Life at Fluent

10 Years of Giving & What it Means to Our Communities

Fluent Philanthropy

This month, we celebrate 10 years of giving back. Philanthropy has always been a huge part of Fluent’s mission to leave this world a place better than we found it. From our annual service day initiative to seasonal fundraisers, our hunger to do good is what drives our leadership team and colleague base to care for our communities and support those in need.

In honor of Fluent’s 10th anniversary, we’ve directed $10K to the top charities we’ve worked with over the past decade. As part of a special anniversary surprise in the mail, each team member received a donation card and the opportunity to write in the charity of their choice. Fluent has donated $50 on behalf of each employee to the charities and organizations we’ve partnered with in pursuit of driving equity and positive change.

Check out the organizations we support below, and learn more about the lasting impact of Fluent’s charitable contributions and community service initiatives over the past 10 years…and counting!

Sheltering Arms

Q&A with John Valentine, Marketing Manager

Sheltering Arms Logo

What is your organization’s mission? 

At Sheltering Arms, our goal is to foster a society where every child and family we serve will have the opportunity to succeed and thrive. We address the effects of social inequity in the most challenged communities in New York City. Our innovative programs and compassionate services measurably enhance the education, well-being, and development of children, their families, and communities. We have maintained an unwavering commitment to our mission for nearly 200 years.

Volunteering in the classroom

What role has Fluent played in helping your organization work toward its mission? 

Fluent has been a generous corporate partner of Sheltering Arms for several years. Whether making financial contributions from the company and its staff, hosting golf fundraisers with Sheltering Arms as the honoree, or volunteering many hours with the children and families in our programs, Fluent has shown that it is committed to building brighter futures for New York City’s children and families. It is clear that Fluent’s leadership and staff believe in the positive changes they are making possible.

What are some of the lasting impacts of Fluent’s contributions to your organization? 

One of the most important lasting impacts Fluent has made to Sheltering Arms is the continued support of the agency’s mission. Having the support of a well-respected company like Fluent calls attention to the work of Sheltering Arms and the communities we serve. This helps to inspire others to educate themselves on the challenges and inequities our families face and to get involved in whatever capacity they are able. We are grateful for Fluent’s partnership over the years and look forward to everything we will achieve together moving forward.

Services for the UnderServed

Q&A with Minjung Park, Volunteer & Community Relations Manager

S:US Logo

What is your organization’s mission? 

Services for the UnderServed (S:US) drives scalable solutions to transform the lives of people with disabilities, people in poverty, and people facing homelessness: solutions that contribute to righting societal imbalances.  

Building an urban garden

What role has Fluent played in helping your organization work toward its mission? 

Fluent has supported our work in a variety of ways over the years. Their staff has volunteered to paint one of our shelters, helping us to provide a clean and safe place for homeless men. They have also helped build new urban farms at a couple of our supportive housing residences, allowing us to provide opportunities for our residents to grow their own produce. For the winter holidays, Fluent has “adopted” 50-75 children and adults with an intellectual/developmental disability, providing much joy by fulfilling their holiday gift wishes. Fluent has also sponsored many of our Young Leaders Council (YLC) fundraising events and made S:US the recipient of Fluent’s golf event. 

What are some of the lasting impacts of Fluent’s contributions to your organization? 

Fluent support allows S:US to enhance the services that we provide — whether it’s by making capital improvements (painting, building new garden beds, etc.), spreading holiday joy, or funding other initiatives. 

The Police Athletic League

Q&A with Marcel Braithwaite, Director of Community Engagement

Police Athletic League Logo

What is your organization’s mission?  

The Police Athletic League (PAL), together with NYPD and the law enforcement community, supports and inspires New York City youth to realize their full individual potential as productive members of society. 

What role has Fluent played in helping your organization work toward its mission? 

Fluent has helped the Police Athletic League raise funds to support our Education and Technology programs. This type of support helps the Police Athletic League provide technical instruction and resources to PAL youth. For example, with Fluent’s support we were able upgrade the computer lab at the PAL Armory Center in Washington Heights. 

