- on Thu 12 December 2013
I love the spiteful tingle I get from reading on Valleywag about the latest gross boomtown excess coming out of Silicon Valley or the most recent hateful tirade spewed publicly by a clueless startup douche. What better match for that warm hate-glow than the happy satisfaction of helping a worthy nonprofit? Here’s the 12 most recent posts on Valleywag as of 12/12/13, each paired with a relevant local organization that’s working to do good in the Bay Area and beyond. It’s a Choose Your Own Rage Gift Adventure!
Bitstrips, Universally Hated Facebook Spam Company, Bags $3 Million: This one was a ZAP! POW! BAM! no-brainer: the Cartoon Art Museum in downtown SF is dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of cartoon art in all its forms, and not only runs an awesome physical museum but has an active education program and serves as an archive & research facility.
Snapchat only raised $50 million in series C: You and I may be too old to know what base “sending self-destructing nude photos” counts as these days, but you better believe HIFY: Health Initiatives For Youth is up on it. They work to improve the health, especially sexual health, and well-being of underserved young people through youth-led direct intervention efforts, educator training & popular advocacy. If you have a teenage girl in your life you owe it to her to find a way to get her their Young Woman’s Survival Guide.
Airbnb’s Industry Mouthpiece Astroturfs for Donations - This one was a tricky one, since there’s so much insidiously and complicatedly wrong with this particular corporate foray into politics, but how about La Cocina, a nonprofit culinary incubator that focuses on getting low-income women’s small businesses off the ground legally, sustainably, and in a way that directly benefits their communities? More broadly, the Opportunity Fund is California’s largest non-profit microlender and funds everything from small businesses to college tuition to real-estate investment for working-class California families.
You Shouldn’t Want To Live in Uber’s Lazy Utopia: The hardworking 16-21-year-olds at New Door Ventures are not the types who know from instant gratification. Thankfully, they’ve been able to access a pretty amazing community that provides job training, life skills education, and paid internship experience at community businesses, including the nonprofit businesses owned and operated by New Door (you may already be a customer!)
Surprise: No One Graduates from Internet Schools: One of the most galling details of this story was the underreported massive failures of several of these MOOC’s programs in underserved schools. If you’re looking for people making a real impact in this arena, the Kapor Center’s Level Playing Field Institute both runs practical programs and funds research to eliminate the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in STEM.
Happy Holidays: Startup CEO Complains SF Is Full of Human Trash: The crapshow that inspired this post! There’s a TON to work with here; SFist created one good list. I’ve already shilled pretty hard for Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, a nonprofit housing developer that builds affordable housing and has pioneered supportive housing services in the Tenderloin. (Full disclosure: my mom works there & is a total fucking badass.) Another organization working on large scale solutions is Mercy Housing, another huge low-income & supportive housing provider in CA. You might also work the angle of sticking it to AngelHack’s CEO by supporting actually useful hackathons like TransHack or Level the Coding Field.
The World’s New Least Favorite App: “Circle”: this is a bit of a stretch, but Aspiration’s goal is to connect non-profit organizations with software solutions that help them better carry out their work, including social media management tools to responsibly up their visibility.
Sean Parker Goes On Spotify Benders to Curate His “Hipster” Playlist: KPOO in SF is a noncommercial radio station owned & operated by people of color that produces huge amounts of original content & has played an active role in local music promotion & production since the 70s. KFJC, the radio station for Los Altos College, has a rich history in the local underground/experimental music scene & is threatened by community college budget cuts.
Larry Ellison’s Billionaire Yacht Race Cost San Francisco $5.5 Million: Save The Bay literally kept Berkeley from paving over the SF Bay in 1961 and continues to work to restore tidal marsh and keep the Bay a thriving public resource.
Tech “Advisor” Lindsay Lohan Is Hosting a VIP Party for a Startup: Providing Just Sing It, Lindsay’s terrible app, doesn’t put their profession out of work, Women’s Audio Mission is dedicated to the advancement of women in music production and the recording arts by providing hands-on training, experience, career counseling and job placement to women and girls in media technology.
Suggest some pairings of your own in the comments!