Pledge 1% Colorado inspires startup giving

Focused on early-stage corporate philanthropy, Pledge 1% Colorado is a network of 252 local entrepreneurs – and counting – who share a common commitment to make a difference in Boulder County and beyond.

Launched by your Community Foundation more than 11 years ago, the movement connects young companies’ future success to philanthropy by allowing them to easily pledge 1% of equity, 1% of employee time to volunteerism, 1% of product and 1% of profit to local communities. By disrupting traditional models of philanthropy, Pledge 1% Colorado continually catalyzes local entrepreneurs to push the status quo.

Since its first member exit in 2008, Pledge 1% Colorado has contributed more than $10 million to Front Range nonprofits and hundreds of hours of volunteer service. Based on its local success, the Community Foundation partnered with Salesforce, Atlassian, and Rally for Impact to establish a global version of the program – Pledge 1%. It was named Most Innovative Not-For-Profit by Fast Company in 2017.

More recently, the Pledge 1% Colorado Nonprofit Pitch Contest – organized by Pledge 1% Colorado and the Community Foundation – recognizes and supports entrepreneurial and innovative nonprofit ideas to solve pressing problems and critical issues facing Boulder County. During Boulder Startup Week, the annual contest seeks proposals that lift up under-resourced communities and advance inclusion, diversity, and equity.

“The Pitch Contest was the perfect opportunity to connect with the startup community, and talk about health equity issues in Boulder County,” said Jorge De Santiago, Executive Director of El Centro Amistad, a contest winner. “We used this platform to present our innovative way to address health equity in our community using our Promotoras de Salud model – a grassroots effort that educates and empowers Latino families to live a healthy lifestyle."

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by Sabine Kortals Stein