In an effort to integrate social responsibility and impact into our business, Olo joined the Pledge 1% movement and created Olo For Good in March 2021. Since then we’ve committed one percent of Olo’s time, product, and equity to foster sustainable contributions to the communities in which we live, work, and serve.
Olo For Good supports organizations that are aligned with our mission and values, including those focused on:
- Advancing all aspects of racial, ethnic, and gender diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Providing relief for the restaurant industry and its front-line workers
- Ending childhood hunger and increasing access to food
- Protecting natural resources and reducing waste and emissions
As part of that commitment, we intend to donate one percent of Olo shares over 10 years to an independent donor-advised fund sponsor, Tides Foundation, in conjunction with our Olo For Good initiative. So far, a total of $7 million in grants has been donated to the following organizations:
- American Forests
- Appalachian Trail Conservancy
- Black Girls Code
- Clean Air Task Force
- Emma’s Torch
- Feeding America
- Girls Who Code
- Giving Kitchen
- Heart of Dinner
- The LEE Initiative
- Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
- Okra Project
- Partnership with Native Americans
- World Central Kitchen
These nonprofits are focused on diversity, supporting restaurant workers, environmental initiatives, and the fight against hunger. We are committed to working closely with each organization to ensure continued success.
Here are a few examples:
Emma’s Torch is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides paid culinary training to refugees, asylees, and survivors of human trafficking and helps them find meaningful careers in the food industry.
When the pandemic forced Emma’s Torch to halt in-person dining, the organization needed a way to scale its business, including adding pick-up options for guests. And so, in addition to a grant, we donated our time and resources to get them set up with Online Ordering and Dispatch for restaurant delivery, and waived the usage fees.
Since then, Olo has helped Emma’s Torch streamline operations by eliminating manual work, improve order accuracy, and increase its reach throughout New York.
We remain committed to increasing online ordering capabilities for Emma’s Torch, assisting the organization as it expands to new locations, and leveraging each team’s strengths within the culinary industry to build a stronger community.
Giving Kitchen supplies emergency assistance to food service workers through financial aid and a network of low or no-cost community resources.
When a food service worker experiences an injury, illness, housing disaster, or other trauma, they can apply for financial assistance to cover living expenses. Additionally, Giving Kitchen’s Stability Network connects people to resources related to mental health and substance misuse, employment, housing, social services, and more.
Formed out of an overwhelming community response to the terminal cancer diagnosis of Chef Ryan Hidinger, the nonprofit has provided over 6.7 million dollars to food service workers in crisis since 2013.
The pandemic underscored the value of Giving Kitchen, with 2,500 individuals served in 2020 alone, and set its intentions for the future. We’re proud to help the organization in its efforts to increase awareness within the restaurant industry and expand beyond Georgia and Tennessee to serve food service workers in need throughout the United States.
Partnership with Native Americans
Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) provides consistent material aid, educational support, and community-based services to Native Americans living on remote, isolated, and impoverished reservations.
After an Olo employee nominated the nonprofit, PWNA received a grant to support its first-ever ancestral foods distribution to Tribal communities in the Northern Plains and Southwest regions of the U.S. Alongside PWNA’s Native-led, peer-to-peer ancestral foods training that teaches individuals how to prepare traditional Indigenous meals, this distribution will complement the organization’s food sovereignty efforts.
PWNA will also use a small portion of the grant to purchase and distribute portable solar lights from Watts of Love to Tribal communities that lack sufficient electricity and lighting infrastructure to be safe and productive.
We’re grateful to partner with an organization that is working to eliminate food insecurity and increase safety among the Native American population.
How to Get Involved
Individuals or nonprofit organizations that want to get involved with Olo For Good or explore potential partnership opportunities are encouraged to reach out to [email protected].
Stay tuned for the announcement of our next batch of Olo For Good grant recipients in April 2023.
For more information about how Olo supports nonprofits via Olo For Good, and our ESG work, visit www.olo.com/esg.
Main photo credit: Emma's Torch