Volunteerism and Corporate Giving
At the heart of Chronicle Books' mission is the belief that we contribute significantly to people's lives by delivering top-quality books and gifts. We also make a difference with our good citizenship that focuses on literacy and community. Whether at the company, department, or individual level, giving back to the communities in which we live and work reflects not only who we are as a company, but who we are as people.
Chronicle Books offers a robust donor match program in which the company will match individual donations made by employees up to $100 per employee per year. Our volunteerism policy also allows employees to contribute up to two hours per week of their time to non-profit, non-political, and non-partisan organizations.
Over the years, Chronicle Books has supported many organizations whose programs enrich lives, foster learning, and expand educational opportunities including:
- ABFFE (American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression)
- NCCBA (Northern California Children's Booksellers Association)
- NCIBA (Northern California Independent Booksellers Association)
- San Francisco Public Library (partner with Summer Reading Program)
- First Book
- Mill Valley Film Festival
- San Francisco Film Society
- San Francisco Symphony
- American Library Association
- California Academy of Sciences
- Chez Panisse Foundation
- Bay Area Discovery Museum
- UCSC Library
Our annual, company-wide Volunteer Day sends employees out into the San Francisco Bay Area for a day of focused community engagement. Local partners have included Friends of the Urban Forest, San Francisco Food Bank, Project Night Night, San Francisco Zoo, and, most recently, St. Anthony’s Foundation. Our partnership with St. Anthony’s also includes an ongoing clothing drive and a seasonal back-to-school coat drive (101 children’s coats provided by Chronicle Books employees in 2015).
In 2012, we launched an annual Give Books campaign during the holiday season. The campaign challenges the community to pledge to give books during the holiday season. For every book pledged, Chronicle donates one book to First Book, a nonprofit that provides books for children in need.
Although we are located in San Francisco, our efforts extend well beyond the city limits. Since 2014, Chronicle Books has sent a team of employees each year to volunteer at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. In the years immediately following Hurricane Katrina, we sent volunteer crews to New Orleans to work with Habitat for Humanity building homes for hurricane victims.
One of the many lessons we’ve learned here at Chronicle is to never underestimate the power of a bake sale. We’ve hosted numerous bake sales in response to natural disasters (Valley Wildfires in Northern California, Cyclone Pam, Nepal Earthquake, Oklahoma Tornado, Philippine Typhoon, Hurricane Sandy, Tsunami in Japan). Thanks to the combined efforts of bakers, sale volunteers, and Chronicle Books company matching, we have raised over $15,000 to assist victims of these events. We further share the gift of food through our annual Food Drive benefiting the SF-Marin Food Bank.
As publishers, we strive to promote and support literacy whenever possible. To this end, Chronicle Books has donated books to Bay Area public schools, shelters, and non-profits.
Every year, Chronicle Books sponsors employee participation in several local fundraising events. Past events include the San Francisco AIDS Walk, the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge 3.5 mile run (benefiting a different local non-profit each year), and Plate to Plate running race.
Volunteerism happens not only at the company level, but also within the various Chronicle Books departments. These efforts often focus on mentoring, leadership training, or professional education. The following are just a few of the examples of volunteerism at the department level:
- Mentoring of local youth through Mayor’s Youth Employment Education Program (MYEEP) for at-risk youth
- Participation in The Urban Forest Project, a city youth mentoring program
- Student tours and presentations to educate college students in design and publishing related areas of study
- Participation in various school-sponsored portfolio reviews
- Editorial book-pitch events in which editors hear and respond to book pitches from the public
- Informational interviews to educate young designers, editors, photographers, illustrators, marketers, or anyone else interested in pursuing a publishing-related career
Chronicle Books is a beehive of energetic, creative, big-hearted people who despite their busy schedules somehow still find ways in which to give back their communities outside of work. Chronicle Books employees have volunteered at:
- Schools and classrooms
- San Francisco SPCA
- Marine Mammal Center
- Creative Growth
- Student mentoring programs
- SF-Marin Food Bank
- Zine-making workshops for teenagers
- General patronage of the arts
- Athletic events benefiting local non-profit organizations
- Golden Gate Parks Conservancy
- Parks and ocean clean-ups
- Habitat for Humanity
- Aquarium of the Bay
- Fundraising partnerships with authors or other creatives (eg. Editor Melissa Manlove partnered with author Kate Messner to raise $2,460 for Philippines disaster relief)