Playing games and activities with students

What are some of the lasting impacts of Fluent’s contributions to your organization? 

Fluent’s contributions will have a lasting impact on PAL youth. The upgrades to our technology curriculum and hardware are critical components of the programming that help us develop better relationships between young people and the police in New York City. 

Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Q&A with Nichole Guerra, Director of Development & Communications

What is your organization’s mission?  

Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen Logo

The mission of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen (HASK) is to feed the hungry, comfort the afflicted, seek justice for people experiencing homelessness, and provide hope and opportunity to those in need. HASK is one of five major emergency food programs in the city and is the largest soup kitchen in the state. Through its daily meal service, the soup kitchen provides over 1,000 prepared, hot meals each weekday to residents in need and through its pantry program, Holy Apostles provides groceries for nearly 20,000 meals each week. Founded in 1982, the program offers services that nourish the body as well as the soul. In addition to meals, guests have access to social services and workshops that help them navigate toward improved health, housing, and jobs.  

What role has Fluent played in helping your organization work toward its mission? 

For the past three years, Fluent and Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen have stood side-by-side in the quest for food justice in New York City. Through the soup kitchen, Fluent has provided nourishing meals to thousands of New Yorkers who struggle with hunger and hardship. 

The partnership started in 2017, when Fluent sponsored Farm to Tray, the soup kitchen’s annual celebration of food and community. Every year, Farm to Tray raises vital funds that strengthen Holy Apostles’ ability to improve the lives of fellow New Yorkers through meal outreach and social service programs. Since then, Fluent has consistently demonstrated its alliance with the local community by offering critical funding for general operating support and over 300 hours of volunteerism across dozens of Fluent employees.  

Serving meals

What are some of the lasting impacts of Fluent’s contributions to your organization? 

Fluent has consistently supported the soup kitchen by providing flexible, unrestricted resources and volunteers, enabling the soup kitchen to be innovative and responsive to pressing community needs. Examples include: 

  • In 2017, HASK launched its Brown Bag Lunch Program, which distributes portable mid-day meals to individuals experiencing homelessness who sleep in or around Penn Station, seniors on fixed budgets, students at P.S. 33 who have been identified as living in emergency shelters, and to the New Sanctuary Coalition.
  • In 2018, HASK launched its Backpack Pantry Program, which provides healthy, non-perishable food for weekend meals when local schools and other soup kitchens are closed.

These programs have provided a critical food safety net during the economic fallout of COVID-19 and the soup kitchen would not have been able to meet the drastic increase in need without missing a single day of service without loyal Good Corporate Citizen partners like Fluent. 

World Bicycle Relief

Q&A with Claire Geiger, Director of Partnerships  

World Bicycle Relief Logo

What is your organization’s mission?  

World Bicycle Relief (WBR) builds and distributes specially-designed, locally-assembled bicycles to improve access to education, healthcare, and environmentally sustainable economic opportunities in developing regions of the world where distance is a challenge. Since 2006, WBR has distributed 500,000 bicycles to students, health service providers, farmers, and workers in 19 countries, with impressive results. Moreover, they invest in and partner with communities by training community-based bicycle mechanics to ensure ready access to maintenance service and their sustainable supply chain of spare parts. 

Kilimanjaro to Ngorongo bike challenge

What role has Fluent played in helping your organization work toward its mission?  

Fluent helped raise both funds and awareness about World Bicycle Relief’s work through their team’s 7-day Kilimanjaro to Ngorongo bike challenge. The team at Fluent used this opportunity to add purpose to their own personal challenge. By raising funds, their support helped provide bicycles to provide better access to students, healthcare workers, and entrepreneurs that face the barrier of distance daily.   

What are some of the lasting impacts of Fluent’s contributions to your organization?  

