By Derek Chezzi
Back in 2012, the Yahoo! Canada fielded a team for Movember to help raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer and men's mental health initiatives.
Twenty-six Yahoos joined our team.
We also had the participation of two hockey players from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jake Gardiner and
Matt Frattin, to help us boost the profile of our initiative. We helped raised
$2.3K internally for the charity. But fundraising was secondary to our primary
objective: leveraging the power of the network to drive awareness among our 16
million Canadians visitors around the Movember campaign by offering a peek
behind the curtain at the faces of the people who help create the daily habit
forming experience that is Yahoo! Canada. That behind-the-scenes look is
something new for our team, allowing us to stretch in different ways. And we
had some fun along the way.
For more coverage, please visit http://ca.news.yahoo.com/movember/
By Thomas Bink
By Thomas Bink
Yahoo! Canada was with her every for every step of the journey.
How It All Began
It all started with a tip from a Yahoo! freelance video producer who knew about Ross’s planned expedition, which was being set up by the Test Your Limits organization. The group wanted to raise awareness for heart failure research in return for exclusive content about their trek to the bottom of the planet.
After meeting Ross and reading some of her previous blog posts, I knew this could be a unique series where the content was the real attraction. We felt people would be drawn in by the drama of the expedition and develop an affinity for Yahoo! as well as the cause.
Making It Happen
The solution was simple – the Yahoo! Canada team would put together a page to host Ross’s daily posts and photographs and provide a link for interested users to get more information on the cause. Ross, the only woman on the expedition, would send her posts and photos through a time-restricted satellite phone to a shared dropbox every day, regardless of the conditions.
Prior to her departure on January 1, Ross, who is also one of Canada’s top cardiologists, did a number of candid video interviews at the Yahoo! Canada offices about the dangers of her trek, her medical preparations and what she would miss most during the journey. And after Ross arrived in Antarctica, we set up a way for visitors to the site to ask her questions about the voyage, which she would answer in her blog posts.
Getting the interaction between Ross and our visitors was really critical, so we set up a Yahoo! e-mail address – AskDrRoss@yahoo.ca. It was great that our users in Saskatchewan or Alberta could engage someone who was struggling against snowstorms and frigid temperatures at the bottom of the Earth thousands of miles away using our products.
Hundreds of questions were submitted and by the time Ross reached the Pole, our site had garnered hundreds of thousands of page views. The traffic was nice, but the real goal was to raise the profile of our brand in Canada and to show off some of the great things we’re doing at Yahoo! now and going forward (in addition to helping a great cause!). We really have an opportunity at Yahoo! to do things differently than traditional media in Canada.
And it was totally worth it just to see Yahoo! at the South Pole! Read all about it here: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/south-pole/.
Founded by Yahoo! employees in 1999 with leadership from David Filo and Jerry Yang, the Yahoo! Employee Foundation (YEF) is a grassroots, philanthropic organization that brings together the talents, time, and financial resources of Yahoo! employees to serve the needs of communities around the globe.
YEF is a unique foundation, as it is employee run, employee driven and employee funded. Throughout the year, YEF organizes volunteer events and seasonal donation drives, such as school backpacks, toy drives and food banks. Yahoo! offers all employees a paid volunteer day and encourages them to reach out and support local communities individually or through the YEF volunteer events. The efforts spread out internationally to nations like India, Singapore, Egypt, the UK and more. Yahoos not only made a tangible difference to people’s living conditions, but also touched their hearts and souls and brought them much-needed cheer.
YEF US chapters cover the majority of Yahoo! offices across the US, including Sunnyvale, Santa Monica, Burbank, Hillsboro, Omaha, Champaign, Chicago, Boston and New York. Besides volunteer events, YEF US raises money each year to support nonprofit organizations with programs that address issues of concerns to Yahoos, among which are Youth & Education, Family & Community Building and Environment. Yahoo! employees have the opportunity to champion their own organization and the employee-run Grants Committee reviews proposals and make final funding decisions. “YEF offers the gift of opportunity both for Yahoo! employees who want to make a bigger difference in their world, and for our community members who receive YEF grants and volunteer support from engaged Yahoos,” says Danielle Bricker, YEF Board President in the US.
In 2012, YEF US supported 11 organizations through partnership grants varying from $30,000 to $150,000, and 46 organizations with smaller grants of $5,000. Any Yahoo! employee who has donated $50 to YEF is eligible to champion a grant for an organization that they care about. Student Rising Above (SRA), an organization investing in low-income, first generation college students who have demonstrated a deep commitment to education, received a partnership grant from YEF last year. “I decided to champion SRA because of the sheer determination of these youths who want to give themselves the option: the option to make a life for themselves, a choice that is not predicated by the circumstances of their life. These are humble kids who truly succeed and overcome the obstacles in front of them,” said Irene Henderson. Cristina Avina, a freshman at USC, told Irene “I want to personally thank you for sponsoring students like me to fulfill their dream of a college education. I know that without the enormous help I have received time and time again, I would not be where I am today, ready to continue my journey at college.” The support and help from YEF also inspires students of SRA to pursue majors in Computer Science and work for a great company like Yahoo!. Check out the video here