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Meet the Grantmakers--How Tech Gives: Strengthening Public Education

Tuesday, June 09, 2015 10:30 am - 12:00 pm  PT
In-person | San Francisco, CA

Missed the event? No problem! Watch the recorded session here. 

Join us to learn about trends in how technology industry leaders are thinking about preparing the next generation's workforce by investing and engaging in public education initiatives.  We will hear from representatives from LinkedIn, Salesforce, Zynga, and San Francisco Unified School District.  Topics covered will include an overview of corporate giving and corporate community engagement priorities, how companies select the nonprofit partners with which they work, emerging patterns in tech investment in education, and advice on best practices in recruiting and engaging tech donors.


Katie Ferrick, Senior Manager, Community RelationsLinkedIn

Ebony Frelix, Vice President, Foundation

Laura Moran, Chief of Staff, Superintendent’s OfficeSan Francisco Unified School District

Ken Weber, Executive Director,


Thanks to our Regional Sponsor!



4:44 Panelist Introductions

7:38 Laura Moran introduces the rest of the panelists and their companies’ roles in partnering with the San Francisco Unified School District

13:40 Katie Ferrick introduces LinkedIn’s role in supporting the education sector

15:25 Ebony Frelix introduces Salesforce’s role and interests in education 

17:18 Ken Weber introduces Zynga and its role

21:00 How can my organization get on the radar?

Make contact through websites!

Reach out to employees; each of these companies offers their employees incentives to give back, including but not limited to paid volunteer days and matching grants. An “employee champion” within the company is your organization’s best chance at getting your foot in the door.

28:40 How does an established or legacy organization (like a school district) come across as innovative and get noticed by tech companies?

35:00 From the donor perspective, how do your organizations assess a potential grantee or partner?

  • “Innovation without impact is not really innovation […] We’re looking for that intersection between innovation and impact”(38:09) – Ebony Frelix, Salesforce Foundation
  • “We really want to make sure it’s a valued experience for everybody, that there’s impact involved for the community” (37:39) - Katie Ferrick, LinkedIn
  • “You can’t underestimate the importance of culture and having at least some overlap there […] take risks, be creative, go a little bit faster” (40:04) Ken Weber, Zynga

45:50 Any advice on how to develop methodologies for communicating data on a program’s impact to tech sponsors?

Data is important, but don't forget to tell the story of the people you're impacting. Ken recommends watching SFUSD's video for an example of telling a good story. Check out SFUSD's video here.

52:39 What are the different ways companies might contribute aside from grants dollars?

Audience Q&A:

1:08:11 What are tech companies’ interest levels in permorming arts education?

1:12:35 How do you demonstrate the value of your contributions to nonprofits to your company?

1:18:20 How important is it for nonprofits to collaborate with other nonprofits or school districts to get support from tech companies?

1:21:50 What are the panelists’ thoughts on data privacy and security in the education realm?



312 Sutter Street, #606
San Francisco, CA 94108

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