Giving back, one email or classroom or tree at a time.
Here’s how we try to help neighbors, friends & adorable kids who make us cry with thank-you cards.
Funding projects to help kids learn
At DonorsChoose.org, teachers post projects that fall outside of their budget, and donors can choose (hence the name) to fund all or a part of it. The kids write back to say thanks, resulting in lots of sweet cards, notes, pictures and the occasional weepy Emma staffer. We began regularly supporting DonorsChoose.org in March of 2008 but launched a new giving program in 2011, donating $5 in honor of each new customer. All told, we’ve helped more than 16,000 students in 37 states.
Starting in 2004, the annual Emma 25 initiative awards free Emma service to help small, deserving nonprofits do more to reach their donors and supporters with email marketing. Charitable causes from around the word apply, and we select 25 to honor with a lifetime of free Emma service.
Every month, a revolving group of Emma staffers distributes a contribution at Kiva.org, which helps helps small business owners and entrepreneurs in developing countries. But here's the twist: at Kiva, you don’t donate. You lend. The loans tend to be small — $100 might help a shop owner add a new offering, say. And nearly all of the money loaned gets paid back in full, which helps us keep financing more loans.
You can check out some of the folks we've helped recently here.
Voting for trees, and planting them, too
In the spring of 2007, we decided to plant some trees. After all, trees are tall and leafy, and we like them. So for Arbor Day, we asked pretty much everyone we know to vote YES for trees, because why wouldn't they, and for each vote — up to 5,000 — we planted a tree. It was so much fun that we started planting five trees for each new customer in 2009, an effort that brought more than 53,000 trees into the world. That's a forest, people.
Supporting the things our staffers care about
We also look for ways to support the organizations and events our staffers are involved in, by riding bikes to raise money for MS research, and scaring the beheyhey out of kids at a community center's Halloween carnival, and sponsoring events on the environment, sustainability and the like. As a small — but growing — company of roughly 100 staffers, you can bet this part of our community work will only grow over time.
Helping our agency partners give back
Many marketing, design and consulting firms use the Emma Agency platform to offer stylish email marketing services to their clients. We set up every agency with a free account that can be used for whatever deserving charity they choose. We call it our Good Works account, and it helps our agency partners share in the spirit of Emma 25 and give a little back themselves.