DO Impact at deploy

Admas Kanyagia

Posted: November 22, 20225 min read

This year at deploy, DigitalOcean’s annual customer conference, the DO Impact team had an opportunity to shine the spotlight on nonprofits, sharing sessions, content, and engagement with a unique social impact focus. Our team announced a new round of grants, interviewed nonprofits and social enterprises, and had a blast connecting with conference participants in our social impact Discord channel. We loved learning more about what DigitalOcean means to our broader community. Check out a recap of the events below!

Five new grantees; one giving milestone

During the opening keynote, we shared the exciting news that in 2022, DigitalOcean has committed a total of $1M in cash grants to support nonprofits and social enterprises around the world. This milestone is the first of many we’ll share on our journey toward our Pledge 1% commitment.

As part of this year’s giving, we announced five new grantees at deploy. DO Impact will award a total of $300,000 to five organizations spread across three communities that are important to us—each representing places where most of our employees are concentrated. We’re so inspired by—and thrilled to partner with—these incredible organizations dedicated to improving their communities.

New York: As the location of DigitalOcean’s original headquarters, the city of New York is home to many of our employees. And we know that across NYC, the Bronx is the borough with the highest percentage of residents without broadband internet access. We’ve partnered with The Bronx Community Foundation’s Digital Equity Initiative to expand access to digital resources for children, families, and seniors in the Bronx—the most underserved community in NYC. In addition to the cash grant, our Data Center team is working with the Foundation on a broader collaboration to leverage equipment, like retired servers, and technical capacity with our employee volunteers.

Dr. Meisha Porter, President and CEO of the Bronx Community Foundation, said: “We’re so excited to work alongside DigitalOcean as we build sustainable futures in the Bronx. Our organizations are incredibly mission-aligned, and this partnership will allow us to continue to enable the next generation of diverse innovators.”

Denver: As another large employee hub, the greater Denver area is a key community for DigitalOcean. We are delighted to partner with the GreenLight Fund, an organization focused on advancing equity across 11 U.S. cities and growing. Our grant will enable the Fund to open opportunities for families experiencing poverty in Denver and break down systematic barriers to inclusive prosperity. Since our first meeting with the GreenLight team, we’ve felt deeply aligned with the organization’s overall approach of applying social innovation to community needs.

“We are so grateful for this grant from DigitalOcean that will enable us to bring bold and innovative solutions that are needed to address seemingly intractable issues like food insecurity, financial stability, homelessness, and education success to Denver,” said co-founder John Simon. “Partnering with a company like DigitalOcean, which has a personal stake in the future of the Denver community, will help kickstart our efforts in the area.”

Pakistan: Finally, with our recent acquisition of Cloudways, we gained a new community of colleagues based in Pakistan, many of whom have been impacted by the devastating floods earlier this year. We worked with our colleagues in the region to identify three organizations that are working relentlessly on flood relief and community rehabilitation efforts across Pakistan:

  • The Edhi Foundation: One of the most trusted organizations in the region, the Edhi Foundation has been on the ground since day one in all flood-affected areas, rescuing families and livelihoods and providing relief assistance.

  • HANDS Flood Relief Campaign (via I-Care Fund America and I-Care Foundation): One of the leading nonprofit organizations in Pakistan, HANDS flood relief teams are working tirelessly to provide life-saving health services to flood-affected families.

  • Akhuwat USA: Akhuwat transforms lives by providing collateral and interest-free loans to people in need. The Flood Relief Fund is helping to rehabilitate and support flood victims across the country.

Panel discussion on scaling nonprofits during uncertain times

Jen Petraglia, who leads DigitalOcean’s Nonprofit Market Development, led an engaging panel discussion with two nonprofit leaders: Tracy Kronzak, Director of Partnerships at Bonterra, and Kavita Kapoor, Executive Director of the Federation of Humanitarian Technologists. Jen, Tracy, and Kavita discussed the importance of reducing complexity, documenting your failures, and driving impact through your values, particularly during times of global economic uncertainty.

“The data clearly demonstrates that if you broaden who is at your table when you’re making decisions about your technology, you will accelerate adoption, sales, and impact.”—Tracy Kronzak

Customer interview with Tech in Schools Initiative (TSI)

We heard from DigitalOcean customer TSI on how developers, small businesses, and nonprofits can set themselves up to grow faster and become more resilient in the cloud. Co-founders Ross Cohen and Alisher Farhadi shared three key learnings to ease the uncertainty: 1) come in knowing what you want from your hosting and find a provider that will grow (or even downsize!) with you, 2) seek better control of your infrastructure through software so you can stay consistent in your tech, and 3) supercharge your infrastructure through software.

We’re eager to continue our partnership with MyTSI on an initiative that allows students to manage their own hosting, build infrastructure, and utilize Droplets for free.

DO Impact’s Discord debut

Conference participants actively engaged in our #social-impact Discord channel throughout deploy. We heard from Hollie’s Hub for Good members Casa Hacker, Fork Facts, coLegend, Unicodemy, and MyTSI. We shared our love for the SDGs and more information on DO Impact and Hollie’s Hub for Good. We learned some trivia (fun fact: Nov. 15, the first day of deploy, was National Philanthropy Day). And we connected to share our ideas, challenges, and plans for 2023 and beyond.

Looking ahead

We’re grateful to be wrapping up 2022 on a high note after the incredible engagement at deploy. We’re also looking forward to our upcoming end-of-year employee giving campaign, which kicks off the week of Giving Tuesday. We still have lots of ground to cover as we fulfill our Pledge 1% commitment, and we’re looking forward to even more progress in 2023. We hope you’ll continue to join us on the journey!


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