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Did you know? 

  • The Atlassian Foundation has donated over $3.9 million to various charities.
  • All proceeds from our fully featured 10-user Jira starter licenses go to Room to Read, which promotes literacy and gender equality in education throughout the developing world. 
  • Every Atlassian employee is given five days of volunteer leave. 

At Atlassian, we believe in giving back. And good issue tracking. Nothing is more fun than when we get to do both. 

The Atlassian Foundation’s vision is to advance humanity through the power of software and education. Melissa Beaumont Lee, Atlassian Foundation manager, runs our Foundation’s day-to-day operations. For longer than she would have liked, Melissa oversaw a messy system of PDFs and Excel spreadsheets. Employees wishing to take advantage of Atlassian Foundation programs, such as donation matching and volunteer leave, filed requests manually, printed a PDF form, filled it out in pen, and handed it over to the Foundation. Melissa processed everything by hand, keeping track of requests in giant spreadsheets.image2014-3-26 15-13-2

“I used to spend weekends looking at Excel spreadsheets,” said Melissa. “It really ruined my weekends.”

Enter Jira Service Desk.

Melissa still remembers her excitement the first time Jira Service Desk was announced internally. She practically tackled Senior Product Manager Shihab Hamid after his presentation at a staff meeting.

“It was like all my Christmases had come at once during that presentation,” she laughed. A few months later, it was official: The Atlassian Foundation had moved on from spreadsheets and was up-and-running on Jira Service Desk!

Three ways the Atlassian Foundation uses Jira Service Desk:

1. Tracking Foundation Leave

Atlassian employees across the world are given five days of paid volunteer leave to support the cause of their choice. They can work with a favorite charity or join an existing Atlassian Foundation project. We call this ‘Foundation Leave.’

You may have already read our blog post about how we manage our unlimited vacation system in our San Francisco office using Jira Service Desk. The Atlassian Foundation faced similar problems tracking volunteer leave.

Now, Melissa uses Jira Service Desk to manage worldwide employee Foundation Leave. She set up an easy to use Customer portal:

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What used to be an arduous process now takes about five minutes. Employees fill out the form, press submit, and the request files automatically as a Jira issue assigned to the appropriate manager for approval. The issue navigates through the following workflow:

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With volunteer leave requests automated, Melissa can enjoy her weekends again.

2. Doubling social impact: employee donation matching 

The Atlassian Foundation matches employee donations dollar-for-dollar up to $1,000 – for double the impact.

$10 employee donation + $10 matched by Atlassian = $20 for the cause of their choice

$1,000 employee donation + $1,000 matched by Atlassian = $2,000 for the cause of their choice

Prior to Jira Service Desk, donation matching was a messy, unorganized process. “You physically handed your receipts to finance, but there wasn’t a feedback loop letting you know when the match had been made,” says Melissa.

Now, donations are matched by filling out the form below, and employees are notified by email when the match is made.

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See it in action: Raising money after Typhoon Haiyan 

When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines last November, Atlassians in our new Manila office wanted to help. They decided to raise money to help the victims – and have it matched through employee donation matching.

Within a week, the team raised over $3,000! Melissa, meanwhile, was traveling in Cambodia with Atlassian charity partner Room to Read.

Thanks to Service Desk, the team in Manila was able to submit requests to have their money matched automatically. With everything now in Jira, Melissa doesn’t have to worry about manually coordinating donation matching or dealing with spreadsheets!

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image2014-3-20 10-14-14“Thanks to Service Desk the Manila team was able to fundraise for the typhoon victims while I was in Cambodia – I didn’t have to manually manage the process.” – Melissa Beaumont Lee, Atlassian Foundation Manager

3. Giving back 1% of your salary

The Atlassian Foundation runs on a 1% model:

  • 1% of annual profit is donated to charities
  • 1% of employee time is dedicated to Foundation Projects
  • 1% of company equity is donated to the Foundation

Sydney Atlassians can also opt to give 1% of their salary back to the charity of their choice. Similar to Foundation Leave, Atlassians used to have to print a PDF form and file their requests to donate 1% of their salary manually. This system annoyed some employees who thought it could be done better. “At a technology company, people hate printing – and it’s bad for the environment,” Melissa notes.

Now, the system runs on — you guessed it — Jira Service Desk:

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Once an employee hits submit, the request becomes a Jira issue which is assigned to the Atlassian finance team. As they process the request, the employee can use Jira to monitor the issue’s status. Once the request goes through, 1% of the employee’s paycheck will automatically be deducted and donated to the nonprofit of their choice.

It’s that easy. Jira Service Desk helps the Atlassian Foundation stay lean and efficient, so it can focus on what’s really important.

image2014-3-20 10-14-14“Jira Service Desk makes it easier for every Atlassian to participate in the Foundation, so we can focus on our mission to advance humanity through the power of software and education.


Try Jira Service Desk

Jira Service Desk is available now for a free trial, OnDemand or download. Pricing starts at just $10 for 10 users.

Are you a non-profit? You may be eligible for a free Atlassian Community License. Learn more here.

Advancing humanity using Jira: Our Foundation runs on Service Desk!