Philanthropy in the Innovation Economy

With the promise of rapid economic growth in Greater Boston comes the potential for an even larger income equality gap. We are dedicated to helping close this gap and are forging active partnerships to do so.

The Boston Foundation has assembled a stellar advisory board, the Innovation Economy Leadership Council, to confer on strategy.

Charles Street Bridge

Pledge 1% Boston

Pledge 1% Boston was featured in Inside Philanthropy: Taking the Pledge: Inside the Next Big Wave of Tech Philanthropy, March 1, 2017

We have partnered with Technology Underwriting Greater Good (TUGG) on Pledge 1% as well as on programming, outreach, grantee referrals and other areas of collaboration for the year ahead. This partnership embodies the Foundation’s commitment to cross-sector collaboration, and to engaging the next generation of philanthropists in our region.

Pledge One Percent

Most importantly, the Boston Foundation has launched Pledge 1% Boston, part of a global movement of startups and other innovation economy players who are making support of their communities integral to what they do. A thousand companies in more than 30 cities have already pledged 1% to nonprofit causes and programs.

Thomas Bentley

Contact Thomas Bentley to learn more about Pledge 1% and our work with Innovation Economy companies.

Aside from its being “the right thing to do,” these companies find that giving back is the smart thing to do for their businesses. It appeals to customers, of whom 87 percent believe corporations should support their communities. It appeals to potential talent, with more than 60 percent of Millennials citing a sense of purpose as key to their choice of workplace. Companies that integrate corporate citizenship into their businesses have 2.3 times the employee retention.

Now, the Boston Foundation brings this innovative initiative to our region. We encourage organizations to pledge a small portion of their future success today and have an enormous impact tomorrow. Individuals and companies may pledge 1% equity of their company for the benefit of Greater Boston—or anywhere in the country or the world.

If you are an entrepreneur, founder, investor or general supporter of connecting innovation economy stakeholders with local change, learn more and join us!

Pledge 1% Boston Makes It Easy

Pledge companies and individuals are in total control. You decide the causes and nonprofits you want to support based on your own company and employee interests. We will work with you to build a strategy, engage your employees and have fun in the process.

The Boston Foundation and its partners offer opportunities for you and your team to:

  • Learn about innovative work in all areas of Greater Boston—from education to technology to health to economic development.
  • Network with like-minded change makers through the Innovation Economy Leadership Council, TUGG events and more than 50 Boston Foundation networking events and forums every year.
  • Engage with Greater Boston and global communities, while identifying the most innovative nonprofits through site visits and other opportunities.
  • Access all the benefits of the Pledge 1% global movement.

Make the Boston Foundation the Charitable Arm of Your Organization

When a Pledge 1% Boston company has a liquidity or exit event, they’ll have a plan in place. According to global Pledge 1%, “A turnkey option is to create a Donor Advised Fund at a local community foundation, saving staff and annual auditing costs. Donor Advised Funds are a philanthropic vehicle that offers donors the chance to make an irrevocable charitable contribution, receive immediate tax recognition for the contribution, while grant-making to eligible 501 (c)(3) organizations throughout the life of the fund. Community foundations and other financial institutions can help companies create a donor advised fund. Local community foundations can also provide further insights into needs in the local community and connect companies to organizations doing effective work to solve some of society’s biggest problems.”

Meet with the Boston Foundation’s Pledge 1% team to activate your pledge and learn about opportunities to engage in our community, as much or as little as you would like. And spread the word!

Click here to learn more or to arrange a meeting.

Pledge One Percent Supporters
Sample Pledge One Percent companies

The Innovation Economy Leadership Council

The Innovation Economy Leadership Council is a group of community leaders in technology, life sciences, venture capital, venture philanthropy and other fields whose members are dedicated to helping the Boston Foundation build strong and lasting relationships with stakeholders in the innovation economy. They are instrumental to the success not only of Pledge 1% Boston, but to the Foundation’s overall strategy.

Zoe Anetakis
Marketing and Investor Relations

Scott Bailey
Executive Director
MassChallenge, North America

Robert Coughlin
President and CEO
Massachusetts Biotechnology Council

Elizabeth Dobrska
Executive Director

Saskia Epstein
Co-Founder and CEO

Jeff Fagnan
Co-Founder and Partner
Founder and Chair

Gail Goodman
Former CEO
Constant Contact

Kyle Gross
General Manager

Justin Kang
Executive Director/Vice President, Economic Growth
City Awake/Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

Alexandra Lee
Executive Director
Hideo Sasaki Foundation

Adam Martel
CEO and Co-Founder

Pledge 1% Boston

Jesse Mermell
Alliance for Business Leadership


Kiki Mills Johnston
Managing Director, Boston
MassChallenge Boston 

Christopher Mirabile
Managing Director
LaunchPad Venture Group

Laura Gassner Otting
Limitless Possibility

Rich Palmer
CTO and Co-Founder
Pledge 1% Boston

Rob Perez
Founder & Chairman
Life Science Cares

Geeta Pradhan
Cambridge Community Foundation

Jody Rose
Executive Director
New England Venture Capital Association

Jeff Seul
Holland & Knight

John Simon
Managing Director
Sigma Prime
Co-Founder and Chair
GreenLight Fund

Paris Wallace
Ovia Health
Pledge 1% Boston

C.A. Webb
Board of Directors
The Boston Foundation