We’re big fans of our customers. Shouting-from-the-stands, waving-ludicrously-oversized-foam-fingers-type fans. When they show love (via Facebook, Twitter, or carrier pigeon), we show love back. Our series, Gusto Heroes highlights just how much we love the businesses who use us.


“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Suess

This edition of Gusto Heroes will feature some of our favorite charitable organization customers that nurture peoples’ souls through compassion, creativity, and continued education.

HandUp(San Francisco, CA)

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What they do: HandUp is a tech startup which supports people in need, as well as their families. You can use HandUp to donate directly to low income individuals, with 100% of the donations going to basic needs, like food, clothing and medical care through partner organizations.

What we love: The human touch. You actually get to know the people you’re helping, which puts a true face to the cause. With HandUp, you can learn about individuals’ stories by browsing their profiles and donating online or via SMS.

Find them here: Their website, HandUp.us, in addition to Facebook and Twitter. We’re also recommending HandUp as a featured charitable organization in Gusto Giving, which lets employees donate a portion of their paycheck directly to any non-profit. (HandUp is a public benefit corporation, so donations through Gusto Giving will go to their fiscal sponsor, a 501(c)(3) called Netroots Foundation, and 100% of the money will be passed on to HandUp.)

The Laundromat Project (New York, NY)


What they do: The Laundromat Project is a non-profit arts organization focused on helping people of color living on low incomes. As a way to encourage creativity within NYC neighborhoods, they commission public art projects and host art-making workshops in local laundromats throughout the city. Their mission? “We aim to raise the quality of life in New York City for people whose incomes do not guarantee broad access to mainstream arts and cultural facilities.”

What we love: The pure genius of the idea. The coin-op is one of the few places left nowadays where locals gather and wait. Why not harness all those people together as a way to make art?

Find them here: Their website, LaundromatProject.org, in addition to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County (Chicago, IL)

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What they do: Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County provides free literacy education to adults in suburban Cook County and the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. Volunteer tutors offer free customized tutoring programs, in addition to holding “conversation cafes” where English learners can practice their skills and make friends.

What we love: All of the extraordinary stories by learners about how their lives have changed as a result.

“… I have improved my reading, writing, and daily speaking skills. I am no longer afraid to go shopping by myself or talk to people at work. I no longer have to depend on my husband for everything. I feel more confident and free. Thank you so much for volunteering your time and kindness.”  —Yie

Find them here: Their website, lvwcc.org, in addition to Facebook and Twitter.

Margot Leong Margot Leong, a contributing author on Gusto, provides actionable tips and expert advice on HR and payroll for successful business management.
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