Lyft is going to supply $1000 in credit to the Ann Arbor and Detroit area student organization and non-profit organizations as part of the Lyft Community Grant Program (LCGP). Starting this month, Lyft chooses a different organization that will enjoy the $1,000 grant every month.
Supporting Local Nonprofits with Lyft Community Grants
Lyft’s promotion of its services through charitable work helps increase its US market share and is a better incentive then paying for basic marketing services. According to the LCGP “As an active member of the greater Ann Arbor business community, Lyft is excited to continue strengthening partnerships with local organizations that are doing important work in the community.”
The LCGP initiative is based on a competitive approach, where organizations that fit into the scheme compete by providing grant requests that explain the importance of the grant and how they will utilize the money. Some of the establishments competing for the grant include nonprofit or student groups from the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Concordia University-Ann Arbor or Washtenaw Community College.
Lyft is known to use grants as a method to strengthen their ties with local communities, and the last time they did a community drive with students. In November 2017, Lyft promoted a Better Bystander Month and partnered with the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center in Ann Arbor. They offered $10 coupons for rides that took place between midnight and 6am.
The result of the November initiative increased Lyft’s exposure to the local market in a good way, as Julie Berg, an LSA Senior and volunteer to SAPAC stated about their joint Bystander Intervention and Community Engagement program with Lyft “It was a cool partnership we had with them, and we’re hoping to keep using those Lyft passes to demonstrate that Lyft is still partnering with us and that we can still be better bystanders.”
With this new initiative, Berg hopes to find a way to help SAPAC find ways to work with other groups in the area to enjoy the $1,000 grant, she told the media that “Within BICE, we’ve done a lot with the bystander intervention part of our name, and we’re working more on the community engagement part. So hopefully we can find ways to work with other groups on campus that could potentially use this as a resource. Or maybe there’s some sort of collaborative event that could use this type of funding.” Berg also stated that she would hope to continue providing students late night subsidized rides “We didn’t actually give out all of the passes we got from Lyft, but we’re hoping to give more out at workshops. If the funding could be used in that capacity, I think that would be a cool opportunity.”
Another student group hopes to use the grant to increase their group The Detroit Partnership which aims to get students involved in community issues around Detroit. The finance director of the group, Arjun Kaushal hopes to attract the grant since it would help with transportation issues that would seriously impact the success of their initiative. Kaushal said “It’s obviously of interest to us; it’s in our target space as it’s targeting communities in Ann Arbor and Detroit. In terms of the $1,000, if I was going to use Lyft to go to Detroit, one way is around 50 bucks. For us, as an organization, we’d use it up pretty quickly.”
Kaushal explained that Lyft’s culture was important for social change, stating that “From what I hear, Lyft is generally good about factoring in social change and positive change in their mission and their company’s fabric. Functionally, there’s definitely value to be had there for us in getting our members down to the city.”
Lyft’s social initiatives are proving to be great marketing incentives in a very good way. They provide social interaction between Lyft and the community by providing access to transportation funds that normally hit the organizations pockets hard. Through partnership programs and grants, Lyft can increase social awareness and wellness while increasing their brand image at the same time. Lyft GM for Detroit Elliot Darvick stated that “Knowing that U-M students and the community surrounding them are equally driven to create a better world inspired us to bring the grant program to Ann Arbor. I’m eager to see the great work that organizations in our community can do with access to Lyft’s safe, reliable, and convenient rides.”