Handspring today announced the formation of the Handspring Foundation, a fund established to support organizations and programs dedicated to creating positive change in their communities.
Created primarily by a donation of Handspring stock, the fund enables Handspring to share its success by awarding cash grants to charitable organizations. Guidelines and grant applications are available at Handspring's Website.
The Handspring Foundation was funded in June 2000 with 45,000 shares of pre-IPO Handspring stock (valued at roughly $500,000 by todays stock price). The fund is administered as an Advised Corporate Foundation of the Peninsula Community Foundation.
The Handspring Foundation is governed by the Employee Advisory Group, a committee of Handspring employees. The committee is responsible for evaluating requests and making formal grant recommendations in accordance with the foundation's charter, which is to reflect the values, orientation and commitment of Handspring to be exemplary corporate citizens within the global community and to serve as a catalyst for change through charitable contributions and employee volunteerism.
"Handspring has always been about helping people manage and balance their lives with valuable products, and we take great satisfaction in our accomplishments over the last two and a half years," said Donna Dubinsky, CEO, president and founder of Handspring. "The Handspring Foundation was designed to affect change on other levels by giving something back to the community. As we continue our growth as a company, it is important to find ways for Handspring to support those organizations that share our commitment to bringing a positive and lasting change to their communities and to the world."
Grants will be reviewed on a quarterly basis by the committee, and charitable organizations selected by the committee will receive cash grants of between $1,000 - $25,000. The deadline for the first round of grants is May 1, 2001. Initially, the Foundation will make cash grants to nonprofit organizations with programs dedicated to pre-K through 12 education or issues directly related to children or youth at risk, areas selected by Handspring employees to address.
Gisela Bushey joined Handspring in December 2000 to run the Handspring Foundation and lead the foundation's Employee Advisory Group. She brings 22 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, focusing on organizational management, fund development, grant making, and community and corporate affairs issues. She has served as director of the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County, director of development at Catholic Charities, and spent ten years as a fund development and management consultant.
In addition to the Employee Advisory Group, the Handspring Foundation is governed by a six-member board of directors. Included on the board is Dr. Harry J. Saal, the founding CEO of Smart Valley, Inc., a nonprofit organization chartered to create a regional electronic community based on an advanced information infrastructure to benefit the areas of education, health care, local government, business and the home. He holds the position of president at Cultural Initiatives Silicon Valley and serves on the boards of numerous other nonprofit organizations.
"Handspring has made a laudable commitment to the community with its generous stock donation and its employees' dedication to charitable giving," said Sterling K. Speirn, president of the Peninsula Community Foundation. "We are pleased to be working with Handspring to implement this commitment by providing a strategic grant making framework to fund nonprofit organizations, beginning with those that seek to improve education and opportunities for children and at-risk youth."
The Handspring Foundation has also established an employee product donation program that allocates Handspring Visors for distribution to qualified nonprofit organizations with established Handspring employee involvement.