charity miles

Pure Storage employees walk, cycle, and play their way to $130K for charity

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It's a great way to showcase how technology can bring people together from across the world to make a difference.”

– Beth Michel

As a global data storage solution company, Pure Storage loves seeing how technology can make a difference.

That’s one of the many reasons they’ve now added their Charity Miles matching program to their official employee benefits offerings.

“It's a great way to showcase how technology can bring people together from across the world to make a difference,” says Beth Michel, head of the Pure Good Foundation, the corporate philanthropy that Pure Storage works through to empower their employees and nonprofit partners to build a better world. “[Charity Miles is] a unifying app. It brings people together in a way that is completely positive.”

Pure Good started its corporate Charity Miles team in March 2020. They’d been considering starting an initiative like it, and “when the pandemic hit, we just needed something that would engage our employees virtually without making them be in front of a computer,” says Beth.

Beth and several of her teammates already used Charity Miles personally. “We decided to start a corporate team and see what happens.”

What happened was a global effort that raised an amazing $130,000 USD in 20 months, and is still going strong.

The Pure Storage team changes charities regularly and chooses them in different ways. If there is already a national theme for a particular month, then they tend to donate their matched donations to a relevant organization: LGBTQ+ organizations in June, support for Indigenous persons in November, etc.

“We also like to use our matching opportunity to support international communities,” says Beth. “For the past six months now, each month we chose an international organization in one of the cities where we have an office to be the beneficiary of our Charity Miles donation. This is another way for us to support causes near and dear to our employees, even if they don’t live near our HQ in the United States.”

“We have had nothing but positive feedback,” she adds. “Our employees really love it.”

Beth finds there are two types of employees getting involved. Those who are already active can add Charity Miles as another tool to their toolbelt.  “Then there are employees who are interested in becoming healthier or more active, and they just want to be held accountable a bit.”

Employees log miles through family weekend activities, running, and cycling, but also through tracking daily activities on a fitness tracker. “We have employees that do the elliptical, Zumba, even just chasing around their kids.”

“One thing that employees really seem to like is walking meetings. Some teams will tell everyone, ‘Hey, we're having a meeting at 10. You're not going to need your screen. So if you would like to, please take this opportunity to have a walking meeting.’”

“We're all sick of sitting in front of the computer,” Beth laughs. “This gives you something to do outside that's not only good for you but also a great way to give back to your community.”

Does Beth have any advice for other organizations considering a program like this?

“The main thing that's been really helpful is reminding people to sync their app,” she says. In 2021, Pure Good added reminders to employees’ calendars when they signed up for a challenge.

“Another tip that has worked out well is getting teams involved. Right now we're doing a team competition for our entire customer success organization. We have 130 employees split up into 11 teams, and they're all competing to see who can earn the most for charity within the quarter. That has been really successful. And since that launched, three other departments have decided to do the same challenge.”

Congratulations on all your impact so far, Pure Storage. What an incredible commitment to giving back!

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