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Okta for Good’s Response and Support During the COVID-19 Crisis

Erin Baudo Felter
Erin Baudo Felter
Vice President, Social Impact

As COVID-19 continues to spread, we are learning in real-time the true impact of the pandemic, and navigating how to best respond to and support those in need. As a global company supporting thousands of employees and customers around the world, Okta’s response to this crisis is multi-faceted and ongoing. Okta for Good, our company’s social impact arm, is focused on supporting nonprofit organizations on the frontlines of the crisis. Here’s how we’re responding.

Rapid Response in Our Local Communities

Several weeks ago, our team began reaching out to our close local partners to understand their needs around COVID-19 prevention and response. We learned three important things: 

  1. Nonprofits serving our most vulnerable neighbors need unrestricted funding now to meet spiking demands. One San Francisco-based homeless services agency shared: “We have twice as many people coming to our drop-in today as we normally see in light of so many other services closing.”
  2. Organizations that rely on volunteers are facing even more challenges right now as potential volunteers comply with social distancing guidelines. 
  3. We’re entering spring, which is fundraising season for many nonprofits. With events being cancelled, entire swaths of the nonprofit sector are at severe financial risk.    

In response, our team so far has committed $500,000 in unrestricted, rapid-response grants and matching funds, much of this to local organizations serving some of our most vulnerable. This includes Bay Area-based homeless and elderly services agencies and Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Small Business Relief Fund. We’re proud to be working in collaboration with 24 other Bay Area companies on these efforts to commit collective funding for organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. Outside of the Bay Area, our Okta for Good Employee Leadership Council is leading giving campaigns to support food banks and other critical services in the following communities: Toronto, Bellevue, Washington DC, Chicago, London, Paris and Sydney. 

Oktane20 LIVE giving campaign

Our annual customer conference is now virtual: Oktane20 LIVE will take place April 1-2, and provides an imminent opportunity for Okta’s community of employees, customers, and partners to raise funds in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Oktane20 LIVE COVID-19 Response Fund is supporting the CDC Foundation, Direct Relief, and International Medical Corps — three organizations working across the world to respond. Okta for Good will match total donations to the fund up to $100,000. 

Putting our products into action

Many nonprofits are not yet set up for secure, remote work and are realizing the need to safeguard their staff while maintaining access to critical resources. To help every organization maintain business continuity, data security, and productivity, we are offering Okta’s core services for free to all new customers through Okta’s Emergency Remote Work Program

We are also working with various organizations around the world - often behind the scenes - to enable seamless and secure collaboration during crisis response. For example, families dealing with school closures can consult resources and get immediate guidance at schoolclosures.org, where hotline responders use Okta to access their tools. Okta is also proud to be providing secure identity and access management for the COVID-19 Health Care Coalition, a private-sector led response that brings together healthcare organizations, technology firms, nonprofits, academia, and startups to coordinate their responses to the crisis. 
If your organization needs technical assistance from Okta, please fill out the form on this page.

Preparing for Long-Term Response

There will be more required of all of us in the weeks and months ahead. We’re considering our response to-date to be “phase one.” We are continually assessing opportunities to deploy resources, including philanthropic dollars, human power, and products—where they are most needed. 

We urge you to consider donating to an organization in your community or any of the ones mentioned in this post, including our COVID-19 Response Fund.

This is the time to take care of each other. We are inspired by people all over the world who are demonstrating the power of unity in the face of uncertainty. Okta for Good is more committed than ever to our mission of strengthening the connections between people, technology, and community.  

erin
Erin Baudo Felter
Vice President, Social Impact

Erin Baudo Felter is the Vice President of Social Impact and leads Okta for Good, Okta’s corporate social impact initiative. She is charged with leveraging Okta’s most important assets – its people, product and company resources – to accelerate the impact of mission-driven organizations around the world. Erin’s leadership of Okta for Good includes leveraging the Pledge1% model to invest money, technology, and time back into the community; exposing employees to issues and empowering them to take action; and enabling NGOs to improve their digital capabilities to better serve their communities. She is also part of a group of leaders transforming tech philanthropy, redefining the relationships between companies and communities through radical collaboration with partners in every sector.

Erin has worked at the intersection of business and social impact for over a decade and has held various corporate social impact roles at Zynga, Yahoo and Warner Bros. She holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and a BA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is personally passionate about justice and equity in education and serves on the advisory board for Citizen Schools California. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and two young children.