Cisco and the Cisco Foundation discover the best ideas to solve social problems, and we help make them a reality by providing funding, technology donations, and expertise.
Working through nonprofit partners, we help create technology-based solutions for economic empowerment, education, critical human needs, and disaster relief, improving lives around the globe.
We identify partners with innovative, technology-based programs that improve student performance and engagement, particularly in STEM studies and among underserved communities. Learn more.
114th Partnership helps young people navigate education and career pathways by converting real workplace challenges into Spark 101 Interactive STEM Videos and 114th Professional Challenges, each designed to increase students’ equitable access to and engagement in workforce skills that can lead to high-growth careers.
An initiative of the SciTech Institute, Chief Science Officers (CSO) program amplifies student voices by bringing their peers and community leaders together to ignite new opportunities in STEM and innovation. Cisco’s support is helping to provide resources for platform measurement and evaluation improvements.
Code.org is dedicated to expanding access to computer science education in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. With Cisco's support, Code.org is working to expand its reach globally, with a goal of benefiting more than 25 million new students within the next 5 years.
CommonLit delivers open-source, flexible, and research-based instructional materials created by teachers, for teachers, to support literacy development for students. Cisco's investment is enabling millions of teachers and students to better synthesize, analyze, and evaluate literature by digitally annotating and highlighting text.
FIRST creates teams of students that research real-world problems. Cisco supported the FIRST LEGO League with a focus on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the ranks of its volunteers and student participants. The success of the pilot led to subsequent support for replication throughout the Americas and Europe.
Gooru encourages teachers and students to interact with each other while learning. Cisco supported development of a free search engine for easy access to teacher-created lesson plans, content, and assessments, which is now reaching 6 million students globally each year.
The Institute works to inspire students with a love of math. Cisco cash and product grants have supported the conversion of math instructional software called ST Math to an online format, extending its reach from 12,000 elementary students to nearly 1.3 million.
My Options, now an initiative of ACT.org, is the nation’s largest college and career planning program. Cisco support has helped develop tools to connect STEM organizations with real-time, actionable data and intelligence to identify students who are interested in STEM career pathways.
Cisco support in the form of cash and product donations is helping New Leaders to strengthen their remote access infrastructure, thereby enabling the launch of new programs to serve more educators and build a more diverse school leader pipeline nationwide.
New Teacher Center seeks to reduce educational inequities for systemically underserved students by accelerating educator effectiveness. Cisco cash and product investments have supported the development of New Teacher Center’s high-tech solutions that are serving over 20K educators across 22 states reaching over 1.8M students annually.
An initiative of Cylab Institute, picoCTF is a free computer security game targeted at middle and high school students, created by security experts at Carnegie Mellon University. Cisco support has helped PicoCTF transition into a teacher-focused education program by building new classroom-friendly portal features expand their resources for teacher professional development.
Cisco has supported the development of Reynolds Center’s digital 2D/3D fabrication curriculum, FAB@School, which has resulted in increased math performance and interest in STEM in elementary and middle school students.
Roadtrip Nation helps students connect their interests to potential careers with a reach of 21M annually. With Cisco support, Roadtrip Nation has developed tools and curriculum that have been proven to increase students’ academic performance and confidence in their ability to succeed. Cisco’s most recent investment supported an initiative called “Small Town Tech” that specifically highlighted technology careers in the Yuma, AZ, and Silicon Valley areas.
Cisco has supported the efforts of Science Buddies to provide a dynamic, engaging stream of STEM-related content to students. To date, the organization’s educational resources have reached over 18 million people in 147 countries, focusing on female and other underserved populations. Four out of five educators felt more empowered to teach STEM topics that are outside of their areas of expertise after accessing Science Buddies’ resources.
Cisco has provided early-stage support for TalkingPoints’ multilingual family engagement platform. This tool enables educators to communicate with parents in their home languages – and to build relationships that help students from diverse and underserved communities improve their attendance and performance through increased parental involvement. TalkingPoints has tripled their reach from 500,000 to 1.5 million since school closures in March of 2020.
Technovation’s mission is to empower the world’s underrepresented young people, especially girls, to become innovators and leaders in engineering and technology. Cisco supports efforts to scale their new “challenge” content globally, increasing student interest in STEM through problem solving, parental involvement, and mentorship.
World Learning works globally to enhance the capacity and commitment of individuals, institutions, and communities to create a more peaceful and just world through education, sustainable development, and exchange. Cisco’s support has enabled World Learning to develop and test a scalable STEM Center model that helps teachers worldwide adopt best practices in experiential STEM education while improving the skills of thousands of students.
World Possible connects offline learners with an educational server called RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning) Cisco is helping to enable the building of a "DATA Post" application which will collect data from RACHEL devices, store it on android an Android application, and deliver it to the internet when connectivity is present for monitoring and evaluation.
Youth and Educators Succeeding (formerly known as Generation YES) helps to solve community challenges by preparing youth to lead technology transformation efforts. Cisco supported an initiative in Yuma, AZ, that helped one school district save an estimated US$50,000 over a 6-month period.
Cisco supports technology-based programs that connect underserved people to relevant skills, meaningful employment, entrepreneurial opportunities, financial products and services, and other resources they need to thrive in the digital economy. Learn more.
AnnieCannons is transforming survivors of human trafficking into technology professionals. Beginning with the premise that economic opportunity is the key to breaking the cycle of exploitation, the organization trains students to build in-demand technology skills by providing quality software services to real-world clients.Cisco is providing support to help their overall organizational growth, and to improve the delivery and effectiveness of their programs. We have also provided donations of Cisco technology to improve the efficiency of their operations.
