Yelp nominated three non-profit organizations in 75 cities around the country that support the Yelp Foundation’s mission of addressing the needs of local communities, including access to information, education, local economic development, and freedom of expression. In Hartford, those organizations were The Connecticut Forum, Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford and reSET Social Enterprise Trust.
The Yelp Foundation announced it would grant $5,000 to the organization with the most votes at the end of a web-based public voting campaign. The second and third place winners would be granted $3,000 and $2,000 respectively. Individuals could vote once each day during the two-week web voting period.
The Foundation announced this week that the top-vote getter, The Connecticut Forum, will be receiving a $5,000 grant. Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford will be receiving a $3,000 grant; reSET Social Enterprise Trust will receive $2,000.
The Yelp 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. Nationwide, 225 organizations will be receiving grants totaling $750,000.
The Connecticut Forum presents live, unscripted conversations among renowned experts and celebrities, and community outreach programs including the Connecticut YOUTH Forum. The organization’s mission: “to encourage the free and active exchange of ideas in Forums that inform, challenge, entertain, inspire and build bridges among all people and organizations in our community.”
Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford is a private non-profit organization that has provided adult literacy services in Greater Hartford since 1972. Their “vision is to build a stronger, more resilient Greater Hartford by creating a community of fully literate adults.” Annually, the organization now serves over 850 adults in 20 towns throughout the region.
reSET is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance the social enterprise sector. Its strategic goals are threefold: to be the “go-to” place for impact entrepreneurs, to make Hartford the Impact City, and Connecticut the social enterprise state. reSET serves all entrepreneurs, but specializes in social enterprise ― impact driven business with a double and sometimes triple bottom line. In addition to providing co-working space and accelerator and mentoring programs, reSET aims to inspire innovation and community collaboration, and to support entrepreneurs in creating market-based solutions to community challenges.
Yelp was founded in 2004 to help people find great local businesses like dentists, hair stylists and mechanics. Yelp had a monthly average of 89 million unique visitors who visited Yelp via their mobile device in the third quarter of 2015, according to the company, which also notes that “Yelpers” have written more than 90 million reviews since the company’s inception.
In 2011 Yelp Inc. established the Yelp Foundation with one percent of company equity 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.
The Foundation accomplishes its charitable goals by making grants to deserving nonprofits throughout the U.S. and matching donations made to charities by Yelp employees up to $1,000 per person per year, according to the Foundation website. In 2014, the Foundation committed $1 million to charity. To learn more about the Yelp Foundation, visit http://www.yelpfoundation.org/