Boosting Company Philanthropy in the Age of COVID-19

Pledge 1% Boston welcomes its 150th member.

April 6, 2020

In these uncertain times, philanthropy is more crucial than ever. One innovative company, A World For Good, is devoted to encouraging corporate philanthropy by helping companies involve their employees and customers in their giving and making their philanthropy an integral part of their marketing plan.

Recently, A World For Good became the 150th member of Pledge 1% Boston, joining 149 other such pledges in the two-year-old Boston branch of this global movement.


A World For Good Logo 2

The Pledge 1% movement catalyzes startups and others to make community support integral to what they do. Startups can make a pledge based on future profits, which helps them define themselves and their corporate philanthropy from the outset. By pledging a small portion of their future success today, companies can have an enormous impact. Existing companies can also pledge to give 1% of their profit, employee time, or equity to nonprofits.

It’s particularly fitting that the 150th milestone member of Pledge 1% Boston is a company with a service that enhances corporate philanthropy. In brief, A World For Good offers a platform to let companies engage customers, prospects and employees in their charitable giving decisions.

Founders Charlie DiPietro and Steve Gold came up with the concept through their own personal experience. Says DiPietro, “As individuals, we all prefer to support companies that give back to the community. We were tired of seeing one-sided, boring communications about how certain companies give, and we realized there wasn’t an easy way for these companies to effectively engage their customers and employees in the good they do. They are ultimately responsible for a company’s success. Why shouldn’t customers and employees have some say in a company’s charitable giving? So we built a platform that empowers customers and employees to participate in these decisions, which turned out to be an amazing marketing platform for our clients.”

"It’s a win-win-win for the business, the nonprofit and the community at large. As a result, nonprofits aren’t just passive recipients of charity, they become advocates for brands that are strengthening their communities [...]"
For each client or “member,” A World For Good creates a custom web page, which announces a planned donation and time frame (a campaign) and empowers customers, employees and prospects to vote on a rotating slate of nonprofits to receive the donation. That’s the front end, which is easy and simple from the member’s point of view. But, DiPietro explains, “There is a lot of back-end service that is quite sophisticated. We work closely with the nonprofits. They promote the campaigns so that people will vote for them, and they become a promotional partner for the sponsoring business. It’s a win-win-win for the business, the nonprofit and the community at large. As a result, nonprofits aren’t just passive recipients of charity, they become advocates for brands that are strengthening their communities, and receive greater awareness when everyone shares the campaign.”

Among A World For Good’s first member companies were community banks. Steve Gold explains, “Banks are already generous with their local giving, but they struggle to get it noticed and make it relevant. By involving customers and employees directly in giving decisions, they win by empowering customers and employees, and strengthening the community. We create a virtuous cycle between a business and a community by offering a ROI on giving. Companies have seen engagement metrics that are ‘off the charts,’ dramatically increasing audiences and interactions. Facebook engagement can easily go from less than one comment per month to over 100. That’s typical. Customers and employees want to be engaged. We make it easy.”

By offering this alternative to traditional marketing, A World For Good helps companies reduce their non-philanthropic spending — be it on Google or Facebook ads, or traditional media — and DiPietro and Gold encourage members to consider tilting that savings toward bigger donations. “If giving money to worthy local nonprofits works as a marketing strategy, which we’ve proven, then our hope is that businesses become more generous over time.”

As they look forward to doing their own giving, Pledge 1% Boston helps to keep it in focus. DiPietro says he first learned about the initiative from a connection on LinkedIn who had made a commitment. “Giving is in our DNA. What we love about Pledge 1% Boston is that it makes it so easy to get involved, at any stage — whether you’re a startup or an established company. There’s flexibility to support whatever causes each of us cares about. That doesn’t seem to exist elsewhere. It’s great to be part of a larger group of companies with a similar outlook. And we know that company support of nonprofit organizations and community relief is more important than ever in the age of COVID-19.”

If you’d like to learn more about A World For Good please email Charlie DiPietro at .