Many people are in the giving spirit this time of year, and tech companies are no different.
Take Cedar for example. When the healthtech startup began in 2016, it established its own volunteer program called the Cedar Cares initiative. At the time, it partnered with a Colorado rehabilitative care facility that helped uninsured people with catastrophic injuries. Four years later, the company is not only still giving back but it has found other causes to support.
And this year, it did so with a companywide vote.
“We surveyed our employees and found that access to healthcare was something that our Cedarians were very passionate about,” Danielle Zellman, Cedar’s employee experience manager, said. “But we knew that we could make a larger impact, so we asked our employees what other causes they were passionate about. We are so excited to announce that tackling climate change and closing educational gaps will round out our program in 2021.”
In advance of Giving Tuesday, we spoke with Cedar to learn more about their volunteer initiatives.
Cedar is a New York City healthtech company. Its patient payment and engagement platform is meant to ease the patient experience beyond clinical care. From its creation in 2016, the company has always put an emphasis on charitable efforts.
What is your company doing this year to make an impact on Giving Tuesday?
We’re so excited to relaunch our Cedar Cares initiative, originally created at Cedar’s inception, where we partnered with a Colorado rehabilitative care facility that helped uninsured people with catastrophic injuries. However, as we’ve grown and evolved as a company over the past four years, this felt like the right time to realign as a team and decide how we can come together and give back in ways that align with our core values as a company.
Given that Cedar’s mission is to improve the patient experience to help people, we knew that healthcare had to be a part of our program. We surveyed our employees and found that access to healthcare was something that our Cedarians were very passionate about. But we knew that we could make a larger impact, so we asked our employees what other causes they were passionate about. We are so excited to announce that tackling climate change and closing educational gaps will round out our program in 2021.
To kickstart this, we will be setting aside a portion of the company’s holiday party budget for charitable giving. We also created limited-edition Cedar Cares swag that employees and non-Cedar employees can purchase, with all proceeds donated to our fund. Finally, our partnerships team has agreed to donate a designated amount from each new deal signed in 2021.
Why did you decide to give to these particular causes?
Being a responsible corporate citizen has never been more important, and that’s why we are upleveling our Cedar Cares program. We love that the three charity pillars for Cedar Cares were chosen through a companywide vote. We’ve always believed in involving the whole organization in decisions like these, knowing that Cedarians are natural problem-solvers and change-makers, and feel passionately about making a difference outside of their 9-to-5 jobs.
While access to healthcare, climate change and education will be our focus for 2021, we plan to revisit these pillars each year to maximize the impact of Cedar Cares and ensure the program is meeting community needs that are most important to Cedar employees.
How else does your company give back to the local community throughout the year?
We have begun a partnership with River Fund, an organization based in Queens, New York. They offer countless services such as feeding underprivileged families, providing opportunities to mentor and tutor children, and volunteering legal, medical and other expertise.
Some of our engineers have volunteered to lead coding 101 classes for kids of different ages and have donated IT and office equipment for the kids who are now forced to have school at home. We have also worked with iMentor to help high schoolers with their college application process.
Prior to the pandemic, we partnered with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine to donate our leftovers from our daily catered lunches to the Bowery Mission. We volunteered at the Meatloaf Kitchen and handed out meals at several food pantries. We also can’t forget the pizza and bingo party with a spunky group of seniors at their retirement home in Midtown!