Vancouver-based ZoomInfo went public last month, in a plummeting IPO market, at the height of the U.S. novel coronavirus outbreak and amidst nationwide civil unrest over police brutality. ZoomInfo, formerly DiscoverOrg, was the largest tech IPO this year, taking in nearly $1 billion from investors over 44 million shares.
Some companies would have been singularly focused on such a milestone, but Zoominfo appears to be keeping today’s cultural and economic big picture front and center, upping its philanthropic efforts locally and nationwide, while publicly living its values.
Speaking up against racial injustice
The 1,300-employee company recently donated more than $100,000 to seven nonprofit organizations in support of racial justice, including some of the budget originally set aside to fund travel for ZoomInfo’s investor roadshow leading up to its initial public offering. The roadshow was conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the group of professional service firms that orchestrated ZoomInfo’s IPO – including bankers, lawyers, accountants and other advisers – also teamed up to contribute to this donation.
“We support Americans who are standing up and speaking up against racial injustice and inequality,” said ZoomInfo Founder and CEO Henry Schuck, in a recent statement. The mistreatment of the black community and systemic racism in the U.S. must stop. We want to see these organizations succeed in their missions of initiating change and making our community a welcoming and safe place for everyone.”
Six of the organizations are focused on empowering black communities, including Urban League of Portland. The seventh, New York-based Seeds of Change, is dedicated to ending conflict in the Middle East.
June marked the one-year anniversary of ZoomInfo’s Global Inclusion & Diversity Initiative and its employee-led resource group, Zoom in Color. Because the infrastructure of inclusion was already well in place, ZoomInfo was able to be thoughtful as well as nimble in its response, relying heavily on Zoom in Color for direction.
Zoom in Color worked with ZoomInfo’s marketing team to design T-shirts and print them at a Minnesota-based black-owned T-shirt shop. Sales from the T-shirts benefited the above charities. Zoom In Color also makes books, movies, talks, online employee events and other resources like information about how to support black-owned businesses, available on its intranet to educate interested employees on racial justice.
On June 4 – the day that ZoomInfo went public – the company promoted racial equity through messages displayed on the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square in New York.
The company’s values have always been exemplified in its hiring process, and this month, ZoomInfo committed even more strongly to diversity and inclusion.
“Last week we hired a diversity recruiter dedicated to finding diverse candidates,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Alyssa Lahar. “First we’ll focus on black candidates, and next, on all diverse groups.”
Saving lives, creating jobs
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company recently donated thousands of protective masks to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver and Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston, Mass., near the company’s Waltham office.
As the story goes, in March, a ZoomInfo employee underwent major surgery to remove a malignant tumor at Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center, and was moved to request that the company donate her next paycheck toward purchasing protective equipment for medical professionals.
In April, ZoomInfo purchased 1,000 masks each for Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver and Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston. Schuck and his wife personally delivered the equipment to Legacy Salmon Creek.
Additionally, ZoomInfo has given more than $100,000 to local food banks, including the Clark County Food Bank and the Greater Boston Food Bank.
A particularly impactful B2B donation was made in March, when Michigan-based TentCraft, a manufacturer of custom tents for events, saw its business nearly shutter during the economic shutdown. TentCraft wanted to turn their large tents into drive-through COVID-19 testing facilities but had never sold to hospitals and had no prior connections to hospital administrators. The company approached ZoomInfo to buy 10,000 to 15,000 credits – each worth one prospect – to reach out to hospital administrators, according to Inc. Magazine. Schuck, inspired by the pivot, offered the company contact data and insights on hospitals and healthcare systems to the tune of 50,000 credits, allowing TentCraft to sell testing tents all over the country and achieve the largest monthly revenue in the company’s history.
This spring, the company also supplied contact data for 370,000 recruiters to start-up LayOffers.com to aid in the company’s mission to help one million people return to the workforce during the pandemic.
“With such reach, we are now in a position to help every displaced worker, not just our initial goal of 1 million,” said LayOffers CEO Jeffrey Jewett, in May.
Leading of self
“I feel blessed to be at a company that does things like TentCraft, and helps people get back to work,” said Lahar. She emphasized the importance of culture at ZoomInfo, and said companies looking to define their values and build culture should not take a “top-down approach” but rather focus on collaboration and innovation.
“I think people get really excited when they find this is a culture that supports collaboration. We really push for each other to get better – we get things done. We focus a lot on leadership, especially leading of self,” said Lahar. “Employees recognize places where they can add value and jump in. We are constantly defining new possibles.”