by Amy Lesnick, Chief Executive, Pledge 1%

 
On Tuesday September 13, we celebrated reaching 1,000 members by kicking off a new campaign, #PledgeItForward, which asks YOU–our amazing Pledge 1% community–to invite others to join the movement. The day started with an on-stage announcement at TechCrunch Disrupt from Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, and concluded with a dinner and fireside chat hosted by Accel‘s Rich Wong and Ryan Sweeney and featuring Scott Farquhar, Co-CEO and Founder of Atlassian and Co-founder of the Pledge 1% movement.
 
We were delighted to hear from Scott, who shared his story and personal experiences on Atlassian’s founding and growth, his biggest learnings as the company evolved, and their ongoing partnership with Accel.  Scott also talked about the importance of company culture.  “In the beginning, a company’s culture reflects the values of the founders,” explained Scott.  “As it grows, you need to be more deliberate.”

In particular, Scott shared his passion for Pledge 1%.  Scott and his Co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes decided to pledge 1% in Atlassian’s earliest stages.  They integrated the values of giving back into the company’s DNA.  Those values have led to the creation of the innovative “freemium” model, whereby customers paid $10 for 10 licenses, with the proceeds from those licenses going to the nonprofit Room to Read.  As the company grew, this program grew with it and eventually led to millions of dollars donated to benefit girls in Cambodia.

Not only was this program benefiting communities around the globe, but it was helping Atlassian engage its workforce and customers.  Atlassian has been named “Australia’s best place to work,” listed as one of Fortune’s “top 100 best workplaces for Millennials,” and has been recognized as one of the “best medium sized workplaces in tech.”  And, according to Scott, customers love the fact that they can partner with a values based company and help make giving back a reality.

Scott believed so passionately in the importance of this program and its impact on Atlassian that he went on to co-found Pledge 1% with the goal of helping more founders and CEO’s understand that this is a smart decision not just for the world, but for their company’s success.  He envisions a future where giving back is as automatic as filling out the paperwork to incorporate your company.

At Pledge 1%, our community believes in that future as well, a future where pledging 1% is so normal, we don’t even need an organization or a movement to promote it.  We’re so fortunate to have a visionary leader like Scott as our Co-founder and evangelist.  Special thanks to Scott as well as Rich, Ryan, and the rest of the team at Accel for kicking off #PledgeItForward and for being a role model for other partners.