Making a Pledge of 1%

Companies today are often positioned to do an incredible amount of good, and Giving Center believes that all companies, regardless of size, can make a positive difference. Pledge 1% is a global movement that invites companies of all sizes and stages to give 1% of their equity, time, product, or profit—or any combination of these—to charities like Giving Center. Spearheaded by Salesforce, Atlassian, Rally for Impact and Tides, Pledge 1% has now been taken up by 8,500 companies in 100 countries.For many of us, numerous questions come to mind. My company is just starting out with no profit and few employees, can I really make a difference? Isn’t it better to be private about my company’s philanthropy—why take a public pledge? And does pledging even work?To answer these questions and hopefully inspire you to get started on your company’s philanthropic journey, here are a few reasons why it’s a great idea to begin with a pledge. Commitment: Lock it In!To pledge 1% may seem like a small commitment, but commitments allow you to hold yourself accountable to your most important values. After all, if you work for a start–up, or even a later–stage company, you are likely working heads-down, around the clock. It is all too easy to put off giving back and realize it only too late. Taking a pledge, such as Pledge 1%, is an easy way to get started, and to make an enormous difference! Not only will your commitment benefit the lives of those in need, but your charitable donation is tax deductible!Let’s imagine a scenario where you are the founder of a start–up with $1M in revenue and 20 employees, with say 10%—or $100,000—in profits.

  • Pledging 1% Profit: In this scenario, you’d be donating 1% of your profits: a total of $1,000. While this may seem like a small amount upon first glance, $1,000 could do a lot here at Giving Center! And to hopefully blow your mind and inspire you, here are examples of just some of the good you could do with a $1,000 donation: restore eyesight for 20 people with curable blindness who cannot afford surgery; protect 1,000 people from malaria for up to 3 years; or provide tablets for an underprivileged class!
  • Pledging 1% Time: Alternatively, you could pledge employee time. Based on approximately 2,000 work hours per year per employee, 1% would be 20 hours. If your start–up has 20 employees, you’d be contributing 400 hours of time for employees to use their unique skills to better the world.
  • Pledging 1% Product: Likewise, you could pledge 1% of your products– either your products in entirety or subsidizing your products for charity. For instance, if you run a tech company, your technology could be customized to help Giving Center promote their mission. Your product would provide innumerable benefits to the charity you care about.
  • Pledging 1% Equity: Finally, you could pledge company equity at an early stage, ensuring that your future success benefits the world.

Moreover, as your company grows, you leave open the possibility that you could eventually be giving away a massive amount: your philanthropy grows with your company! So what are you waiting for? Visit us here to get started today! Atlassian took the Pledge 1% back when it was a very small company. Scott Farquhar, CEO of Atlassian says, “We made that pledge publicly so our customers and staff would hold us accountable. And it worked… Looking back now, I can say that pledge was one of the best decisions we ever made.”Similarly, Suzanne DiBianca, the Chief Impact Officer and EVP of Corporate Relations at Salesforce talks in an article in Forbes about how making an early commitment enabled Salesforce to integrate giving back early into the company culture. “In the early days we had no money and very little product. So, in the beginning, we were really focused on our employees and the volunteer part of it. And looking back it was the right place to start, it really became part of the hearts and minds of the people who work there.” At Salesforce alone, donations had, as of 2018, added up to over $240 million in grants, 3.5 million hours of community service, and product donations to more than 39,000 non–profit and educational institutions. It all began however, by making a commitment. The bottom line: Making a commitment allows you to hold yourself accountable to your highest values, to lock in your good intentions, and to ensure that a small portion of your future success benefits the world.Community: Strength in NumbersInitiatives such as Pledge 1% ensure that your company’s philanthropic efforts are not operating in a silo. Rather, by making such a public pledge, you join a community of like-minded business leaders. And there is strength in numbers.Forming a community makes it more likely that those who have pledged will reinforce and support each other’s commitment to giving, making it more likely that you will stick to your giving aims. In addition, such communities share knowledge, experience and best practices, enabling and empowering you to be part of something bigger than yourself.
Giving Center is a nationwide 501(c)3 not for profit charitable organization (EIN# 46-1883892) that serves to help a wide range of causes nationwide with a focus on education and the ultimate improvement of the lives of those less fortunate with aid in the form of financial assistance, endowments, grants, educational assistance and more.
We help social service agencies, non-profits, shelters, schools, individuals with special and educational needs including victims of crime, discrimination, those with physical challenges, financial challenges and more. The Giving Center, with a combined network of individuals and organizations, offers charitable giving that can make a difference in a more personal way.

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