Q4 2015 charity logos

One of the best things about working at Gliffy is that we get to give back in a way that’s really meaningful to individual employees. Every quarter, each of us gets a chance to nominate a charity of our choice and we donate 5% of our profits. On top of that, we’ve recently joined Atlassian in their Pledge 1% program where we donate 1% of our time, 1% of our equity and 1% of our product.

In San Francisco we are surrounded by extreme wealth rubbing shoulders with extreme poverty every day. Being able to give back makes us feel closer to our community by putting the focus on things that really matter. It also serves as a reminder of what everyone at Gliffy ultimately strives to achieve with our software: being able to help solve everyday problems so people can focus on being their best selves. So without further ado, allow us to shine the spotlight on the real stars—organizations that are truly making the world a better place:


Playworks believes in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid.

Founder Jill Vialet started Playworks (then Sports4Kids) in 1996 after hearing an earful from an Oakland principal, who lamented that recess “had become the most chaotic period of the school day, with kids getting hurt, getting into trouble, and getting left out.” As a response to this statement, which has become all too true, Playworks teaches kids to bring out the best in themselves and each other on the playground by teaching the value of fair play, inclusion, and respect.

Give Directly

Give Directly sends money to the extreme poor.

The idea behind Give Directly is both simple and revolutionary. The organization sets out to first locate, then verify, and finally electronically transfer money (roughly $1000, or “about one year’s budget for a typical household”) to the extreme poor in Kenya and Uganda. The fourth part of the program—verifying that funds were received by the person they were allocated to with no problems, comes after. Give Directly uses metrics to rigorously monitor results and adjusts their tactics as necessary.

Brothers on the Rise

Brothers on the Rise envisions a world free from male violence in which boys and men contribute to a fair and peaceful planet.

Brothers on the Rise strives to answer the question: “instead of towards incarceration, how can we as a community support boys of color along a path to school success and healthy life outcomes?”

Programs include:

  • Brothers Helping Brothers, a counseling program focused on male youth experiencing social-emotional and behavioral issues, including those affected by violence;
  • Brothers, UNITE!, a year round literacy, life skills and leadership boys program delivered during out of school hours;
  • Trail Brothers, an environmental education initiative that connects male youth of color to nature through hiking, camping and other forms of outdoor exploration;
  • Lift a Brother Up, a career readiness initiative providing young men job training, paid internship and college preparation focused on health and human services professions;
  • Community Capacity Building and Systems Change, delivered through training, coaching, curriculum, consultation, convening, research and writing, all of which empower schools, nonprofits and public agencies to better serve boys and young men of color.

Lava Mae

Lava Mae provides mobile hygiene for the homeless.

Lava Mae repurposes retired transportation buses and transforms them into mobile wash stations for the homeless. Being mobile, they are able to drive to where they are needed most instead of expecting people to come to them.

It all started when founder Doniece Sandoval heard a homeless woman “crying that she would never be clean.” In that moment, her desire to help the homeless collided with her obsession with food trucks and the idea for Lava Mae was born. While showering may initially not seem as vital to survival as having food and shelter,  in reality being freshly washed makes an enormous difference to a person's sense of personal dignity and well-being. After all, everyone deserves to be clean. Access to showers and toilets shouldn’t be a luxury.

Give Me Shelter cat rescue

Give Me Shelter has worked tirelessly within the SF community to help stop the overpopulation of abandoned and unwanted adult and senior cats.

As a small group of dedicated volunteers, Give Me Shelter focuses on adult and senior cats because the odds are stacked against them. Here in San Francisco, most adult cats run a high risk of being euthanized, whether because of their age or medical conditions which are often easy to treat. Give Me Shelter saves as many feline lives as they can by “providing behavioral and medical intervention, unconditional love and a safe haven while we seek new forever homes for our feline friends.”

TelHi Neighborhood Center

TEL HI’s mission is to enhance the lives of the people in the diverse Telegraph Hill community.

The organization focuses on meeting diverse needs by:

  • Promoting stability for families;
  • Building skills and self-worth that allow toddlers, youth, and adults to reach for their dreams and succeed; and
  • Supporting seniors in remaining vital and independent.

They achieve this by providing “a combination of free and low-cost programs, such as toddler care, preschool, after school activities, summer camp, personal development classes, senior programs, community celebrations, and the list goes on. By focusing on helping people, we make our community stronger.”