It's no secret that Yelpers are passionate about restaurants, boutiques, salons and all sorts of great local businesses, but you may not know that they also have a passion for philanthropy. This year, our North American Yelp communities spent a combined 8,141 hours volunteering, collected more than 2,000 pounds (that’s ONE TON, people!) of food, clothing and other goods, gave roughly 66,000 items to local nonprofits, and donated over $200,000 to charity.
Throughout the year, our Yelp Community Managers throw free events to bring Yelpers together offline and connect them with local businesses, including nonprofits. These events range from intimate parties of 10 or 20 Yelp community members to giant festivals with thousands of Yelpers and their guests. Nearly all of these events have a charitable component, whether it’s a suggested donation to a local nonprofit or the event itself being a gathering of Yelpers who’ve come together to donate their time and manpower for a good cause. These were some of our favorite community events in 2014:
Yelp Blanket Drive in Broward-Palm Beach, FL – This two-day blanket drive collected new and lightly-used blankets, which were donated to local organizations that distribute them to the homeless. This was Community Manager Blue A.’s second annual blanket drive.
Yelp Helps! 2014 in the San Francisco Bay Area – Yelpers around the Bay were encouraged to volunteer at a charity of their choice through GoVoluntr, a social platform bringing together volunteers and nonprofits. At the end of the month, participants celebrated their accomplishments at the Yelp Helps Prom.
Yelp Gives A Truck! in Ottawa, Ontario Canada – During a month-long celebration of Ottawa’s food truck scene, hosted by Community Manager Andrea B., Yelpers donated canned goods to the Ottawa Food Bank at participating food trucks.
Give Where You Live in Milwaukee, WI – This holiday campaign is all about bettering the community. Community Manager Rachel F. formed a partnership with Community Shares of Greater Milwaukee, whose online platform allowed Yelpers to donate to 50 different local nonprofits.
In addition to the outstanding nonprofit support from the Yelp community this year, the Yelp Foundation set a goal to give $1 million to charities in 2014. The Yelp Foundation, which was founded in 2011 to support charitable organizations and activities addressing the needs of local communities, makes grants to deserving nonprofits throughout the U.S. and encourages charitable giving by matching donations made to charities by Yelp employees.
As we celebrate the holiday season, we're so proud of all of our Yelp community members and employees who donated their time and resources to charity this year. We can't wait to see what they'll achieve in 2015. See you next year!