Astia is transforming the way businesses are funded in the here and now -- providing capital, connections, and guidance that fuel the growth of best-in-class female high-growth entrepreneurs. Cisco is supporting Astia Connect, leveraging technology to enable Astia advisors, entrepreneurs, and investors to develop deeper connections while helping Astia to improve the scale, efficiency, and impact of their work.
Digital Divide Data provides education and employment opportunities to young people in emerging economies, as well as veterans and military spouses in the United States. Cisco support has helped DDD replicate its innovative model across Asia, Africa, and the United States.
The Digital NEST connects youth to a skill-building community that transforms them into professionals who can create successful careers, innovative solutions, and prosperous communities. Cisco is providing support to extend and enhance their NEST Flight program and overall curricula.
Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) is accelerating economic and social impact through entrepreneurship in mid-sized cities in the United States. It supports entrepreneurial growth via an innovative small business/nonprofit accelerator. Cisco is supporting EforAll to digitize its internal operations, entrepreneur outreach and support, and impact evaluation.
Cisco has invested in Labor Link, a mobile technology platform that increases transparency and gives workers a voice in global supply chains. Workers can anonymously report working conditions and receive information on work-related issues, training, and financial literacy.
Cisco supports the Poverty Probability Index (PPI), a measurement tool for organizations and businesses with a mission to serve the poor. It measures poverty outreach, improves social performance, and tracks changes in poverty levels over time.
Cisco has supported multiple Kiva initiatives to help more people access loans for agriculture, water and sanitation, clean energy, higher education, health, and information and communication technology, including implementing their model in the United States.
Laboratoria empowers young women from low-income backgrounds in Latin America by giving them access to education and work in the digital sector. Cisco is providing support to e-enable their assessment, learning, and evaluation platform.
With Cisco’s support, Living Goods has developed and implemented a mobile technology platform to increase the scale, efficiency, and effectiveness of its micro-entrepreneur network and health outcomes for women and children in Uganda and Kenya.
NESsT develops sustainable social enterprises that solve critical social problems in emerging market economies. Cisco is supporting NESst in developing its online capacity-building tools to support social enterprises.
TaroWorks is a social enterprise that sells advanced mobile platform data. Cisco supports its mission to improve product and service delivery to the poor by bringing real-time data to any organization, anywhere.
Cisco makes strategic investments in organizations that improve the speed and efficiency of meeting critical human needs, such as food, potable water, shelter, and disaster relief. Learn more.
Cisco partners with the American Red Cross to respond to disasters through cash grants, employee giving campaigns, and volunteers who offer relief services to people affected by natural disasters.
Cisco has supported the development of AtmaGo, a peer-to-peer communication platform and community engagement tool used for disaster preparation and recovery operations. AtmaGo has reached over 500,000 users in Indonesia.
Cisco has supported the Centre’s development and distribution of knowledge and training products and services for those implementing water and sanitation programs in underdeveloped communities.
The 100,000 Homes Campaign found safe places to live for vulnerable, chronically homeless people across the country with Cisco’s support.
Silicon Valley is home to some of the nation’s most prosperous communities, yet it suffers from the third highest rate of chronic homelessness in the United States. Destination: Home is working to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring in Santa Clara County. In 2018, Cisco announced a five-year, $50 million commitment to help accelerate development of new housing, use technology to improve coordination of existing resources, and offer support to prevent homelessness for individuals and families at risk.
Cisco has supported Digital Green's Loop program, which leverages mobile technology to improve smallholder farmers' access to markets—digitizing the aggregation, transport, and payment process and helping farmers realize the highest possible income from their sales.
This global organization works to eliminate poverty and homelessness with affordable housing. Cisco provides cash grants and matches employee volunteer time with cash contributions.
The Housing Trust makes loans and grants to increase the supply of affordable housing. Cisco has supported its lending programs to enable the construction of permanently affordable rental properties for low income residents.
KoboToolbox is a free and open-source data collection, management, and sharing platform for humanitarian aid organizations. Cisco supported the re-launch of the ToolBox in 2014 and has since supported the development of additional features.
myAgro’s mission is to move smallholder farmers out of poverty. Their flagship product, Mobile Layaway, helps farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa save to buy seeds, fertilizer, and training using their mobile phones. Cisco has supported investments in myAgro’s platform to enable greater scale throughout Africa.
Cisco supported the research and development for a PSU-owned initiative, SweetSense, which makes low-cost remote sensors for the water sector that can improve the reliability and sustainability of water service delivery. The sensors alert local maintenance workers via SMS when a water point breaks down, reducing response time and downtime of water points.
Replate's technology platform enables businesses to schedule on-demand pickups for surplus food that would otherwise be wasted. Their team of "food rescuers" then brings the donated food directly to those experiencing food insecurity in the community. Cisco has supported Replate's COVID-19 response effort as well as the development of their digital platform.
The Ushahidi platform, which Cisco has supported, is a crowd-sourced, freely shared mapping and content management system to improve collaboration and coordination of disaster response and relief efforts.
Cisco has supported development of two-way mobile communication tools for WFP’s Mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping program, enabling WFP to track food security trends in real-time, providing critical data to support humanitarian decision-making.
Cisco occasionally supports organizations outside or across our investment areas when we discover highly innovative uses of IT or an opportunity to scale the impact of our support for nonprofits.
As a founding partner, Cisco has supported the expansion of Network for Good's Internet-based resources to help nonprofits raise funds, communicate, and strategize.
The Trust was created in 2008 to support increasing access to education for black South African students. For example, the King’s School provides primary school education (tuition and boarding) to seven least-served black South African students with support from the Trust.
Cisco and TechSoup work together to connect nonprofits and public libraries with donated and discounted technology products for social benefit across the globe.