Pledge 1% Boston

Pledging It Forward

Paul English

Paul English is a member of the Pledge 1% Boston movement, a partnership of the Boston Foundation and TUGG.  “I encourage new companies to pledge 1% to charity on day one,” he says. While corporate giving may have tax advantages, a chief reason he urges new companies to join Pledge 1% Boston is that it creates a culture of “kindness” at a company. English hopes Pledge 1% becomes a new normal for businesses in the region.

Paul English

Paul English loves Boston. The West Roxbury native has had a hand in envisioning, launching and profitably selling more companies than many individuals will ever work for in a lifetime, including Through dotcom booms and busts, he has remained centered in Greater Boston, his allegiance to place strengthened by family ties and Atlantic tides. 

The region has benefited not only from the businesses he has hatched here, but also the impact of his philanthropy. 

It’s an impact that spreads beyond dollars, for while he has given many of them, he has as importantly set an example for how to do it. An early member of Pledge 1% Boston, part of a global movement of 3,500 startups committed to pledging 1% equity and other resources to support their communities, English has pledged at least 10% of his founder stake in Lola to philanthropy. 

His advice on giving is to look first to organizations where your employees have ties. If they are giving their own money and time to a nonprofit, they’ve already vetted it for you. Then, says English, find compelling leaders whom you trust, write them a check and get out of the way.

English also suggests that donors “diversify their giving portfolios.” He has given to—and serves on the board of—the global organization Partners in Health and has founded Summits Education, a network of 20 schools in rural Haiti. His local focus is on homeless service organizations, especially the Pine Street Inn and Boston Health Care for the Homeless.