Building equity in Atlanta
Atlanta is one of the least equitable cities in the United States. Every day, powerful systemic forces make it harder and harder for many of our neighbors to succeed or even keep up. As a business, MailChimp’s purpose is to give underdogs the tools to succeed. As a neighbor, that’s our instinct, too.
MailChimp already has a strong corporate citizenship program. We wanted to build on it by developing individual leaders within our company and empowering them to act as leaders in our community. So we partnered with Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to take our intentional
first step, and MailChimp Community College was born.
Our MailChimp cohort
Dozens of employees applied to be part of MailChimp Community College’s first cohort. We selected 12 who represented different teams, leadership levels, and diverse personal backgrounds.
Director of Testing
Customer Support Technician, Overnight
Community Involvement Coordinator
Business Development Advisor
Customer Support Educator
Project Manager, Operations
Assistant Director of Tech Support
Legal Compliance Manager
The cohort gathered 8 times to meet with community leaders deeply involved in Atlanta’s history and challenges. Our faculty included founders and executive directors of nonprofits large and small, artists and organizers, philanthropists and policy specialists. An independent curator and facilitator, selected by Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, led each session with the help of staff from each of our partner organizations.
Education in action
We wanted to give MailChimp Community College participants a broad survey of their community, the challenges it faces, and the work being done within it. Four core themes ran through these sessions: Atlanta’s equity gap, philanthropy, corporate citizenship, and inspiring positive change.
The cohort was given the opportunity to put their new knowledge to work through a capstone grantmaking project. We solicited, reviewed, and debated grant proposals and ultimately awarded $200,000 to effective, excellent organizations addressing equity in Atlanta.
MailChimp Community College grants
We invited 13 of the local organizations we worked with to apply for the inaugural MailChimp Community College Grants. Each organization earned $2,500 for completing the application. Additionally, each MailChimp Community College participant was able to direct $2,500 to the applicant of their choice. As a cohort, we proudly awarded grants to 3 organizations.