Written by Pledge 1% and Andy Fyfe, Manager of B Corp Growth and Activation for B Lab U.S. & Canada. Originally published on bthechange.com

As a global community, we continue to face insurmountable challenges — from the pandemic to recent protests calling for racial justice to increased urgency surrounding climate change and more. This is only proving how companies can be on the frontlines, leveraging their time, talent, and resources to build solutions. Now more than ever, companies are seeking opportunities to build their social impact programs and ensure that they are equipped to tackle the biggest issues of the day.

However, for many companies — both early- and late-stage— donating time, money and resources can be difficult. Pledging equity is an easy and effective way for companies to play an active role in addressing these issues without having to worry about immediate upfront costs.

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In the last four years, Pledge 1% members have ignited more than $500 million in new philanthropy by pledging equity.

What’s more, today’s investors, customers and employees are seeking organizations that are committed to creating positive change in their communities. In the war for talent and customers, a company that prioritizes social impact differentiates itself from competitors.

In collaboration with top CEOs from a variety of industries, Pledge 1% has published a new, comprehensive CEO Equity Playbook, which outlines how companies of any size can set aside equity to fund social impact initiatives. This invaluable resource includes tips on how to garner board support, examples of the different types of equity models, and case studies from leaders such as Twilio, Crunchbase, and more.

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A new impact economy is being built, one where businesses prioritize and consider their impact on all the stakeholders they impact — including communities, workers, customers, and the environment. Download this free report to learn how the stakeholder model as practiced by B Corps is gaining global traction and validation.

In addition to Pledge 1%’s resources, B Lab has stewarded a community of Certified B Corporations proving that profit and mission do not need to be tradeoffs. Behind the certification, every B Corp has amended its legal charter to be accountable to all its stakeholders, not just its shareholders. Just how Pledge 1% has paved the way for fast-growing companies to embed equity for social impact, a wave of B Corps around the world are proving that doing good as a business is not a trend but the future.

Beyond company leadership, though, if we seek an inclusive and equitable economic system for all people and the planet, we need to make sweeping changes to policy. It is not simply individual actors that must change, but rather the system itself that must evolve so that extractive profits are no longer available to companies and investors. This month B Lab U.S. & Canada released its first policy white paper: From Shareholder Primacy to Stakeholder Capitalism.

Earlier this year Lemonade, an insurance company that is a B Corp and benefit corporation, in its S1 clearly stated that its fiduciary duty is expanded beyond just the financial return to its shareholders but to the well-being of stakeholders— unprecedented in a IPO.

Today’s issues will not be solved by governments or nonprofits alone. Setting aside a portion of company equity today will ensure the business has a lasting impact tomorrow. Additionally, sharing program initiatives and best practices for how to create sustainable impact programs will help us all as we work to move forward together. Both B Lab and Pledge 1% are providing tools and frameworks to help companies of all sizes and stages navigate today’s issues and set themselves up for long-term impact.

Download the Pledge 1% CEO Equity Playbook to get started.

B The Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.

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