Originally published at Rockcontent.com. Written by Luana Dias.
In another major step towards accelerating social transformation, we have committed to donating 1% of Rock Content’s shares for social impact purposes.
Through the global organization Pledge 1%, the company is formalizing the reserve of 1% of shares to support and finance projects aimed at social impact.
The first step was the approval of this initiative by the Rock Content Board.
Our decision was inspired by global companies we admire, such as Twilio, Crunchbase and Atlassian.
In practice, what does this mean for society and the corporate market?
A Brief Retrospective
Since 2019, Rock Content has been committed to making a positive impact in its community.
With this goal, Rock.org, our social impact initiative, was created.
Despite being a new industry, the company’s commitment to social impact has advanced significantly over the years.
According to our Rock Content CEO, Diego Gomes, the commitment to giving back to our community has always been in the company’s DNA.
“We’ve always cared about creating growth opportunities. It’s in our mission. We started with Digital Marketing education and creating opportunities for our talents to make money while doing what they love. It has always been a driving force, and today we have amazing stories of people who joined us in this dream and had their lives transformed: people who found their first job or even managed to support their family and pay for their studies. We want to continue on this trajectory, ensuring that our commitment to impact will be a key part of our legacy!”
In terms of commitment to social impact, our first initiative was to encourage employees to be a force for good by donating 1% of their work time to give back to the community.
This means that Rockers — as we call our employees — have the option of donating 1% of their time (3 days per year) within the company to internal or external volunteer actions.
In addition, since the creation of Rock.org in 2019, we have held an annual Volunteer Day to support institutions aligned with our education and employability causes.
Currently, our engagement rate for those activities covers 66% of our team.
In 2020, we founded our social impact mission: sharing knowledge to accelerate social transformation.
To this end, we began donating Rock University courses to socially and economically underrepresented groups — in this case, women, the black community, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Through this commitment, we were able to impact over 50,000 students from 2020 through June 2021.
This way, we enable countless individuals to become great trained professionals and bring more diversity and inclusion to the job market.
Now, we are going further! Through the Pledge 1% initiative, Rock Content has committed to donating 1% of its social capital.
Equity Pledge Commitment
What is the Equity Pledge?
The Equity Pledge commitment means setting aside 1% of Rock Content’s equity (i.e., the company’s shares) to invest in social impact.
This action demonstrates our long-term commitment to giving back to the community and sustainably funding social work for years to come.
Why do we commit?
We are increasingly looking to align growth and purpose, and the 1% Pledge commitment represents the path Rock Content wants to take to make a positive impact on the world.
For Patrícia Moraes, our board member, investor and founder of Unbox Capital, the decision of Rock Content’s Board to support the Equity Pledge was a natural development for the company.
In this sense, the decision was made to complement the culture of giving back that already exists among Rockers.
“The Equity Pledge is very straightforward in that sense. As you generate value in your business, you also distribute it to others. It’s part of the company’s culture. This passion has always been one of the pillars that stood out at Rock Content.”
The Equity Pledge is another way of reaffirming our values.
With this, we are leading by example, encouraging other companies to get to know initiatives like Pledge 1% and truly commit to social impact.
How did we make this commitment?
The Pledge 1% organization supported Rock Content throughout the shares donation commitment process, providing materials, references and advice.
For those who don’t know, Pledge 1% is a global movement to create a new reality, where giving back becomes part of the structure of companies of all sizes and stages.
Its role is to inspire, educate and empower all businesses to be a force for good.
Rock Content’s commitment is:
We offer our employees the possibility of donating 1% of their work time to volunteer activities internally or externally.
We donate one of our products — in this case, paid courses from Rock University, our education platform, to under-represented and economically vulnerable groups.
In our most recent commitment, we donate 1% of Rock Content’s shares.
The Impact of the Equity Pledge
According to Diego, it is clear that customers, employees and the surrounding community care about being connected to a company that wants to leave its mark on the world.
“For us, the Equity Pledge means that we are committed to donating part of the value created by Rock Content to causes we believe in. We believe this is very important to ensure that our legacy of impact is preserved. Success for us is building an impactful company that will outlast us!”
The Equity Pledge commitment is related to all of our stakeholders — and that’s very important to us. After all, the way in which investments are made increasingly reflects the impact that we seek in this world.
