Dropbox launches charitable foundation

Dropbox has launched a new charitable foundation to support global human rights work

Chloe Green | 16th Feb 18

Cloud sharing and collaboration giant Dropbox has awarded unrestricted funding to four human rights charities as part of its new charitable foundation, Dropbox Foundation.

After receiving applications from organisations around the world, the Foundation, which has an initial endowment of $20m, chose four initial charities to partner with: War Child UK, based in London; GOAL, based in Dublin; Larkin Street Youth Services, based in San Francisco; and WITNESS, based in Brooklyn, New York.

As well as the funding, the charities will receive support and advice from Dropbox employee volunteers with skills that match the organisation’s needs.

War Child UK will be the first UK charity to join the scheme. The charity works with children affected by conflict, providing safe spaces and access to education, while equipping them with skills for the future.

It will use the unrestricted funds to more flexibly respond to emergency situations. Their work involves collaborating and communicating across different time zones and in often complex environments affected by conflict, and they will be partnering with Dropbox volunteers to understand how to more effectively meet this challenge from an IT standpoint.

They will also be looking at leveraging the volunteers’ knowledge of social media, marketing, digital fundraising strategy and web design.

Dropbox has a history of applying considerable resources to philanthropic activies and volunteering. Its Dropbox for Good programme has logged more than 4,000 hours of volunteer time over the past three years, with employees getting 32 hours’ paid volunteer time a year, working with organisations in Sydney, Seattle, San Francisco and London.

Polly Fields, Head of Social Impact at Dropbox told Charity Digital News:

“Our employees engage with local communities they care about, and as good corporate citizens and members of communities, we believe we have a role to play. Now we are really focusing on this as a strategic engagement, so we can learn in depth how charities operate and map that back to how we can be most helpful, pairing funding with the skills-based piece.”

“As a tech company, we bring a lot more to the table than just tradtional engineering or technical support. Charities could benefit from approaching us in a more strategic, holistic way. We are always looking for creative opportunities and projects.”

Dropbox Foundation will hand out grants to a new set of charities each year with a focus on protecting and promoting and protecting human rights. The next round of applications will be open towards the end of this year.