07.28.20

Early-stage startup gets acquired, establishes Donor-Advised Fund

Halp is all about improving how we communicate with each other in everyday conversational interactions – whether in-person, in-Slack, or in the Halp platform. What’s more, Halp enables companies to build integrated help desk ticketing and automated answers inside Slack.
 
“I’ve definitely reaped the benefits of the local startup community,” says Fletcher Richman, former CEO and Co-Founder of Halp, a Pledge 1% Colorado company. Launched by your Community Foundation, Pledge 1% Colorado connects young companies’ future success to philanthropy by allowing them to easily pledge 1% of product, or 1% of profit to local communities.
 
“I first became aware of Pledge 1% Colorado when I was still a student at CU Boulder,” continues Fletcher, who studied computer and electrical engineering there. “I quickly caught on to the give-first mentality of the Boulder County and greater Colorado startup ecosystem, and really appreciated being on the receiving end. As a student and in the early stage of my career, it seemed everyone I met was willing to give a lot of time and resources when I hadn’t done anything of value, yet, to earn it. That made a big impression on me.
 
“And I remember thinking how cool and awesome it was when Rally and Gnip created not only financial success for themselves, but also created impact for our community. So making the same pledge to intentionally give a portion of future equity back to the community was a no-brainer. It felt like starting out on the right foot, right at the beginning – I saw no downside, and lots of upside.
 
“Turns out, that ethos became a part of our company culture that definitely helped us in our recruiting, too.”
 
This spring, early-stage startup Halp was acquired by Australian-based Atlassian, freeing Fletcher to establish a Donor-Advised Fund (named the Halp Action Fund) at the Community Foundation with 1% of the proceeds from that transaction. 
 
“Now, everything’s come full circle,” notes Fletcher. “That 1% has turned into real money that can make a meaningful impact in our community.
 
“It’s an interesting time to have a windfall like this – it’s overwhelming how many good causes are deserving of capital. So many aspects of our society need attention.
 
“So we thought about creative ways to give to lots of different places, while continuing to inspire the culture we’ve created. With the Halp Action Fund, we implemented an employee matching program, which a lot of our team are excited about and engaged in.
 
"Additionally, Atlassian provides $1K per year matching, plus $20K matching this year for causes related to COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter.
 
"It’s such a cool way to get our employees involved in philanthropy.”
 
Concludes Fletcher, “We feel that Community Foundation Boulder County is the easiest and best steward for our capital. Because Pledge 1% Colorado is housed underneath the Community Foundation, I knew the foundation by reputation – and I continue to feel good about its brand and its impact.”
 
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