Pledge 1% Helps Keep Social Impact Top of Mind During Economic Downturn

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Amidst a volatile market and looming recession, new equity pledges from Pledge 1% companies like Contentful, Contentstack, Loop & Tie and VidMob set precedence for companies doing good

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Pledge 1% has ignited new equity commitments valued at over $300 million from high-growth companies including Contentful, Contentstack, Loop & Tie, Snyk, and VidMob.

During times of market turbulence, philanthropic giving can take a hit as corporate budgets shrink. Despite the downturn in the market and lower valuations across the tech sector, Pledge 1%, a global movement to inspire, educate, and empower all companies to leverage their assets for good, is adding outsized value to the companies with which they work. This year alone, the company has welcomed 2,000 net new companies that are utilizing Pledge 1%’s flexible framework to build their social impact programs, increasing overall membership by more than 13 percent. Additionally, Pledge 1% has ignited new equity commitments valued at over $300 million from high-growth companies including Contentful, Contentstack, Loop & Tie, Snyk, and VidMob.

“In times like these, when cash is tight and exit horizons unpredictable, we’re seeing more companies formalize their equity pledge as a powerful vehicle to reinforce their corporate values and demonstrate their long-term commitment to social impact and ESG efforts,” said Amy Lesnick, Chief Executive and President of Pledge 1%. “By setting aside 1% of equity to fuel future corporate philanthropy, CEOs and Boards are signaling their confidence in the long-term success of their business and energizing employees around a shared vision to make a difference in the world.”

Pledge 1% is the go-to partner for helping companies set aside equity to fund their long-term social impact and ESG programs and has kept companies committed through the ups and downs of the market. Since Pledge 1% was founded in 2014, 44 unicorn companies have set aside equity prior to their exits, including industry leaders Atlassian, Braze, DocuSign, Okta, PagerDuty, Twilio, Upwork and Zuora. Additionally, Pledge 1% has supported 15 unicorns who have not yet exited to set aside equity to fund their long-term social impact, including BetterUp, Canva, Checkr, Guild Education, Lookout, SmartRecruiters, Snyk, and VidMob.

“Since taking the pledge in 2018, Contentstack has made time and product commitments as well as a series of charitable donations,” said Neha Sampat, founder, and CEO of Contentstack. “We were excited to add equity to the mix this year. We’ve worked hard to build a culture of caring and it is one of the things I’m proudest of as CEO. Pledge 1% provides a thoughtful balance of structure and flexibility that evolves with the company as we grow.”

“Since our founding, Contentful has cared deeply about social impact and built a program that includes employee-driven volunteer time off and giving our product pro bono to nonprofit organizations,” said Sascha Konietzke, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Contentful. “With our pledge of 1% equity, we are now positioned to do even more good in the world for many years to come. We know this commitment is important to our employees, customers, and partners, and we hope to be an example for other companies looking to make a positive social impact.”

“In this economy with delayed exits, contributing equity is not only the right thing to do but also the smart thing to do,” said Sameer Dholakia, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “The commitment enables companies to build a culture of giving back from inception, allowing them to attract and inspire employees, and retain key talent to make the company stronger.”

To learn more about how to set aside social impact at your company or join this alliance of top VCs as a Boardroom Ally, email allies@pledge1percent.org or visit pledge1percent.org.

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About Pledge 1%

Pledge 1% is a global movement that inspires, educates, and empowers every entrepreneur, company, and employee to be a force for good. Over 17,000 members in 100 countries around the world have used Pledge 1%’s flexible framework to ignite billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours in new philanthropy. To learn more about Pledge 1%, and how your company can get involved, visit pledge1percent.org.

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Kira Wolfe
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