Last night, September 28, Pledge 1% partnered with The Boston Foundation to launch Pledge 1% Boston, a pilot regional model for the movement. The event started with resounding enthusiasm as Accomplice founder Jeff Fagnan took the stage and announced that Accomplice will pledge 1% of their carry in perpetuity to two local nonprofits InnerCity Weightlifting and Resilient Coders

pledging-1Jeff spoke about the tech sector’s potential to give back, and the power that companies can have when we give back together.  “Change will only happen with ‘we’,” he explained, “and by people joining micro-movements like Pledge 1% Boston.  The message is – don’t join me, join we!”

Jeff was joined on stage by other prominent Boston investors, entrepreneurs, and leaders, who are now serving on The Boston Foundation/Pledge 1% Boston Innovation Economy Leadership Council, including  John Simon, Managing Director of Sigma Prime Ventures, and C.A. Webb, Co-Founder and Partner of _Underscore, all who shared their vision for Pledge 1% Boston and offered to coach, mentor, and collaborate with new members.  Each leader spoke about their role in the movement and took personal ownership for driving greater giving to the Boston community.

The Innovation Economy Council and Pledge 1% Boston is headed up by Tim Smith at The Boston Foundation in partnership with Pledge 1%.  We are also fortunate to have the support of TUGG, the GreenLight Fund, and other Boston organizations.  By uniting seasoned VCs, Pledge 1% members, and other members of the Boston tech community, Pledge 1% Boston is creating a new model to engage and empower entrepreneurs as a force for good in the greater Boston area.  

And, to Jeff’s point, Boston companies are building this movement together.

Already 12 companies have taken the pledge, including Accomplice, GravytyOvuline, and others.

Some key takeaways from the speakers:

  • John Simon, Managing Director of Sigma Prime Ventures – Sign up and get started early.  Build Pledge 1% into company.  As CEOs, you take care of many constituencies, such as your staff, your Board, and your customers.  Your community should be one of those constituencies, and it is our job as leaders to give back.
  • Paris Wallace, CEO of Ovuline and TechStars mentor – Think about all of the generosity that has impacted your life and consider giving 1%.  Think about your employees, who give 100% every day, your mentors, your Board, your partners–all of the people whose generosity has helped your company grow.  In the big picture, 1% is a small and great opportunity for you to pay it forward and give back to your community.
  • Rich and Adam Martel of Gravyty – It’s on us to build the movement.  Ask one new person to take the pledge.  As we grow, so does our impact, and together we can encourage others to join us in giving back.

Pledge 1%’s CEO Amy Lesnick welcomed new members and kicked-off the night with hosts Kate Guedj, Vice President & Chief Philanthropy Officer of The Boston Foundation and Geeta Pradhan, President of the Cambridge Community Foundation.  

dsc03101Last night proved that the Pledge 1% movement is alive and strong in Boston.  We are proud to partner with The Boston Foundation on uniting local leaders around Pledge 1%, and are delighted to welcome them to the larger Pledge 1% community!

If you are based in Boston or would like to #PledgeItForward by asking a Boston-based founder or company to join this local network, please contact us and we would be happy to connect you!