Overview and Objectives
Employee engagement is core to the NVIDIA Foundation and is present in all levels of decision-making, from setting high-level objectives to tactical implementation. The Foundation is one of the only employee-led foundations in Silicon Valley. Its board comprises employees of at least three years standing who are selected from across the globe, based on their commitment and ability to serve. Each year, NVIDIA employees worldwide complete a survey about the issues that matter most to them, and with that information board members are able to pursue projects that align with employee priorities.
Employees are the engine that drives the Foundation’s activities. They make the decisions, set the vision and strategy, and provide the energy and commitment to achieve its goals. Employee ownership of the company’s corporate philanthropy efforts amplifies our employees’ desires to make a positive impact in the world. Feedback from NVIDIA’s yearly survey states that 83% of employees are proud of the impact we’re having in the community.
The Foundation’s programs meet the following objectives, which its board members have agreed on:
- Have a transformative impact
- Engage our employees
- Partner with our ecosystem of customers, partners, suppliers and vendors
These programs range from high impact grants directed by our employees to matching programs to global initiatives that tackle enormous problems such as a cure for cancer.
Foundation Programs at a Glance
Compute the Cure
High Impact Grant Program
Employee and Company Giving
- Individual Financial Matching
- Individual Volunteer Matching
- Team Matching
- Field Office Matching
- Volunteer Recognition Program
- Monthly Programs
- Event Planning Tools
- Community Education
- Food, Backpack and Toy Drives
- Tesla™ GPU Donations to High Schools
- GeForce® and Quadro® Donations
- IT Equipment and Facilities Donations
In 2010, employee, in-kind and partner donations doubled the Foundation’s direct donations of $800,086.
The Foundation’s spending remained almost unchanged in 2010, despite the continuing global economic crisis. We experienced a $230,000 decrease in employee donations during the year, due to two factors. First, employees donated less to global disasters in 2010 than they had in previous years. Second, donations at our Santa Clara, Calif., headquarters were lower for our yearly fundraiser. The committee of employees planning fundraising events at headquarters was sensitive to the financial pressure on employees because of the economic downturn and decided to place less emphasis in 2010 on raising money. Increased in-kind donations stem from our offering of an unoccupied building to a local nonprofit that uses it to support low-income children with school supplies and holiday gifts.
Contributions by Type
Compute the Cure
In 2010, the NVIDIA Foundation launched Compute the Cure
, an initiative to identify opportunities where NVIDIA technology and other resources could have a dramatic impact in the battle against cancer. Our goals were to:
- Phase I: Identify one cause related to cancer research that would dramatically benefit from improvement in advanced visualization or computation. Support research institutions with a financial grant and technology
- Phase II: Engage our global employees by providing education around cancer awareness and prevention, as well as support for those dealing with cancer
After interviews with a number of cancer researchers and an analysis of more than 10 potential research directions, the Foundation selected genomics as the focus area for the first phase of our initiative. We selected this area for several reasons: it fits with our goal of tackling cancer at the source; the specialty is growing quickly, and the data-intensive workflows are well-suited for parallel processing, one of our technical strengths.
In 2011, we’ll announce a research partner for our pilot program and aim to identify partners for the second phase. Additionally, we plan to create greater awareness among employees of Compute the Cure and start to engage them in cancer prevention initiatives by partnering with our human resources colleagues.
High Impact Grant Program
In 2010 the Foundation was able to return our funding levels for the High Impact Grant Program
to $200,000 from $150,000 in 2009. The 2010 recipients, which each received $50,000, include:
Breakthrough Silicon Valley - Helped 160 high-potential middle and high school students to be academically prepared for college, and trained 40 talented high school/college students for a career in education. By helping to improve education we believe that Silicon Valley will continue to thrive as a leader in innovation.
Engineers without Borders – Purchased and installed a 4kW solar system and 20kW generator in new urgent care medical facility in Bayonnais, Haiti. The selection of this project reflects our employees desire to improve the environment.
Hrudaya Foundation – Funded 35 surgeries for children with congenital heart conditions. Our employees are passionate about health and helping children so funding Hrudaya was a perfect fit.
Making a Difference Cambodia - Installed UNICEF water pumps, distributed water filters and built compost toilets for the 1,048 residents of Prolit, Cambodia. Improving the sanitary conditions of a village will improve their chances of living a healthy life, with less chance of disease.
Making a Difference created a presentation (above) for our employees on the work they’ve achieved with our $50,000 investment.