A bicycle has a lasting impact on the recipient. We see that students’ attendance and performance increases, healthcare workers can reach more patients, and entrepreneurs are able to get more goods to markets, increasing their incomes, and better serving their communities. A bicycle provides a brighter future for individuals fighting for their livelihoods. Thank you, Fluent, for providing joy, hope, and opportunity to so many. 

Junior Achievement

Q&A with Renee Columbo, VP of Resource Development

Junior Achievement Logo

What is your organization’s mission? 

Junior Achievement (JA) of New York is in the business of inspiring tomorrows. One of the oldest and largest K-12 youth empowerment organizations in Greater New York, JA’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.   

What role has Fluent played in helping your organization work toward its mission? 

Fluent has supported JA programs through a variety of volunteer engagements and special event sponsorships. As a program partner, Fluent has provided young people with vital exposure and access to the world of digital marketing, a rapidly growing sector in New York’s economy.  

Supporting JA Programs

What are some of the lasting impacts of Fluent’s contributions to your organization? 

In the 2018-19 school year, nine Fluent volunteers delivered a variety of programs to benefit nearly 300 students in New York City. Fluent employees coached a team of high school students at the HS for Dual Languages and Asian Studies as they prepared to participate in our Business Plan Competition and taught two Business Education Days for students at the HS of Applied Communications. Fluent employees also taught first and second graders in the JA Ourselves and JA Our Families curriculum, in classrooms at PS 273 and PS 84 Steinway in NYC. Fluent has also contributed as a donor, sponsoring ticket purchases for the JA Leadership Awards gala as well as golf foursomes at the JA Golf Classic at Westchester Country Club. We are grateful for this partnership and look forward to working together in the future! 

Cycle for Survival

Cycle for Survival Logo

Cycle for Survival’s Mission

Cycle for Survival accelerates progress in rare cancer research, bringing new and better treatment options to people around the world. 100% of every dollar supports pioneering research and lifesaving clinical trials led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), the world’s oldest and largest private institution dedicated to revolutionizing our understanding and treatment of cancer.

Q&A with Nick Pipia, Sales Director at Fluent

How did you help raise funds for Cycle for Survival? 

I was able to raise funds for Cycle for survival by tapping into my personal social media networks and bring together my worlds of work and friends/family. Fluent made the process extremely efficient as they constantly shared content that I could easily add to my social media pages and provide quick access for my network to come out and support. 

What did the experience of participating in Cycle for Survival mean to you? 

The experience of participating in Cycle for Survival was extremely meaningful; it was a great opportunity to learn what this event meant to my fellow colleagues and share personal insights into what it meant for me as well. It was also a nice opportunity to connect with a smaller group from the office outside of a typical work event. The energy when participating in Cycle for Survival is so motivating and it was a privilege to join forces with so many folks in fighting for such a great cause. 

The team at Cycle for Survival

Q&A with Evyn Chaffin, Senior Manager, People Team at Fluent

How did you help raise funds for Cycle for Survival? 

Cycle for Survival is a foundation that’s been close to our hearts for several years. This year we came up with a few creative ideas for how to raise funds for this important cause.  We organized a raffle in which executive team members would donate experiences or other larger prizes. Employees could buy raffle tickets and drop them in the jars for each executive. We all came together as a team for the drawing! It was great to see the excitement on everyone’s faces as they won prizes. We also hosted a “Cocktails for a Cure” happy hour during which people could purchase premade cocktails to raise money! We had a bar cart that we walked around the office, and people could choose which cocktail they wanted. This was a great way to raise awareness and funds at the same time. 

What did the experience of participating in Cycle for Survival mean to you? 

Attending any Cycle for Survival event is incredibly powerful. When you’re in the Equinox studio biking with hundreds of other people, you can really feel the energy flowing through that room. Throughout the event, different speakers will come on stage to speak about their personal stories, which is very moving. I appreciate those moments in particular because they really hit home the mission of Cycle for Survival. In addition, the fact that the organization donates 100% of proceeds to fight rare cancers makes it a very worthy cause to support.