Giving back to the community feels great. And doing so by donating some of the upside of your startup – which you know will be a huge success – feels even greater. Given you don’t have to spend any cash (which you don’t have since you’re a startup founder) or time (ditto) – it’s about the only way to give back at this point. Presumably you chose to give back because you think it’s the right thing to do and you want to motivate your employees and create a lasting legacy for the startup you’re building. So – you are probably not even seeking out tons of exposure at the outset for the donation….but even if you’re not… it might feel , well…. nice. And that’s what our donors got last week.
This month we officially partnered with Pledge 1% to help more Canadian startups share their upside. The Upside Foundation partnership with Pledge 1% was feted on Wednesday night when the team from Salesforce for Startups hosted a cocktail event at the Storys building in downtown Toronto. Guests included local startup founders as well as the more well-known (including Dan Debow and Mark Evans). The Head of Startup Relations for Salesforce, Ludo Ulrich, remarked how important it was to not underestimate the power it brings to startups to give back to the community. Iain Klugman, CEO Communitech, urged attendees as they grow their companies to think about giving back to the next generation and to learn more about Upside Foundation. Then Dipti Pratt, the Director of Pledge 1%, visiting from California, singled out each Canadian donor by company name to applaud them for their generosity and forward thinking. I introduced our donors to the speakers that night, and other attendees – which also included our legal team from Bennett Jones, as well as our web developers from Lucid Webgroup.
But, it didn’t stop there.
The following day, at the Salesforce World Tour in the Allstream Centre in front of thousands of attendees, our donors’ logos were shown on the jumbotron. Donors present were sitting in reserved seats so they could see the Cirque de Soleil preshow up close. And, at the end of the keynote address, our donors met with Alex Dayon, President, Products at Salesforce and the keynote speaker. He introduced himself and shook the hands of each of our donors and posed for numerous photos. Ludo Ulrich, was there as well, and he too posed for numerous photos with our donors. That day a press release was issued which was picked up by TechVibes and the National Post which mentioned the company names of the donors in attendance.
The Salesforce team loves the concept of giving back and is happy to support founders who make the commitment to share their upside. The team at Pledge 1% can only make us stronger – and has already – with the perks it provided to our donors last week and the perks it continues to provide as all of our donors are now listed on the Pledge 1% website. We will do our best to support Pledge 1% to encourage companies of all sizes to give back. If Marc Benioff can do it – and was so passionate about it, he spawned a movement and even wrote a book about the ROI of giving back – so can you. Not for the exposure or the perks… but because it’s the right thing to do – for our community and your company’s bottom line.