This article was submitted by Tim Smith, Director of Innovation Partnerships & Pledge 1% at the Boston Foundation as part of Pledge 1%’s Women Who Lead series, which celebrates women in the Pledge 1% community who are creating change within their workplace and communities.
Technology Underwriting Greater Good (TUGG) is the nonprofit arm of Greater Boston’s tech community. The organization connects and engages local entrepreneurs and technologists with innovative social enterprises and is one of the only funders of major grants to emerging nonprofit startups. A sampling of TUGG’s portfolio includes Inner City Weightlifting, Resilient Coders, Media Girls, and First Teacher.
TUGG is run by Zoe Anetakis, Executive Director, and Elizabeth Dobrska, Managing Director. Both women bring experience from the private sector and a passion for social innovation. Zoe comes to TUGG from Accomplice, Boston’s most active early stage venture capital firm. She leads TUGG’s strategic direction and partnerships as well as general operations. She built her career in marketing and fundraising for investment firms and joined TUGG in 2014. “In TUGG, I saw an opportunity where I could roll up my sleeves and get to work. Beginning my career in financial services, I never dreamt that I would be a part of the philanthropic community in this way. I love the challenge of running TUGG, a non-profit, like a tech start up, and I love challenging our portfolio to do the same. We ask a lot of our portfolio, but when they deliver, it’s amazing to see what they can do with a lean team, a smart business model, and above all perseverance.”
Elizabeth Dobrska is an active change-maker in the Greater Boston social impact space and joined TUGG in 2016. As Managing Director she leads programming and manages community relationships and the organization’s nonprofit portfolio. Elizabeth’s background intersects the worlds of tech start-up and non-profit. Dobrksa says about her work with TUGG, “I am passionate about social entrepreneurship, and specifically finding ways to maximize impact through lean and innovative models in the non-profit landscape. TUGG’s model is both an inspiration and a blueprint for organizations across the country who are interested in social innovation. I’m proud to be in the driver’s seat to catalyze this work in Boston.”
Through its work at the intersection of the tech and nonprofit communities TUGG’s leadership team has positioned the organization as a leader in Boston’s innovation ecosystem, making it the natural partner to ignite the Pledge 1% movement in Greater Boston through Pledge 1% Boston together with the Boston Foundation.
TUGG and The Boston Foundation’s partnership represents a dynamic duo, each bringing its own set of complementary strengths to the Pledge 1% movement. Together the two organization are championing collaboration between the nonprofit and for-profit sectors with unique and transformative initiatives.
Kudos to TUGG for serving as a proverbial light bulb to help company’s take their first step towards charitable involvement in the community, and for pioneering unique funding opportunities in the local philanthropy community.