New York, New York – November 29, 2017 – Pledge 1% is ringing the Nasdaq bell today to honor the Pledge 1% companies who have gone public already, as well as the thousands of Pledge 1% members who are making a meaningful difference in the world long before their liquidity events. To date, the top Pledge 1% companies alone have already ignited over $500 million in new philanthropy.
Recently named one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies and #1 Most Innovative Non-profit, Pledge 1% is a global movement that is creating a new normal for companies to give. It’s simple, flexible and scalable model helps founders integrate giving back into their company cultures and values early by committing to give 1% of equity, time, product, and/or profit to any cause of their choosing.
With a growth rate of 150% a year since its inception, the Pledge 1% movement now includes over 3,400 member companies in 85 countries, including tech leaders like Salesforce, Atlassian, and Yelp, recent IPOs such as Twilio, Nutanix, and Okta, and some of today’s fast growing companies like Postmates, Pluralsight, PagerDuty, and InsideSales, among others. Influential Tech eco-system partners have also backed the movement, including 500 startups, Techstars, TechCrunch, SV Angel, Foundry Group, and Salesforce Ventures.
Why Pledge 1%? Aside from the huge potential for impact, leaders and investors are increasingly recognizing that there is an ROI to doing good.
“Pledge 1% isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do. We invest in founders who understand this,” said Ron Conway, one of the leading venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and founder of SV Angel.
Expectations of tomorrow’s leaders and companies are changing. Much of this is driven by millennial employees, customers, and founders themselves. By 2025, 75% of workforce will be millennials (catalyst.org). According to the most recent Deloitte Millennial Report, 9 in 10 millennials (86%) believe that the success of a company should be measured by more than its financial returns. And according to the 2016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study, 76% of millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work, and nearly two thirds won’t take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong social responsibility practices. Yet today, only 5% of the philanthropy in the US comes from corporate donations according to Giving USA’s annual benchmarking report.
Michael Litt, founder/CEO of Canadian based Vidyard, who was introduced to Pledge 1% through Salesforce Ventures, states “Pledge 1% is absolutely core to Vidyard’s ability to attract and retain top talent. We believe in this so strongly that we’ve based our executive compensation on an employee net promoter score driven in a large part by employee engagement and impact.”
Millennials want to make a difference in the world and they see their workplace as the place to do it. But even beyond “winning the talent wars,” millennial founders see culture and values as the key to building a legacy far beyond financial success.
“We’re seeing a shift in the status quo” states Amy Lesnick, Chief Executive of Pledge 1%. “In the past, companies have waited until they were larger and successful before they set up programs to give back. These programs were often run on the side via a separate foundation and typically through impact grants. With Pledge 1%, founders are recognizing that they can have an impact long before their liquidity event. Instead of at the end, on the side, and just money founders today are setting their aspirations to give back at the beginning, integrating it into the core, and leveraging much more than money. By weaving Pledge 1% into their culture and core business values from day one, they are empowering all of their employees to be part of something bigger than themselves, to share a piece of their success with the world.”
“People know they want to give more than 0% and less than 100% but often don’t know where to get started,” said Scott Farquhar, co-founder of Pledge 1% and co-CEO of Atlassian. “Pledge 1% gives people a working model to get started and the confidence of seeing thousands of other companies that have succeeded already. Committing to Pledge 1% was one of the best choices Mike and I have ever made – and I’m confident the same will be true for every founder who does the same.”
As Pledge 1% has proven, startups can have a real impact, even long before liquidity:
- “We are helping save children from being trafficked into slavery and prostitution,” said Ken Krogue, President of InsideSales.com. “And that’s just one of our many programs. Our team works hard to make our shareholders money and drive the company to great success, but at the end of the day they also want to be part of something bigger. They want to do well and do good. Pledge 1% gave us a model to get started and a community of like-minded companies from which to learn. We are thrilled to see this movement spreading.”
- “Pledge 1% is a wonderful framework for corporate giving, and we are pleased to be a part of this important movement,” said Amy Skeeters-Behrens, Executive Director of DocuSign IMPACT. “One example of our work in this area is that we recently joined forces with Team Rubicon, a nonprofit mobilizing over 40,000 veterans and first responders, as well as DocuSign’s local developer community, to facilitate medical care for over 3,600 Syrian Refugees in a camp in Northern Greece. By leveraging DocuSign’s product, our internal talent, and our network, we were able to empower medical volunteers with the digital solution they needed to access and record important medical records, data, and releases.”
- “At MediaMath, we wanted our philanthropy to reflect our own values: creating impact via measurable outcomes,” said Joe Zawadzki, CEO of MediaMath. “This year we launched a program called ‘Campaigns Count’ for every 20 campaigns on our platform, MediaMath is funding a sight saving surgery for someone who suffers from low vision or whose blindness is treatable. Through our charity partner Seva, we have transformed over 2,000 lives through sight restoration surgeries, as MediaMath grows, our impact grows. We’ve also recently set aside 1% of our equity for MediaMath.org, recognizing that a small piece of our future success can make a HUGE difference. We look forward to continuing to build the Pledge 1% movement and collaborating with other Pledge companies to drive even more substantial impact.”
These are just a few of the many examples of how Pledge 1% companies are having a positive impact. And Pledge 1% is only getting started.
“We’re excited for Pledge 1% to celebrate its three year anniversary,” said Suzanne DiBianca, Salesforce‘s EVP of Corporate Relations and Chief Philanthropy Officer. “Salesforce co-founded Pledge 1% to encourage companies of all sizes to build philanthropy into their business models and we are thrilled to see the continued momentum of thousands of companies taking the pledge. All companies can do more to give back! Today’s customers and top talent are rewarding companies who have strong values and social impact programs.”
“We are on a mission to create a new normal for giving back, ignite billions of dollars of new philanthropy through money, time, product – to drive meaningful change in the world,” summarized Lesnick.
To learn more about Pledge 1% or to join the movement, visit www.pledge1percent.org.
About Pledge 1%
Pledge 1% is an effort spearheaded by Atlassian, Rally, Salesforce and Tides to accelerate their shared vision around integrating philanthropy into businesses around the world. Pledge 1% encourages and challenges individuals and companies to pledge 1% of equity, product and employee time for their communities, because pledging a small portion of future success can have a huge impact on tomorrow. Pledge 1% offers companies turnkey tools and best practices, making it accessible for any company to incorporate philanthropy into their business model. To learn more or to take the pledge, please visit www.pledge1percent.org.