Equinix commits $50m to global foundation

The Equinix Foundation is an employee-driven charitable organisation working to advance digital inclusion through philanthropic grant-making and strategic partnerships.

California-based digital infrastructure company Equinix has launched a global foundation focused on the advancement of digital inclusion—from access to technology and connectivity to the skills needed to thrive in today’s digitally driven world.

The Equinix Foundation, a private 501(c)(3), will provide funding to organisations working to ensure equitable and inclusive access to technology, connectivity and education. It will also assess opportunities in environmental sustainability, an area of strategic importance to the company.

Equinix is making an initial financial commitment of $50m in funding, through the contribution of Equinix shares for the Equinix Foundation which will allow it to be a self-sustaining foundation. In alignment with guidelines governing private foundations, the Equinix Foundation Board of Directors will determine the foundation’s annual giving budget each year, which is expected to cover grantmaking, employee donation matching, and crisis response donations. The foundation also intends to make impact investments with interest income earned contributing to foundation assets while simultaneously supporting social programmes.

Equinix employees will play a key role in shaping the Equinix Foundation, helping to identify and support community-driven nonprofits and social enterprises dedicated to closing the digital divide locally and globally. Equinix is currently partnering with dozens of nonprofit organisations working to bridge the digital divide, including BigHope, CLAP-TECH, and World Pulse.

Through the foundation, the company can now be more strategic in its philanthropic investments, driven by its employees’ passions and scaling the positive impact it is making in communities around the world.

Charles Meyers, President and Chief Executive Officer, Equinix, said: “At Equinix, our purpose is to be the platform where the world comes together, enabling the innovations that enrich our work, life and planet. The Equinix Foundation is an important vehicle to deliver on our ‘In Service To’ commitment—to one another, our customers, our investors and the communities in which we operate. We are excited that through the Foundation, we’ll also advance our future-first commitment to build a better, more inclusive, more sustainable world, while harnessing and amplifying the passion of our people to help close the digital divide in our communities and beyond.”

Jensine Larsen, CEO and founder of World Pulse, added: “World Pulse provides three core services: a safe, supportive community for women through blogging and collaboration, greater digital skills through digital empowerment training, and we raise the volume on women’s voices by disseminating their content more broadly worldwide. With Equinix’s support over the past seven years, we have developed classes that provide women worldwide with technology stipends and training. This has had a huge ripple effect for the global community since one digitally-trained woman can impact thousands of lives. In addition, Equinix employee volunteers play active roles as ‘listeners,’ supporting the women in the World Pulse network. This gives Equinix employees a real opportunity to learn first-hand from women all over the world and provide support to the community. Just by posting a single comment from one woman can fundamentally change her life and set her on a course of believing in herself.”

Andrew Ho, Director of CLAP-TECH Pathway, stated: “A tripartite partnership between secondary schools, industry partners and the Hong Kong Baptist University, The CLAP-TECH Pathway (“CLAP-TECH”)—an initiative funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust—equips students with valuable skills, competencies and work ethics via non-traditional education pathways, allowing them to take on ‘new collar’ roles that are increasingly popular across industries. We rely on partners like Equinix to offer meaningful workplace learning opportunities, support the development of industry-recognized qualifications, and advise on skills mapping, enabling educators to embed industry-recognized skills into students’ learning journey.”

Oren O’Neal, engineer, retired NFL player, and founder of BigHope, commented: “We’re working towards creating a more inclusive opportunity set for young people in communities that are traditionally underserved. The robotics and engineering projects that we’re doing in the classroom with students helps to enrich all the other curriculum that they need to be successful people in life. If we can educate and excite our youth at an early age and encourage them to pursue careers in technology, then they can really start to rebuild and revitalize the communities where they live.”