CSR Community Partners

Creating digital solutions to social problems

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 crisis response, economic empowerment, and education, thereby improving lives around the globe.

These nonprofit grant recipients are critical to reaching our goal to positively impact 1 billion people by 2025. See also some of our legacy partnerships.

Access to education partners

Via Global Impact Cash Grants, Cisco identifies partners with innovative, technology-based programs that improve student performance and engagement, particularly in STEM studies and among underserved communities. Learn more about this social investment area.

CareerVillage.org (multinational, including United States)

CareerVillage democratizes access to career information and advice for underrepresented youth by crowdsourcing the answers to every question from every student about every career. Today, millions of learners use CareerVillage to get free personalized career advice from real-life professionals. Cisco is supporting a new blended learning CareerVillage.org in Class 2.0 program, making personalized career advising instantly accessible for schools and nonprofits to deliver to their students for free or at low cost.

CODE.org (multinational, including United States)

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 (multinational, including United States)

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.

Cool Australia (multinational, not including United States)

Cool Australia equips educators to provide exceptional learning experiences for future-ready students. Cisco’s support is enhancing Cool Australia’s professional development platform known as Learn 2.0 with the goal to improve educational outcomes for all students, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to solve real world issues in social environmental and STEM focus areas.

MIND Research Institute (United States)

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.

New Teacher Center (United States)

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 25K+ educators across 22 states reaching over 1.8M students annually.

onebillion (multinational, including United States)

onebillion, a Global Learning XPRIZE winner, is a non-profit organization based in London whose mission is to ensure all marginalized children are numerate and confident readers in their own language. Cisco cash and product grants have enabled onebillion to accelerate localization of its award-winning onecourse software, bringing this resource to more children who are out of school and not learning.

PicoCTF (multinational, including United States)

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.

Science Buddies (multinational, including United States)

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 19 million students, parents, and teachers  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.

TalkingPoints (United States)

Cisco has provided early-stage support for TalkingPoints’ multilingual family engagement platform that is reaching 3M students, parents and teachers 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.

WeThrive (United States)

WeThrive equips underestimated youth with entrepreneurship skills to lead the economic revitalization of their communities. The early-stage investment by Cisco enabled WeThrive to adopt a new direct-to-student engagement model and improve engagement with industry to offer students real-life learning opportunities, mentorship, and 21st century skills training. This investment will broaden access to communities across the United States.

World Possible (multinational, including United States)

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.

Economic empowerment partners

Via Global Impact Cash Grants, 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 about this social investment area.

AnnieCannons (United States)

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 (multinational, including United States)

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.

CARE (multinational, not including United States)

Cisco is helping CARE digitize its successful Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) initiative, where women provide loans to each other and establish savings groups. The program has enabled five million people across more than 30 countries.

Centro Community Partners (multinational, including United States)

Centro's mission is to build thriving communities by providing low-income, minority, and women entrepreneurs with entrepreneurship education, one-on-one business coaching, mentorship, leadership programs, and access to capital in order for them to create local jobs and become economically secure and financially stable. Cisco support is enabling Centro to streamline and improve the efficiency of their operations so they can reach more entrepreneurs, deepen engagement opportunities, and enhance their impact reporting capabilities.

Digital NEST (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) (United States)

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.

FINCA (multinational, not including United States)

FINCA's mission is to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people build assets, create jobs, and raise their standard of living. They offer responsible, relevant, and affordable financial products and services, such as small loans or savings accounts; reach people in remote communities using technology like mobile phones and tablets; and provide access to life-enhancing products, like clean cook stoves. Cisco is supporting FINCA to leverage technology and data to target their clients with relevant and culturally sensitive content in local languages to promote financial literacy coaching, encourage responsible spending and savings habits, and provide improved client service experience, in order to support scale and long-term financial viability.

Kiva (multinational, including United States)

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 (multinational, not including 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.

Living Goods (multinational, not including United States)

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 (multinational, not including United States)

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. 

Opportunity International (multinational, not including United States)

With Cisco support, Opportunity International is designing and delivering mobile banking products and training to low-income people globally who lack access to financial products and services.

Solar Sister (multinational, not including United States)

Solar Sister invests in women's clean energy businesses in off-grid communities in Africa. They recruit, train, and support women entrepreneurs to build businesses and bring clean energy to their communities, resulting in income-generating opportunities for women, as well as environmental and health outcomes in the communities they support. Cisco is supporting Solar Sister to leverage technology to enhance digital skills capabilities of their entrepreneurs and improve the efficiency of Solar Sister's operations to support their overall growth objectives.

