Over the years, I’ve written about my belief in the importance of giving back to your communities and #givefirst. In this spirit, one of the key organizations my partners at Foundry Group have helped create and nurture is Pledge 1%.
In 2007, we were a founding member in the predecessor organization to Pledge 1%, called Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado (or EFCO). EFCO started as an experiment here in Boulder, not unlike Techstars and Startup Week/Weekend that got their start in our backyard. In 2014, Pledge1% Global launched as a joint effort between Foundry Group, The Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado, The Salesforce Foundation and The Atlassian Foundation which we helped seed financially and continue to support.
While all of the Foundry Group partners have been involved, Seth Levine has been spearheading our engagement and the transformation from EFCO to Pledge 1% (he, along with key members of the teams from Salesforce, Atlassian and Ryan Martens are the founders of Pledge 1%). At a partner offsite at the end of last year, we were reflecting on some of the gifts from Foundry Group through our Pledge 1% involvement, which included:
- The Community Trust of Boulder – We believe that a rising tide raises all boats and wanted to do our part to support our local community here in Boulder and Colorado.
- United Way Foothills – After the Colorado flood in 2013 we decided to step up and fill a gap in funding from Foothills United Way.
- Museum of Boulder – Our city has a rich history on numerous dimensions. We now have a museum in downtown to be proud of.
- BCH Foundation Mental Health Campaign – Mental health is a major issue in our society, as well as in entrepreneurship. We are pleased to be able to help expand the mental health resources in our community.
We had some extra money left in our Pledge 1% Colorado account from distributions over 2018 and decided that, rather than saving it up for another larger gift, we’d give a series of modest gifts to a handful of local (and one non-local but nearby) organizations as a surprise holiday gift. Those organizations were:
- Access Opportunity
- Boulder Community Foundation Leadership Fellows
- Colorado FIRST Robotics
- Community Food Shares
- CU Science Discovery
- Defy Ventures Colorado
- Donors Choose – Sphero Match
- Emergency Family Assistance Association in Boulder (“EFAA”)
- I Have A Dream – Boulder
- Our Center
- Ranger Projects Yellowstone Forever Institute
If you are a co-founder at a startup, leading a company, or an employee at a company and want to learn more, check out the Pledge1% (or here if you’re in Colorado). Or email me or Micah Mador if you want to get involved.