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San Francisco, CA and Sydney, NSW, Australia–Atlassian, a leader in software for accelerating product development and collaboration, today announced the company will mark $1 million in donations to Room to Read, a global non-profit that seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. The company raised the funds with the help of their customers through the sale of $10 software licenses, one of the first broad-based cause-for-marketing (“causium”) programs.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to reach this milestone with Room to Read, an organization that represents so fully the fundamental philosophy of giving back to others – a philosophy we share at Atlassian,” said Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder and CEO at Atlassian. “John and his team have done a fabulous job with the organization and we’re proud to help them continue their important work.”

“We’re fortunate to have such a great partnership with Atlassian,” said John Wood, Room to Read Founder and Board Chair. “Atlassian’s Starter license program is an innovative business mashup between philanthropy and product strategy. With a little creativity and elbow grease, it’s something more companies of all shapes and sizes can easily replicate.”

During one week of April of 2009, Atlassian raised $100,000 for Room to Read via sales of $5 Starter Licenses of their JIRA & Confluence products. Atlassian has since expanded the program, with $10 Starter Licenses for Atlassian’s best tools, and continues to donate all proceeds to the global children’s education non-profit. Atlassian reached the total of $500,000 in donations last May (which made Atlassian Room to Read’s largest Australian donor), and now the company has reached the $1 million mark.

The milestone donation will be celebrated at an event near Atlassian’s office in Sydney, Australia on March 3, and will feature a speech by John Wood, who launched the organization after a trek through Nepal where he visited several local schools.  He was amazed by the warmth and enthusiasm of the students and teachers, but also saddened by the shocking lack of resources. Driven to help, John quit his senior executive position with Microsoft and built a global team to work with rural villages to build sustainable solutions to their educational challenges.

Funds from the Atlassian donation have been used to establish libraries and schools in developing nations, publish local language literature, and fund holistic educational opportunities for girls who are at high-risk of dropping out of school. By the end of 2010, Atlassian impacted over 45,500 children across 4 countries in Asia by establishing 99 libraries, building 4 schools, publishing 2 local language titles (10,000 copies each), and supporting the holistic education of 430 girls.

The event on March 3 will also feature Social Ventures Australia, an organization that connects, supports and inspires business leaders and social entrepreneurs in expanding practices that build a just and sustainable economy.

About Atlassian

Atlassian is a global software company specializing in software development and collaboration tools. More than 22,000 organizations of all sizes use Atlassian’s issue tracking, collaboration and software development tools to work smarter and deliver quality results on time. Learn more at www.atlassian.com.

About the Atlassian Foundation

The Atlassian Foundation is driven by the company’s concerns and interests around improving our society and environment. The Foundation is based on a 1% model that dedicates:

  • 1% of company and employee time to Foundation projects
  • 1% of company equity to the Foundation
  • 1% of our products to non-profit groups

To date, over $40 million in software has been donated to non-profits and charities around the world. The Foundation’s outcomes are also driven through staff volunteering and matched giving.

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