The Upside Foundation of Canada Appointed Canadian Partner of Pledge 1% - Upside Foundation of Canada

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The Upside Foundation of Canada Appointed Canadian Partner of Pledge 1%
May 14, 2015

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The Upside Foundation of Canada is pleased to announce a partnership with Pledge 1%.  Pledge1% is a global movement founded by Salesforce Foundation, Atlassian, Rally and Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado (EFCO) to inspire companies around the world about the benefits of early stage corporate philanthropy.  Pledge 1% encourages companies to pledge 1% of their equity, product and / or employee time, by providing a turnkey solution with tools, best practices and relevant information.

In the partnership, The Upside Foundation provides the Canadian legal and accounting platform for startups to donate options or warrants which are ultimately donated to charity.  Upside Foundation’s model is similar to Pledge 1%: Earlier-stage and high growth private companies pledge company or personal stock options or warrants to the Upside Foundation, convertible into a small portion of equity when the company has a liquidity event (e.g., IPO, acquisition).  At that time, the Foundation sells its options for cash and donates the proceeds to registered charities in Canada, chosen by the donors, primarily in the areas of poverty, education and technology.  The Foundation has no involvement in the donor companies’ operations.  The proven platform is supported by leading Canadian VCs, incubators and accelerators – and now Pledge 1%.

Rob Antoniades, Chair and Co-Founder of The Upside Foundation commented “It is exciting to see the momentum behind the CSR movement in the start-up community, and we are delighted to have Pledge 1% extend globally what Upside Foundation has been doing in Canada.  We look forward to working with Pledge 1% to further the cause.”

Dozens of companies have pledged equity from their companies through the Upside Foundation and now these companies will get even more exposure as they join the network and website with over 225 companies from around the world that have pledged via Pledge 1%.

The idea behind both Pledge 1% and Upside Foundation is to make it easy for any company or person to integrate philanthropy into their business model from the beginning.  “By joining the Pledge 1% movement early, companies can set themselves up to make incredible impact, ” said Suzanne DiBianca, president of the Salesforce Foundation. The Salesforce Foundation, a pioneer of corporate philanthropy, is a co-founder of Pledge 1%.

Early stage startups often want to give back to the community, but don’t know how – or feel like they don’t have much to offer.  A pre-revenue start-up usually has lots of debt and not much cash and so donating a small percent of options or warrants – essentially the upside of their company – costs them nothing now and can add up to huge sums for charity later when the company gets acquired or has an IPO.

As Nicole Glaros, Partner in Techstars Ventures and Chief Product Officer at Techstars, said, “Pledge 1% infuses companies with the #GiveFirst mantra pioneered at Techstars.  Companies that donate 1% of their equity have no downside – it doesn’t cost them anything unless their company has a successful exit. Plus our member companies tell me it’s a motivating factor to know that it’s not just shareholders that benefit from a successful outcome; that you’re working hard for the benefit of whatever cause is meaningful to you.”  Techstars, a partner of Pledge 1%, encourages its portfolio companies to take the pledge.

In addition to all the benefits of a social mission via Pledge 1%, Canadian startups who pledge 1% also receive local perks, benefits and networking opportunities via The Upside Foundation and have access to its Board of Directors and Advisory Board.


About Pledge 1%:

Pledge 1% is a movement dedicated to making the world a better place by inspiring, fostering, and celebrating early stage corporate philanthropy. Pledge 1% encourages and challenges individuals and companies to pledge 1% of equity, product, and employee time for their communities, because pledging a small portion of future success today can have a huge impact tomorrow. The Pledge 1% website provides a turnkey solution featuring tools, best practices and relevant information, making it easy for any company or person to incorporate philanthropy into their business model from the beginning. To learn more or to take the pledge, please visit

About The Upside Foundation:

The Upside Foundation of Canada is a Canadian not-for profit Foundation (charitable number 84528 3241 RR0001). It provides a new platform that facilitates early-stage, high-growth companies to support local charitable efforts by donating stock options or warrants, not cash.  The Upside Foundation was founded by a committed team of entrepreneurs, investors, business owners and professionals, all connected to the Canadian start-up community. For more information about, or to contact The Upside Foundation, please visit or follow them at @ShareTheUpside.

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