Innovation Economy Gives Back | City of Ideas

Posted 03/29/2017 by Rich Palmer of Gravyty and Paul Grogan of the Boston Foundation

For startups, these relationships can be lifelines.  While job number one for any startup is to create something that people love and use, it is also vital to strengthen relationships with others in the innovation economy.  Being part of a greater whole allows for unpredictable, fortuitous interactions that can help a company take the next big step.

There is also a hunger among founders to think about a greater whole beyond the innovation economy and to use the financial windfall that innovation can yield to give back to the community.

What emerges from these two demands is the need for an institution to step up and create a space where actors in Boston’s innovation economy can reaffirm their commitment to each other and to their community by making philanthropy a priority.

That institution is The Boston Foundation.  This century-old hub for social impact in Greater Boston recognizes that the innovation economy represents the next generation of philanthropy in our region.  By launching Pledge 1% Boston, the Foundation sent a clear message to the startup community: we not only want to be a vehicle for your philanthropy, we want to be a place where you can come together around a shared goal of maximizing the innovation economy’s impact as a force for good in Greater Boston. 

We’re so pleased by the enthusiasm for this effort.  Gravyty was the first company to make this 1% pledge and we’re so pleased that over 20 other companies have done so as well.

Last month, The Boston Foundation hosted a reception to celebrate Pledge 1% Boston.  There was palpable energy in the room and a realization that for a company like Gravyty, the people assembled represented more than their peer start-ups with a desire to give back.  In attendance were Gravyty’s investors, mentors, customers and even a few service providers.  It was a room full of people who had contributed to Gravyty’s success and wanted to see that success help grow the philanthropic resources available to Boston. 

A torch has been passed to Boston’s next generation of philanthropists.  Will you join them?


Rich Palmer is the co-founder and President of Gravyty, which helps nonprofits raise more donations through artificial intelligence. He is a member of the Boston Foundation’s Innovation Economy Leadership Council; Gravyty was the first Boston area startup to join Pledge 1% Boston.

Paul Grogan is President and CEO of The Boston Foundation

Posted in