Rally Gives $1.3 Million To The Boulder Community

Rally 1% - EFCO Check
My day started out great. After getting up at 5, having a delightful run at 6, walking Brooks, and then hanging with Amy for four minutes, I got in my car and drove over to Rally Software for their Big 1% Give Back event.

The picture to the left is of Ryan Martens, Rally’s founder and CTO, giving Josie Health, the CEO of The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County, a check for $676,000. This check is for The Community Foundation and for the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado (EFCO) and results from a gift of 24,793 shares of common stock from Rally at the time of its first financing that represented approximately 1% of the equity of the company.

I remember numerous conversations with Ryan about this. Ryan started Rally (formerly F4) out of our previous office and could regularly be found scribbling all over a white board. He had a huge vision that started to be turned into practice when Tim Miller joined him as CEO about a year after he started the company. Part of that vision became the agile software development products that Rally makes.

But Ryan’s vision was always bigger than that. He wanted to build a sense of corporate social responsibility into Rally from day one. He was inspired by Salesforce.com and the Salesforce Foundation so he wanted to do something similar in Boulder – contributing 1% of the equity and 1% of the employees’ time to local philanthropic efforts.

With a handful of others, including my partner Seth Levine and Cooley’s Mike Platt, Ryan helped created the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado. Rally was one of five founding members – the others were NewsGator, Collective Intellect, Me.dium, and Tendril. At the time, no one really knew how this would end up, but we all believed that it was important for the local startup community (which included companies anywhere in Colorado, not just Boulder) to give back to the community that helped support it.

We talked about creating millions of dollars of philanthropic contributions through the success of companies in Colorado over the next few decades. Some people rolled their eyes when we talked about this, some thought we were crazy, and some jumped on board. Throughout, Ryan’s leadership of EFCO was unbounded and today over 50 companies are members of EFCO.

Today’s gift represents the largest to date. Oh – that check is only for $676,000. Well the other one – for $643,000 – is the second check Josie got today – this one from an additional gift Rally made when they endowed the Rally for Impact Foundation.

Gang – well done. Thanks for leading by example. And we are only just beginning.

Rally 1% - Rally for Impact Foundation
  • Just Awesome! EFCO and the Community Foundation are great organizations that benefit our ecosystem and community. Clearly, based on results, donating 1% early on (at formation is a great idea) and keeping social responsibility close to the company’s core values can pay huge down the road. I did this at Filtrbox early on and am very happy with the benefit we’ve been able to provide the community as a result. I’m hoping more entrepreneurs see this story and see the light…

    • And your gift from Filtrbox was also an excellent one, and a great example of leadership!

    • Ryan Martens

      Thanks for standing up for the EFCO concept. Your IPO/exit through Jive and the 1% of carry from Foundry got the snowball of EFCO really rolling last year. It got us over the hump to hire a part time director and now with the Rally IPO funds we will be moving Morgan’s hours up. This is just one of the great outcomes of all of our great work here. An overnight success, 10 years in the making:)

      Thanks for the great coverage and support Brad.

  • This is REALLY cool guys! Great way to “give back” !!

  • Kevink

    This is fantastic.

    Do you think it’d be a good idea to create some kind of structure where angels would advise a startup in return for some percentage of equity being set aside for some cause?

    • Eh – I’m not sure this is the right approach.

  • pretty much this is giving back to the community. nothing more to say except *pure fucking awesome* and *let’s see more of this* in all our communities.

    boulder is made by acts like like this.