Toyota Returns with Follow-up to its ‘Need a Nudge’ Program


Toyota Returns with Follow-up to its ‘Need a Nudge’ Program

PLANO, Texas – After honoring an inspiring group of deserving, noteworthy local grassroots organizations from across the U.S. last year with $10,000 grants in the first-ever Toyota “Need a Nudge” program, the carmaker returns for 2023 with an enticing follow-up campaign conceived to benefit America’s 106 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, intent upon complementing the total $300,000 in micro-grants recipients were awarded in 2022.

The new campaign is aptly titled “After the Nudge,” and like its predecessor, it stands as a nod to the ways in which small gestures to some, can mean the world to someone who needs it most, and why paying it forward is a concept that should be continued and expanded upon—with the added component of individuals empowered to help drive that impact. A companion national podcast series, co-hosted by noted, award-winning Black journalist Soledad O’Brien and former NBA athlete J.R. Smith will also nationally debut early this month documenting in an engaging format how Toyota “nudged” grassroots community organizations with the micro-grants, and how site visitors now have a unique opportunity to join in Toyota’s efforts to support HBCU’s across the higher education ecosystem.

While Toyota last year focused on the founders of community-based organizations, achieving a resounding program success by garnering an impressive 4.5 million votes and underscoring the far-reaching engagement and enthusiasm of the community, this year the brand will seek to benefit HBCUs with the introduction of the “Nudge Button,” an online tab that when activated prompts the company to contribute one dollar to America’s Black colleges. Even better, the sky’s the limit in fueling this emotional connection as the button, accessible at, can be depressed as often as ten times per day, per individual, toward Toyota’s goal of donating $300,000 to these storied institutions in 2023.

Toyota has proudly extended the role of doing the nudging itself this year, instead pulling in consumers to encourage them to do even more at the push of the Nudge button. And, limiting participation to ten presses per day ensures that the online interaction is with real people, rather than a program or virus.

“At Toyota, our vision and invitation is for the allies, friends, and alumni of HBCUs to join us in helping these colleges and universities continue to make a difference as they serve their students. This new national initiative will enable us to uplift and prepare students for impactful careers as the workforce of the future,” said Mike Tripp, VP of Marketing and Communications, Toyota Motor North America. “We are gratified to be able to play a role in supporting HBCUs with this innovative program, empowering them to continue the legacy work they’re known for.”

“Grassroots community organizations do incredible work day in and day out. What an honor to have the chance to elevate their inspiring stories,” states Soledad O’Brien, one of America’s most recognized and accomplished broadcast journalists. “I'm thrilled to partner with Pod Digital Media and Toyota as we celebrate these true heroes.”

“As an HBCUer myself, it’s a win-win for me to be able to align with Toyota, as well as to be paired with a media legend like Soledad O’Brien, all to amplify the hard work, unique culture and success that our HBCUs are known for,” says co-host J.R. Smith. “I encourage people to tune-in regularly to the ‘After the Nudge’ podcast, as well as to interact daily with the Nudge button—and then tell someone about it, as it empowers us all to be engaged and to make a positive difference.”

“Pod Digital Media is thrilled to serve as Toyota's exclusive media and podcast production partner, collaborating to craft this dynamic and influential custom podcast series,” says Gary Coichy, Pod Digital Media founder & CEO.

At the campaign’s conclusion, the final “After the Nudge” donations from Toyota will be made to the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). In collaboration with NAFEO, TMCF and UNCF, the donations will be dispersed across HBCUs large and small, and spanning all degrees of renown.

Visitors are actively encouraged to participate by visiting Toyota’s website often, press the “Need A Nudge” button daily and then be sure to tune in to the inspiring “After the Nudge” podcast series for the latest program news, profiles, information and updates.

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in North America for more than 65 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our more than 1,800 dealerships.

Toyota directly employs more than 48,000 people in North America, who have contributed to the design, engineering and assembly of nearly 45 million cars and trucks at our 13 manufacturing plants. By 2025, Toyota’s 14th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles. With more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, Toyota currently offers 20 electrified options, with more in showrooms later this year.

Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit

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