Hinge’s social impact program awards $1M to social groups in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York to combat loneliness for young adults.

By: Kevin L. Clark

LOS ANGELESJune 10, 2024PRLog — Gen Zers are longing for IRL connections – with 82% reporting feeling lonely** – but many limit their search to their phone screens. As a part of its social impact program, One More Hour, Hinge today unveils its inaugural cohort of social groups who will receive a combined $1M in total funding to advance their efforts in redefining how people find in-person connections in their neighborhoods. The awarded groups span across Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York and include the likes of Love, Peace & Spades™, HBCUs Outside, ATLFILMPARTY, and more.

In connection with Global Loneliness Awareness Week, Hinge recognizes the significance of social groups as a meaningful third space of connection for a generation that still feels the impact of coming of age during the pandemic. Amidst a tethering to technology, 48% of young adults also express how financial constraints often prevent them from participating in social outings or events.** Hinge’s investment in supporting local social groups aims to circumvent the logistical and financial hurdles people face while finding belonging.

“We live in a society that often undervalues the person who steps up to organize gatherings and weave together a community, but these are the people we should be learning from if we want to end the loneliness epidemic,” said Josh Penny, Hinge’s Director of Social Impact. “I’m proud that Hinge’s One More Hour program is providing critical resources to the social groups working every day to remove barriers to connection for Gen Z.”

In partnership with DoSomething Strategic and the Foundation for Social Connection, Hinge reviewed more than 200 applications with a Gen Z advisory council curated by these three organizations to identify the 40 social groups who have been awarded the funding. Each group – most of which were founded post-pandemic and have an overwhelming number of Gen Z participants – will receive a $25,000 One More Hour grant to expand the accessibility of their resources and events while also easing the challenges founders face.

“Given the serious physical, cognitive, and mental health implications of social disconnection, I commend Hinge’s commitment to support and help scale promising interventions that foster high-quality connection for our loneliest generation,” said Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Brigham Young University and Scientific Chair, Foundation for Social Connection.

Awardees were selected based on their offering of fresh and affordable in-person experiences for young adults on an ongoing basis, including:

  • Love, Peace & Spades™ (https://www.lovepeaceandspades.com) (Los Angeles) – creating a hush harbor for intergenerational communion through music, tech, education, and play, safe, this monthly game night series in Los Angeles empowers its community to experience joy and creativity through gameplay. The grant will enable the group to scale events, expand programming, and build out initiatives for more culturally-rich activations.
  • HBCUs Outside (Atlanta) – helping students attending Historically Black Colleges & Universities with leaning into and enjoying outdoor activities that have been historically characterized against them (i.e. hiking, camping). The grant will create more outing clubs and establish a student governance model.
  • Reading Rhythms (New York) – bringing book lovers together within highly social and distracted big cities (NYC/LA) through vibrant and inclusive reading parties. The grant will fund scaling events while also creating strategic partnerships spanning from New York to Los Angeles.

Hinge has a long-standing commitment of tackling loneliness and facilitating meaningful in-person connections. By collaborating with its in-house and external experts and partners, Hinge helps to equip people with the necessary tools, resources, and tips they need to foster community and belonging. Hinge also partners with various organizations, including the Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness — working closely with other brands and organizations to advocate for policies and initiatives to reduce loneliness – and the Crisis Text Line in expanding its resources on loneliness so that young adults can more effectively access support. Additionally, Hinge has previously teamed up with the Surgeon General to help combat loneliness for daters during the pandemic.

As One More Hour continues to develop, Hinge is working with the Foundation for Social Connection to develop measurement tools and impact benchmarks around Hinge’s social impact efforts. For more information on Hinge’s One More Hour program, visit https://hinge.co/onemorehour.