Splunk helps organizations around the world turn data into doing. Splunk technology is designed to investigate, monitor, analyze, and act on data at any scale. The company’s mission is to remove the barriers between data and action so that everyone thrives in the Data Age.
Splunk recently joined Independent Sector as a corporate philanthropy member. We talked with Patricia Toothman, who manages global employee engagement programs and community partnerships for Splunk’s social impact team.
IS: Tell us more about Splunk’s mission.
PT: Aligning with our company mission, our global impact mission is to bridge the Data Divide to find actionable solutions for humanity’s greatest challenges.
We define the Data Divide as the disparity between the expanding use of data to create commercial value, and the comparatively weak use of data to solve social and environmental challenges.
IS: Tell us about your organization’s areas of interest, the community or communities you serve, and how your work relates to the goal of a healthy nonprofit sector so that everyone can thrive.
PT: To address the main barriers fueling the Data Divide, we collaborate across sectors and leverage our strategic partnerships and grants in the following ways:
- Field-Building: We support organizations working to build the field of data science for social good, including making data more accessible, open, and secure for social change agents, and adding key knowledge and tools that leaders can use to solve critical social problems.
- Data to Action and Impact: We support nonprofits leveraging data to solve social and environmental problems, with a focus on replicable and scalable solutions.
- Workforce Development: To address the skills gap in the Data Age, we support nonprofits providing tuition-free tech training and career development resources to underserved and underrepresented populations.
In each area, we selected tech-forward, data-ready, or data-powered partners who are not only making major progress in line with Splunk’s enterprise goal – being the data platform for the hybrid world – but reflect our values and culture.
IS: As an Independent Sector community member, what are you looking forward to that will help your organization better achieve your mission and serve your community?
PT: We are looking forward to learning from our nonprofit community and driving collaboration across nonprofit, business, and civil society so those with the expertise and knowledge of global challenges are better equipped to scale solutions.
IS: How does Splunk’s theory of change and giving practices assist nonprofit grant recipients and their work, especially in the wake of COVID-19, economic challenges, climate change, and our nation’s racial reckoning?
PT: Our product donation program is our commitment to research, education, and community service.
We’ve committed to donate over $100 million in software licenses, training, and support to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions around the globe. Why? We want to fuel organizations that are solving the world’s biggest problems so they can multiply their impact. Splunk provides a one-year, 10GB license for Splunk Enterprise to all qualifying nonprofits at no cost, as well as complimentary eLearning and support.
With the onset of COVID-19, our teams rallied to use the data around the disease to build a publicly available interactive Splunk COVID-19 Dashboard that any individual or organization could view without any installation necessary. We also created an application that an individual or organization can download, populate with their own data, and use it to help get a better understanding of the data behind the pandemic.
IS: Independent Sector brings together a diverse community of changemakers at nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs that are working to achieve a racially just and healthy sector and nation where all people in the U.S. thrive. How does your work align with Independent Sector’s mission and our member organizations?
PT: Splunk joined Independent Sector because of the like mindedness of our missions. We are always looking for great organizations to partner with or support that are using data to make a difference, or those that may need help making their data work in new ways or more efficiently for them.
All of our combined efforts (and we are a big team!) are moving nonprofit impact forward. We are all enabling organizations to create and drive more impact.
IS: Independent Sector collaborates with individuals and the charitable community to create a racially just and healthy sector and nation. How does your work help to support or advance these objectives?
PT: In fiscal year 2022, we delivered grants to social justice organizations and equity organizations using data to further their missions. Some of these organizations include Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, ProPublica, and the International Rescue Committee. We also gave support to two of the world’s leading disaster relief organizations, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), and the American Red Cross (an Independent Sector member).
We also focus on the breadth and depth of our amazing employees and all that they bring to the table in terms of engagement through volunteering and giving opportunities, including Splunk matching donations and supporting employee-led fundraisers.
Additionally, employee technical expertise unlocked impactful social impact data projects to help solve social and environmental issues. In 2020, we supported various projects around COVID-19 and data.
We are also fortunate to have two full-time engineers on our global impact team at Splunk who can support our customers, employees, and partners on using data to help bridge the data divide.