Case Study: Disaster Response
Our employees respond quickly to global disasters. In 2009, we implemented a disaster policy in which the Foundation would match the donations that employees make to relief efforts with a donation focused on rebuilding efforts. This allows our collective contribution to provide immediate value, as well as lasting impact.
Following the devastating Haiti earthquake in January 2010, our employees donated more than $100,000, and the Foundation donated $50,000 to fund a rebuilding center in Port-au-Prince. Our donation to Architecture for Humanity enabled them to train several architects to use computer-aided design tools and teach builders to incorporate safety and earthquake prevention features into new buildings. We believe that technology can help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems and the opportunity to help Haiti rebuild through improved access to technology was a motivating factor in making this grant. Architecture for Humanity informed the Foundation that our donation served as a catalyst for other funding opportunities, and they were able to secure a sizable grant from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to further rebuilding work in Haiti.
Employees donated $10,000 to relief efforts for the 2010 Pakistan floods, and the Foundation partnered with Imran Khan Foundation to provide a hydroelectric water system to a village in the Swat valley that had lost its source of electricity during the flooding.
From top to bottom: Students and Principal from a school supported by Awaso Hope Foundation, for which NVIDIAN Timo Allison volunteers; Johnny Costello and friend from Wildlife Rescue Center; Ted Wang (center) with counselors at Royal Family Kids Camps; Steven Leong (2nd from left) serves meals with Tzu Chi Foundation volunteers
We have significantly increased employee volunteerism in our global offices, from five offices participating in 2008 to 18 in 2010. Our global site leaders understand how helping others can have a positive impact on morale and also know that the teamwork involved in volunteering improves working relationships back in the office. Learn more
about employee volunteer programs in 2010.
Volunteer Recognition Program
We launched a new program to recognize the impact employees are having in their own communities. The Volunteer Recognition Program acknowledges NVIDIANs who volunteer 20 hours or more every six months. All recipients receive a recognition award. Additionally, the Foundation recognizes a few employees who have shown extra dedication by awarding a $500 grant to their favorite nonprofit organization. The next phase of the program will launch in July 2011. The four employees whose organizations received a $500 grant for Summer/Fall 2010 are:
In 2010, we launched a new program to match employee volunteer time with cash (this supplements our financial matching program, which matches employees cash donations 1:1 to recognized charities and schools). For every five hours of time that a U.S. employee donates to a nonprofit, we’ll donate $50. In addition, we raised the number of U.S. employees who take advantage of our Individual Matching program from 20 percent to 24 percent, and the average donation per employee increased 16 percent. In 2011, we’ll raise the amount of matching funds from $500 per employee to $750.
Team Matching Program
The Team Matching Program recognizes teams of two or more employees that train and compete in an organized charity sporting event (such as a walkathon or marathon) while raising money from their fellow employees
The Team Matching Program is unique to the NVIDIA Foundation and recognizes teams of two or more employees that train and compete in an organized charity sporting event (such as a walkathon or marathon) while raising money from their fellow employees. We match the funds that employees raise from other NVIDIA employees and provide additional sponsorships for teams larger than 10 members. In 2010, employees and the Foundation donated a total of $63,000 to causes throughout the world, many of them focused on medical research. This amount was lower than in previous years, and we intend to promote this program more heavily in 2011 as it ties in well with our Compute the Cure employee initiative of promoting health and wellness among employees.
GPU Technology Conference
NVIDIA holds an annual conference for GPU developers each year, called the GPU Technology Conference. In 2010, the Foundation leveraged it as an opportunity to announce the Compute the Cure
initiative to our ecosystem. We sponsored an informational booth at the conference site, held a fundraiser that netted $10,000, and connected with 30 cancer researchers who will become great partners for Compute the Cure.
France Office Partnership
NVIDIA France employees (far left and right) with Paralympic champion Robert Citerne and the gaming tournament winner (2nd from right).
Our office in Courbevoie, France, planned a year-long gaming tournament for children with disabilities. NVIDIA partner Acer loaned several of the computers for the tournaments and provided computers as prizes to the winners.
NVBay Charity Auction
For the past eight years, Santa Clara and U.S. employees have run their own eBay-style online charity auction, called NVBay, in which donated goods and services are sold off to the highest bidder. Some $300,000 has been raised this way to enable disadvantaged families to have a better holiday season. This year, our vendors, marketing partners and employees donated fabulous items such as technology, airfare and sports/theatre tickets, which we were able to turn into $46,000 in donations. Donations were divided between Second Harvest Food Bank
and Family Giving Tree