TaroWorks (multinational, not including United States)

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. 

Trickle Up (multinational, not including United States)

Trickle Up is committed to supporting the development of sustainable livelihoods for women who live in extreme poverty: those who struggle to survive on less, and often far less, than the $1.90 per day. They employ a "graduation" approach to help women start and build financially viable businesses. Cisco is supporting Trickle Up to apply technology to connect coaches with their beneficiaries to deliver capacity building and other critical services, which will facilitate deeper connections between Trickle Up and the women they serve, and also enable Trickle up to scale its reach and impact.

Upwardly Global (United States)

Upwardly Global works to eliminate employment barriers for legal, skilled immigrants and refugees to help integrate this population into the professional U.S. workforce. Cisco is supporting their efforts to scale their work to reach more people and to create new learning pathways.

Village Capital (multinational, including United States)

Village Capital's mission is to democratize entrepreneurship and drive more investment to entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. For more than a decade, Village Capital has been designing, testing, and sharing tools and processes to correct the imbalance in venture capital funding. Cisco is providing support to Village Capital to apply technology to increase the volume and diversity of investment funding.

Vispala (multinational, not including United States)

Originally developed by Cisco community partner Anudip and now its own separate social enterprise, Vispala helps to restore function and dignity through technology by enabling prosthetic users to live a life beyond prejudice, one in which they can participate more fully in working and living. Cisco supported the early stages of their 3D printed prosthesis concept, which has helped many beneficiaries return to the workforce and regain their daily activities.

Cisco Crisis Response partners

Cisco makes strategic investments in organizations that improve the speed and efficiency of our Cisco Crisis Response program. Our Global Impact Cash Grants in this area support programs that improve access to food, potable water, shelter, and disaster relief. Learn more about this social investment area.

Akvo (multinational, not including United States)

Cisco has supported the development of the open-source Field Level Operations Watch (FLOW) tool, which enables organizations to gather and evaluate water-related data via mobile and other technologies.

American Red Cross (multinational, including United States)

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.

Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (multinational, not including United States)

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.

Destination: Home (United States)

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.

Digital Green (multinational, not including United States)

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. 

Feeding America (United States)

Cisco support for a new transportation management system streamlined services for a network of 200-member food banks, leading to a projected savings of US$1.5 million over 5 years or 12 million meals.

Habitat for Humanity (multinational, including United States)

This global organization works to eliminate poverty and homelessness with affordable housing. Cisco provides cash grants and matches employee volunteer time with cash contributions.

Housing Trust Silicon Valley (United States)

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 (multinational, including United States)

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.

Mercy Corps (multinational, including United States)

Mercy Corps has been a Cisco community partner since 2006 and has received numerous grants to help transform communities around the world.

myAgro (multinational, not including United States)

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.

NetHope (multinational, including United States)

NetHope helps its 53-member consortium of aid NGOs use technology to coordinate and speed disaster relief efforts. Cisco has helped build technology capacity to improve the effectiveness of its member organizations.

Replate (United States)

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.

Simprints (multinational, not including United States)

Cisco is supporting Simprints' efforts to build inclusive, ethical, AI-powered biometrics for identification in developing countries. This support will help ensure that each beneficiary receives the goods or services to which they are entitled while reducing duplication and fighting fraud or misuse in humanitarian programs at scale.

UN ETC (Emergency Telecommunications Cluster) (multinational, not including United States)

Cisco Crisis Response serves as a standby partner for the ETC. Managed by the UN World Food Programme, ETC is a global network of organizations that work together to provide shared communications services in humanitarian emergencies. Cisco is one of only two trusted private-sector members in a network comprised mainly of nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations.

Ushahidi (multinational, including United States)

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.

Additional partners

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.

Network for Good (United States)

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. 

South Africa Education Trust (South Africa)

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.

TechSoup (multinational, including United States)

Cisco and TechSoup work together to connect nonprofits and public libraries with donated and discounted technology products for social benefit across the globe.

Explore our grant programs

Product Grant Program

We donate networking technology to help nonprofits make innovative use of the Internet.

Global Impact Cash Grants

Funding to multiply the results of organizations with national or multinational operations.

Bay Area Community Impact Grants

Support Bay Area programs within a 50-mile radius of our San Jose, California headquarters.