Sequoia was founded with the vision of creating a special company that takes care of people and makes a positive impact on the world. To further our commitment to that vision, we created the Sequoia Impact Program in 2014. This year, we’re focused on expanding our program by creating a connected community for social good along with our clients, vendors, and extended network. We believe that together we can make the greatest impact, and we invite you to join us as we continue the journey!

Looking Ahead to the Second Half of Our Fiscal Year

To help realize our collective potential, we’re focusing the next 6 months on helping our clients develop their social impact programs, continuing to strengthen our own, and closing out the year with measurable progress towards uplifting the communities in which we live and work.

Join Us

We value our relationship with you and look forward to having you join us in the upcoming events.

  • Partner with us on a week-long social media campaign Feb 22-26 with our non-profit partner Bring Change to Mind. Follow us on LinkedIn and help us raise awareness, spread the word and take a stand for youth mental health by re-sharing our posts.
  • Attend our biggest event of the year, The Grove Conference on March 4, 2021. You’ll participate in an impact-infused activity, and have access to our webinar on “How to Create a Social Impact Program”
  • Check out ways your company can build a social impact program
  • Champion racial equity to foster more diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Look for more ways to get involved on our website

Looking Back on the First Half of our Fiscal Year

We fully recognize the ongoing needs in our communities, exacerbated by the toll of the pandemic, and are deeply committed to help address them. Here’s what we’ve done in the past six months:

Grantmaking: We are grateful for our team, clients, family, and friends who together with Sequoia, made generous donations to the Sequoia Impact Fund. Through these donations and matching gifts, we made grants in response to COVID-19, racial injustice, and to our long-term non-profit partners focused on health and wellbeing, employment/economic opportunity, and education. Overall, we made grants to 22 organizations to provide health and empowerment to underserved communities.

Volunteering: Despite the challenges of volunteering in a COVID-19 environment, we continued to make a difference through volunteerism. Impactful events include:

  • Delivering 112 backpacks filled with essential school supplies for 5th grade students in the Ravenswood School District, which serves under-resourced children and families in East Palo Alto/Menlo Park.
  • Writing more than 100 electronic letters of hope and encouragement to formerly incarcerated individuals who are going through an entrepreneurship training program through DEFY Ventures.
  • Engaging more than 182 people across 15 states and 3 countries in an “Out of the Darkness” Community Walk, which Sequoia sponsored with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, to help with mental health and suicide prevention. We also hosted a “Talk Saves Lives” webinar that enabled us to have mental health conversations and save lives through awareness and action.
  • Volunteering at a virtual youth summit hosted by our non-profit partner, Bring Change to Mind. Our skilled volunteers led mental health related breakout sessions with youth.
  • Adding fitness for a purpose to our program by hosting a free month-long fitness challenge for our clients and team members. We had over 108 clients and their employees join us, and we made financial grants on behalf of the top 3 winners to their non-profits of choice (5 Pearls Foundation, DESIS Rising Up and Moving, The Mosaic Project, and the Sequoia Coronavirus Response Fund).
  • Filling the food pantry and hosting a virtual fundraising breakfast for Ryan House, our Arizona non-profit partner that provides care for children with life-limiting illness and support for their families.
  • Raising $6,500 to purchase gifts and bring holiday joy to children and elderly living below the poverty line, in partnership with Family Giving Tree, Sheltering Arms, Raphael House and Parikrma Humanity Foundation.

The Impact We Made

We worked with our grant recipients to provide transparency around the impact we made through our donations and shared results with our Sequoia team through our Stories of Impact series. In summary:

  • We provided hundreds of thousands of meals through our financial donations to food banks in the communities where we live and work: San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Tempe, Arizona.
  • We sponsored a kindergarten class of 30 children and their families to provide 360 care (education, nutrition, healthcare, and vocational training) through Parikrma Humanity Foundation, transforming the lives of families living below the poverty line in Bangalore, India.
  • We helped hundreds of NAACP members receive training, education, and advocacy, and supported the NAACP in their mission to end racial discrimination.
  • We improved the circumstances of those most affected by COVID-19 in the Bay Area across 5 pillars: vulnerable individuals and families, non-profits, small businesses, educators, and childcare providers through our donation to Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
  • We helped advance the missions of our long-term Sequoia Impact non-profit partners: CORA, Bring Change to Mind, Wardrobe for Opportunity, Year Up, Ryan House, Project Night Night, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

It’s been a great year so far. We’re excited to continue to expand our program and look forward to working together with you on social impact endeavors.

What’s on your mind for how to best serve our communities in need?

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, medical or tax advice. It provides general information and is not intended to encompass all compliance and legal obligations that may be applicable. This information and any questions as to your specific circumstances should be reviewed with your respective legal counsel and/or tax advisor as we do not provide legal or tax advice. Please note that this information may be subject to change based on legislative changes. © 2020 Sequoia Benefits & Insurance Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Diann Lawson – Diann is the Director of the Sequoia Impact Program, where she works to build a connected community for social good. She engages Sequoia team members, clients and extended network in giving back to the community through volunteerism, fundraising for causes, and learning about social challenges and how to take action. In her free time, Diann enjoys skiing, traveling and spending time with her family..