Bridging the Gap: Innovation Economy & Social Change in Greater Boston

Friday, September 09, 2016
Tim Smith

In case you hadn't heard, Pledge 1% is a global movement of 900-plus companies in 30-plus countries that have pledged one percent of their businesses' equity for philanthropy and social change. The Boston Foundation is proud to announce our new partnership with Pledge 1% Global, TUGG, GreenLight FundSalesforce.com and others to launch Pledge 1% Boston during HubWeek this fall.

We have established key partnerships to implement and scale this movement here in Boston, including MassChallenge, Accomplice, Holland & KNight, and others. Over the past few weeks, we have engaged four Greater Boston companies with equity pledges for philanthropy: Gravyty (a MassChallenge finalist), Ovuline(Lightbank and former Techstars), FundLatinos, and a funded venture out of M.I.T. We are excited to build this movement and help companies and their founders connect with our communities.

If you are an entrepreneur, founder, investor, or general supporter of connecting innovation economy stakeholders with local change, join us to celebrate the launch of Pledge 1% Boston on Sept. 28. Hear from John Simon, Jeff Fagnan, C.A. Webb and early Pledge 1% adopters about giving back from the start. Check out more details and RSVP here.

Alliances and ventures like this don't happen in a vacuum though, and we couldn't have brought Pledge 1% to Boston without TUGG. On August 10th, we were proud to attend TUGG's "Tech Night at the Museum." This event drew over 200 emerging philanthropists and leaders in the Greater Boston innovation economy for a night of networking, learning about TUGG's grantees, and appreciation of the wonderful art at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. TUGG grantees led teams on scavenger hunts throughout the museum, spurring conversation about the arts and the grantees themselves.

TUGG is engaging an important and influential group of area leaders in learning about important social issues, including youth development, nonprofit technology and economic development.  TUGG pools financial and other strategic resources, sources and vets emerging nonprofits, and awards unrestricted grants to six high-potential nonprofits in the area, each year. You can learn more about TUGG's work here. We were excited to see so much overlap between Boston Foundation grantees and TUGG grantees, and look forward to collaborating on identifying and supporting the most promising nonprofits in the region.

As you may have learned recently from WBUR (and from looking around almost any neighborhood), the innovation economy in Greater Boston remains strong and continues to grow. With this growth comes the potential for an even larger income equality gap. We are dedicated to helping bridge this gap and are forging important partnerships to this end. TBF and TUGG recently solidified an annual partnership around programming, evangelism, grantee referrals, and other areas of collaboration. This partnership exemplifies TBF's commitment to cross-sector collaboration, and we are excited to engage the next generation of philanthropists in our region through this partnership. It is important we all learn about the social issues that affect our communities and work toward solutions together.

Tim Smith
Director of Innovation Partnerships, The Boston Foundation
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As Greater Boston’s community foundation, the Boston Foundation is focused on the myriad factors which make our city unique and successful.  Read about what we’re up to in the City of Ideas blog.