Many famous philanthropists are dedicating their life helping others, giving us great examples of how just a single person can make the difference, having a world-shaping positive impact and changing the history of the planet. Just think about Melissa and Bill Gates and their foundation, how many people they are helping and how many others are inspired by them. And think about Bono, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Steve Wozniak, Elon Musk and many many others. You may say these are exceptional cases, few lucky VIP out of billions of people on earth. And you may be right. But each of them is inspiring hundreds, thousands of people and through their example many others philanthropy movements are emerging and showing how everyone, with few, small acts, can partecipate in making the world a better place. Today I’ll speak about one of this emerging movement.
Pledge 1% is a corporate philanthropy movement dedicated to making the community a key stakeholder in every business. Pledge 1% encourages and challenges individuals and companies to pledge 1% of equity, 1% of product, and 1% of employee time for their communities.
“Companies can do more than just make money, they can serve others.”
Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO, Salesforce
To learn more about pledging 1% you can visit pledge1percent.org but I’d also like to share my personal commitment to the 1/1/1 movement which is behind the organization and that commitment can be implemented in many ways.
Giving back is something important and everyone can have their own reasons behind any act of love, generosity, kindness. I’m not here to write about how good I am (who cares?) but to inspire you or at least try to make you think about how many times it seems difficult for us to commit to help others, or dedicate a small part of our lives not just in terms of money but also time and effort. Sometimes we think we are not in condition to help the others, but however your financial situation is, the 1% of your equities during the year is affordable. A little step for you and a great help for others.
But the point of the movement is also to create the habit of donating our time. Just a little bit. How? It’s full of occasions out there: distributing food and drink to the indigent, baking for charity, helping the elderly in your quarter or maybe just calling your parents more often. There are thousands of voluntary associations, foundations or spare activities: reaching the 1% is not difficult but it requires effort, because it’s easy to think we have always something more important to do. I’m sure there are a lot of things that don’t deserve our obsessive time and the world will go on if we temporary ignore some of them. Our FB or social profile for example will not get rotten if we keep it close for 2-3 days a year. Our bed would not be offended if we just wake up a bit earlier on some weekends. The 1% is a very small quantity that can be achieved with spot fundraising activities or one-day campaigns or even participating in a flash mob for a good cause.
“I encourage all entrepreneurs to make a meaningful commitment to society.”
Ryan Martens, founder and CTO, Rally Software;
Co-Founder, Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado
I’m not producing any commercial goods, so I had the idea of adapting the pledge 1% philosophy in equity and time wise. I asked myself if I could think out of the box and leave the comfort zone to reach a full one-one-one commitment. I don’t produce or sell anything, but I have my websites and my social profiles. I can use them to spread the pledge 1% philosophy. I can dedicate the 1% of the energy and talents I spend on it to advertise activities, events, reflections, inspirational quotes or speeches, about giving back, about sharing, about contributing to the progress of the society. If you don’t have a website or media, you have other ways to give the 1% to a cause, you just need to find your way. A skill, a hobby or a passion through which you can help someone else.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to officially adhere to this or that movement, associations, organization. It depends only on you, if you care about a particular cause, or you want to diversificate your help and effort. You can do it totally anonymously or involve relatives and friends to encourage them to do the same.
“We want to empower other entrepreneurs to join the movement and we believe the Pledge 1% program will help them make one of the best choices of their lives.”
Scott Farquhar, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Atlassian
See also: #T4TS