Pledge 1 is Up And Running | City of Ideas

Posted 09/30/2016 by James Burnett

The Boston Foundation, along with partners TUGG Boston, Accomplice, and the Greenlight Fund, serves as the facilitator of Pledge 1% Boston.  The Boston Foundation, the national Pledge 1% organization, and Cambridge Community Foundation co-hosted Wednesday’s event at The Davenport building in Cambridge, which houses Accomplice and HubSpot, among other companies.

“The Boston Foundation is dedicated to increasing and encouraging philanthropy in Greater Boston and we are very proud to represent the first city to join the national Pledge 1% movement,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation.  “We are looking forward to seeing more and more young companies join this effort and the ways their involvement will expand support for nonprofits in Greater Boston.”

As of Wednesday evening, 10 Boston-area based companies had already joined the pledge movement, committing one percent of the equity of their companies to our region and charitable causes, including Gravyty, Ovuline, Nanogenecs, FundLatinos, Pepper Lane, CoachUp, Freebird, Cuseum, and two more whose pledges are still being formalized.

Speakers included John Simon, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Greenlight Fund and Managing Director of Sigma Prime Ventures; C.A. Webb, Co-Founder of _Underscore and former executive director of the New England Venture Capital Association; Rich Palmer and Adam Martel, co-founders of Gravyty; Ovuline President and CEO Paris Wallace; and Amy Lesnick, President and CEO of Pledge 1%.

“For us, pledging one percent of our equity was the least we could do,” said Martel. “We got our start and were able to grow because there were those who helped us before we could help ourselves.”

Fagnan, whose announcement about committing to Resilient Coders and Inner City Weightlifting was the highlight of the evening, said he was inspired to that decision by a recent op-ed Resilient Coders’ founder David Delmar wrote for The Boston Globe, in which Delmar lamented the lack of diversity in the tech startup sector.

“It moved me and broke me down,” Fagnan said. “And it drove home the point that companies must make tangible commitments to their communities and to organizations that are on the ground working to close the gaps and help people find opportunity.”

@jamesburnett

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