Therefore, we want to present how the Equity Pledge positively impacts our stakeholders:
Once the donation has liquidity, such as in the case of an IPO or a secondary share sale, we will donate strategically to non-profit organizations and projects around the world that share our mission, focusing on education and employability.
This way, we will have more resources to scale our impact, donating consistently to those who need quality education and better job opportunities.
Diego Gomes points to Rockers as the main drivers of social impact within Rock Content.
“Our biggest drivers are the Rockers, from the board to the frontline. They not only care about impact as much as I do personally, but they work with a focus on making a meaningful impact on the communities around us. They are the ones who make it happen.”
Regarding his role in this, Diego puts himself as a facilitator.
“I care a lot about creating a positive impact on the world, and that is a significant part of what we want for our legacy. My role as the CEO of Rock Content is to be an impact facilitator!”
Diego says that whenever he talks to the employees about Rock Content’s social impact, they usually point out that it is one of the main reasons they chose to work at the company.
“Rockers come to work more motivated, excited, and feel proud of their work, of what we are building here. Today, wearing a Rock Content shirt means ‘we care about making a difference, we care about our legacy’. And because of that, we continue to deliver great business results. To me, that’s the best of both worlds. Impact means having a business with a purpose, and this commitment ensures that those things go hand in hand.”
To our investors and market
The decision means that our current investors’ mission and long-term goals are aligned with ours.
The commitment has received a positive response from the board, which means that investors are fully involved in the initiative.
Future investors will also share this belief with us. This demonstrates how social impact is in our DNA at all levels and is a priority for us.
For Ricardo Coelho Duarte, our board member and investor:
“Rock Content is the living proof of how doing business and social responsibility are more than ever one integrated, strategic action. Maturing the Pledge 1% to its full commitment is 100% aligned with the leadership and more importantly, with the company’s current and future talents. We expect the best people to be engaged, achieving greatness at Rock, and as a result, change the world for the better.”
Bostjan Spetic, also a member of our board, uses the metaphor of an ecosystem to explain the Equity Pledge commitment and what it means for society as a whole.
“No individual, no team and no entrepreneurial endeavor exists in social isolation. We are extremely aware that it is the society as a whole, the community we take inspiration from and the environment that supports our explorations that take our actions to the next level and help us stay on course. It is our duty and also our passion to ensure the ecosystem that sustains our growth is able to flourish alongside us. We take this reciprocity as a ground condition of a symbiosis without which the world would be utterly unrecognizable to us. We are honored and humbled by the opportunity to support Pledge 1% movement and commit 1% of our equity for social impact to keep improving the state of the world.”
The Future of Social Impact
While it is difficult to imagine the ideal scenario for the best version of the world, steps like the ones Rock Content has taken indicate that a significant social transformation is underway.
In Diego’s opinion, the commitment to equity donation is an important step in ensuring that our impact initiatives grow in the future.
“The impact we create now is tied to the growth of the business. The equity commitment for us means that in a liquidity event, in a future round or (most likely) in an IPO, we will have a significant amount of resources to continue funding these important initiatives.”
Moreover, the impact commitment for the coming years strengthens Rock Content’s globalization strategy and culture.
For Diego, commitments like this bring the company closer to people who think about impact the same way we do.
Thus, we have a very positive formula as an organization before the market and society:
More talents + More cultural alignment = More impact
For board member Patrícia Moraes, there is undoubtedly a normalization of social impact and ESG taking place in the corporate market.
And, in the future, this will be even more noticeable.
This is why we need “companies with a soul” — an expression she uses to define companies that have purpose and a strong culture.
According to the board member, one possible path for companies to follow is to look inside first, find the important gaps that can change the company’s level, and then implement actions that can transform the culture and the company.
“Rock Content has always been very consistent in this, since the beginning of Rock.org, because the company has been developing an awareness”.
With great expectations for the future, Gabriela Crego, Rock Content’s Social Impact Leader, states:
“Since its creation, the Rock.org team has been concerned with doing a coherent and consistent work in terms of impact and results. In 2021, we are ready to expand our social impact efforts: we have committed our equity. And going forward, we are working to see even more results and actions in this sense.”
Want to learn more about our social impact efforts? Check out our page!