Back when Atlassian was a very small company, we made a pledge to divert 1% of equity, 1% of product, 1% of profit, and 1% of employee time to charitable causes–a corporate philanthropy model pioneered by Salesforce. We made that pledge publicly so our customers and staff would hold us accountable. And it worked.
Twelve years later, we have helped over 250,000 children in the developing world get an education they wouldn’t otherwise have had access to through a partnership with the Room to Read foundation. Meanwhile, Atlassian employees have taken advantage of special paid leave days to volunteer thousands of hours with their favorite causes–from tutoring to affordable housing, and just about everything in between.
Looking back now, I can say that pledge was one of the best decisions we ever made. That’s why today, in partnership with the Salesforce Foundation and the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado, we are encouraging other companies to do the same through Pledge 1%.
I know first-hand what it’s like when you’re starting a company. You’re heads-down, working harder than you ever have in your life, and taking immense pride in even the smallest wins. At the same time, you know that you’re standing on the shoulders of entrepreneurs before you–not to mention every teacher, mentor, social program, friend, and family member who has supported your journey thus far. You want to express your gratitude in a tangible way, but know that you’ve got to stay laser-focused on getting your company off the ground.
Pledging to give back makes that dilemma go away.
I’m thrilled by the support Pledge 1% offers to companies and founders who are keen to give back to their communities but don’t know how to get started: guidance on choosing the right pledge, best practices for next steps, and even help pitching a 1% pledge to your company’s board of directors. And if you’re simply unsure whether pledging 1% is the way to go, I’m happy to help convince you! Email me at email@example.com and let me know what your concerns are.
We at Pledge 1% have set a goal of securing public pledges from 500 other companies by December 1, 2015–next year’s #GivingTuesday. That’s where you come in. Click below to visit the Pledge 1% website, where you can learn more about how it works and who is already involved. Then share it with your founders, colleagues, and friends.
Together, we can make the community a key stakeholder in our companies.