Riipen Life - Our Approach to Community Giving
Riipen has experienced incredible growth over the last few years, and that has presented us with the opportunity to reimagine what we wanted community giving at Riipen to look like. Up until 2021 we had made several charitable donations to causes we cared about, but we knew we could contribute more meaningfully with a structured program and team in place.
Creating Riipen Gives
After gathering team members passionate about this work and choosing Riipen Gives as our name, we started by articulating the program’s purpose, with Riipen’s values and mission as our starting point.
Community has always been one of our core values. Within Riipen, we strive to build meaningful and strong team connections through frequent cross-functional collaboration, community building, and recognition. Externally, through our platform, we aspire to build strong ecosystems of students, educators, and employers. We also knew that there were opportunities to expand our community and wanted Riipen Gives to help us connect with people and organizations off our platform whose work aligns with Riipen’s mission to end underemployment. This resulted in our belief statement.
From there, we determined the three main pillars of Riipen Gives. When approaching our work and making decisions, we keep alignment, equality, and support in mind.
- We strive to partner with organizations that champion education, empower emerging talent, and align with our values.
- We select organizations mindfully by considering and partnering with a diverse number of organizations throughout the year.
- We provide financial support to these organizations by committing $12,000 annually to the program. We hope to increase this support as Riipen grows.
Our partners so far
We have had many exciting partnerships so far with lots of opportunities for the team to get involved as well. We kicked the program off by partnering with Indspire for a virtual walkathon. Indspire is a national Indigenous registered charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. We pledged $6 to Indspire for every 10,000 steps walked during the month-long event and the team walked a total of 4,851,005 steps!
In honour of Black History month this year, we supported Black Boys Code, an awesome organization that we have been working with on the Riipen platform. Black Boys Code works to improve the future of Black youth through education in computer science and technology. As part of the initiative, we welcomed Jason Matthews - Toronto Chapter Leader, for a Lunch & Learn with the team. Jason shared more about their founding story, his journey in tech, and the impact that their organization is making.
Most recently, in light of the current events in Ukraine, we supported the Institute of International Education’s Emergency Response in Ukraine and the Student Refugee Program. IIE-Scholar Rescue Fund is the only global program that arranges, funds, and supports fellowships for threatened and displaced scholars at partnering higher education institutions worldwide. The Student Refugee Program supports over 150 refugee students per year through active partnerships with over 100 Canadian universities, colleges, and CEGEP campuses.
The future of Riipen Gives
Riipen Gives celebrates its 1st anniversary this month and we are so proud of how the whole Riipen team has come together to get involved and champion the initiatives so far. The Riipen Gives team has learned a lot in this first year and is looking forward to using those learnings to make the program the best that it can be in the years to come. There is a huge amount of exciting and impactful work happening in the education and emerging talent space, and we are thrilled to continue to build meaningful connections with organizations supporting learners.