SAN FRANCISCO, October 3, 2023 – Code for America, the leading civic tech nonprofit, announced today it has been named to Fast Company’s third annual Brands That Matter list, honoring brands that communicate and demonstrate brand purpose. These companies and nonprofits have built cultural relevance and impact through compelling branding and efforts that naturally extend their presence into the community.
Code for America earned this designation for its work with government and community leaders to improve the way people interact with the social safety net, tax benefits and criminal justice systems—each with its own history of inequity, technological barriers and exclusion of marginalized populations.
“Code for America is proving that government can work for the people, by the people, in the new digital age,” said Amanda Renteria, CEO of Code for America. “Our mission is to use technology and human-centered principles to reimagine and transform government systems to work for everyone. We are thrilled to receive this recognition and look forward to continuing to work shoulder to shoulder with our government partners.”
The final list, which includes large multinational conglomerates, small-but-mighty companies, and nonprofits, recognizes 165 brands that give people compelling reasons to care about them—and offer inspiration for others to buy in. All 165 have found an ability to forge an emotional connection with customers, whether leading on the environment or pop culture, engaging B2B customers, or responding meaningfully to current events.
All brands that applied were considered for overall recognition. Additionally, there are also honorees on category-specific lists based on region, size, and status.
“The scale and scope of honorees this year is incredible,” said Brendan Vaughan, Fast Company’s editor-in-chief. “At first glance, there might not be much in common between brands like M&M’s, Dungeons & Dragons, and healthtech platform WellTheory, but the thread that binds them is a commitment and purpose as a brand and relevance to their audience, whether that’s through fun, games, or healthcare.”
In 2022, Code for America made a tremendous impact through:
- Strengthening the nation’s safety net: Helped 3.85 million people access food benefits; processed more than 1.6 million SNAP applications; and helped people access $89 million through MNBenefits, an integrated benefits application built in partnership with the state of Minnesota.
- Promoting economic justice through tax benefits: Distributed $374 million in flexible cash to individuals and families; established a Child Tax Credit application path for nearly 300,000 newly-eligible Puerto Rican families; and helped file 138,000 tax returns. In addition, the 2022 National Tax Benefits Outreach Campaign launched by Code for America worked with agencies in over 30 states to send more than 10 million direct messages and prompt 30,000 households to claim an estimated $42 million.
- Removing barriers resulting from the criminal legal system: Cleared 357,223 records in Utah; helped pass three new automatic record clearance laws; and impacted 832,000 people living with a criminal record. In Colorado, Code for America streamlined the automatic record clearance process to reduce complexity and save over $5 million.
Fast Company editors judged each brand on relevancy, cultural impact, ingenuity, and business impact to compile the list. The Fall issue of Fast Company magazine is available online now and will be on newsstands beginning October 10, 2023.
About Fast Company
Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. The editor-in-chief is Brendan Vaughan. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication, Inc., and can be found online at fastcompany.com.
About Code for America
Code for America, a nonprofit founded in 2009, believes that government can work for the people, and by the people, in the digital age. We work with government at all levels across the country to make the delivery of public services equitable with technology. We work with community organizations and governments to build digital tools, change policies, and improve programs. Our goal: a resilient government that effectively and equitably serves everyone.