When eBay employee David Sweeney recommended Kitchen Table Advisors for a grant through eBay Foundation’s employee-inspired grants program, he was thinking about the big picture. David recognized that eBay and Kitchen Table Advisors share a commitment to economically vibrant and sustainable communities. “I’m a Bay Area native who appreciates the amazing community that makes this a great place to live. I’m a father who cares about the food we feed our daughter. I work at eBay in part because I believe in our work to create economic opportunity. Supporting Kitchen Table Advisors means investing in healthy and sustainable food, and economic opportunity for the people who feed our families in the Bay Area,” wrote David in his grant recommendation. Thriving entrepreneurs have the potential to create a powerful ripple effect in their communities, impacting job creation, family livelihood, and collective happiness and wellbeing. David understood this firsthand -- both at work and in his own kitchen -- which is why he brought together two organizations empowering larger community ripples.
With a vision of inclusive economic opportunity and entrepreneurship for all people, a portion of eBay Foundation’s portfolio is driven by its employee-led grants program. Also known as eBay Foundation’s Global Impact Team grants, this program was developed to support non-profit organizations in communities throughout the world where eBay employees live and work. In addition to recommending non-profits for eBay Foundation grants, Global Impact Teams host fundraising events, and promote volunteerism and sustainability efforts. eBay views its employees as ambassadors, identifying and connecting mission-aligned non-profits with Foundation funds. Since 2006, eBay Foundation has channeled more than $7 million to non-profit organizations globally through its employee grants programs; about $1.5 million of this total has been awarded to non-profits based in the Bay Area.
Valuing Kitchen Table Advisors’ commitment to the financial health and longevity of small farmers powering our local economies, David’s grant recommendation resonated strongly with the employee committee that reviews Global Impact Team grant applications. As review committee member Renee Ziegenfus shared, “The eBay Foundation Global Impact Team was pleased to support Kitchen Table Advisors’ efforts to launch the Sustainable Farm Business Advising Program. In addition to working with Bay Area farms, KTA provides technical assistance that empowers farms to become viable and sustainable businesses. eBay Foundation is committed to helping non-profits focused on unleashing the power of entrepreneurship, and KTA is a great example of an organization in our own community bringing this mission to life”. Whether working behind a computer screen or in a cultivated field, entrepreneurs investing in their communities create a cycle of reinvestment. It’s a beautiful, resilient loop of interdependence — one that the eBay Foundation is motivated to grow.
This fall, the eBay Foundation is prioritizing funding for projects that fit with its mission of unleashing entrepreneurship to build economically vibrant and sustainable communities. At the same time, thanks to a heart-felt grant application and generous grant, Kitchen Table Advisors will be on more local farms. For KTA’s client family, this grant means ongoing advisor support with developing cash flow projections, researching financing options, and analyzing product lines. In cultivating stronger financial roots, these farms are able to reach their individual organizational goals and realize their shared mission to feed the communities that catalyze our local economies.