When you succeed, will you give anything back to society?
If your answer is yes, the Founders Pledge was made for you.
We know that giving to charity can be daunting, especially when future success is uncertain.
Our aim is to strip away the barriers to charitable giving, enabling you to make a real difference in the future.
Through the Founders Pledge, entrepreneurs commit to donate at least 2% of their personal proceeds to a social cause of their choice, following an exit.
This allows you to work towards business goals now, and to give back to society as you achieve your ambitions.
We are helping the smartest people in business think about philanthropy even before they can write big cheques.
Running a successful company means creating social value as well as commercial value. However, startups and their founders often lack the time, resources, and support to give back to society effectively, if at all.
The Founders Pledge is the solution.
It’s a personal commitment to support a social cause if and when you have the means to do so.
Designed for start-ups that haven’t begun to consider an exit, from Seed to Series C.
Pledging takes 5 minutes and doesn’t require you to make any allocation decisions today.
You don’t need to wait until you’ve ‘cashed out’ to make a difference.
I believe that every entrepreneur, regardless of the stage of their business should be able to help make a difference. The Founders Pledge makes that possible.
As a company founder, both time and money can be in short supply. The Founders Pledge helps entrepreneurs get involved with charities in a meaningful way, even before they might have the material resources to do so.
The Founders Pledge is a revolutionary approach to early-stage philanthropy that allows founders of tech companies to “give back” at a point where they may be worth a lot on paper but very little (if anything!) in cash.
This is the easiest way to demonstrate your commitment to social responsibility and leverage your success to do good.
I made the Founders Pledge because I want to help promote awareness of the responsibility of founders and entrepreneurs to give where there is need, recognising the tremendous opportunities given to us.
At the heart of being a founder is a desire to make a difference - and at the heart of being a successful founder is the ability to do this with purpose and for the long term. So, for me, making the Founders Pledge was the natural thing to do. And if doing it publicly, helps stimulate other tech founders to do the same - then together we can play our part in helping make the world a better place.
The Founders Pledge is simple, flexible and tax-efficient.
Retain control of your charitable giving at all times.
Select recipients anywhere in the world, whenever you choose.
Donate nothing until you’re in a position to do so.
We operate a 100% model.
Your entire donation goes to the social causes you nominate.
The Founders Pledge is...
Good for business
In today’s on-demand, radically transparent world, your stakeholders expect you to create value for society. As a business leader, the Founders Pledge allows you to take the first step and make a personal commitment.
of global citizens want to do business with brands that share their values.
of global citizens believe a company can pursue its self interests while doing good for society.
of consumers believe that business should place at least equal weight on business and society.
of young people would take a pay-cut to work for a company with values like their own.
This is a great time for brands which can provide a beacon of trust for consumers. These days, CEOs don't get judged by how well their share prices are doing, but by what impact they are having on society.
The Founders Pledge is...
Great for society
Align your success with the causes that inspire you.
A small commitment today can have a significant impact in the future.
Create a ripple effect in the tech industry and get more founders giving.
Start conversations with the change-makers that are addressing society’s most important problems.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
The Founders Pledge is...
Meaningful for you
Incorporate social responsibility into your business, and your life.
Join a community of like-minded founders who have all made the same commitment to give something back.
Access the Founders Forum For Good network, events roster, and support structure.
Help to reimagine the role of business in society by making a personal pledge on behalf of your company.
Deploy proceeds from future exits in a tax-efficient way.
I do not believe you can be a leader in your industry without being a leader in your community. It's a fundamental shift in how you think about business.
We’re on a mission to help you bring society into your business, in a disruptive way.
Make a powerful statement to socially conscious citizens around the globe.
Create a corporate culture that makes your employees proud.
Drive commercial growth by doing well and doing good, simultaneously.
How it works
The Founders Pledge is social impact made simple and takes just 5 minutes to make:
Complete the Founders Pledge Agreement indicating your level of commitment.
Select the charitable organisation(s) you intend to support. If you don’t know who they are, you don’t need to decide today.
Join a movement of entrepreneurs who are supporting each other and sharing knowledge and learnings on social purpose.
Focus on growing your business knowing that your success means impact for a social cause.
Upon an exit, we’ll distribute your gift to the designated recipients.
Now is our time to start to do more.
The Fine Print
- The Founders Pledge is a personal commitment, made on an individual basis.
- The Pledge Agreement is a legal document in the form of a deed.
- The pledge is not based on company equity and it doesn’t utilise a warrant.
- The pledge is not on the cap table and it doesn’t affect voting rights.
- The Founders Pledge is fulfilled with cash, shares, or other securities from a pledgors personal proceeds following an exit event (sale, acquisition, flotation, or personal liquidity event).
- The pledge is made directly to Founders For Good. Upon an exit your gift will be deposited into our Donor Advised Fund, which is administered by Rhone with banking provided by Pictet.
- We will distribute your donation in accordance with your wishes and will never publicly disclose the recipients or value of your gift without your permission.
- There is no commission. There are no processing fees. Our 100% model means your money is having maximum impact.
- Every exit is different and we are happy to work with you to ensure the fulfillment of your pledge aligns with your specific circumstances, whether it is a structured exit, partial exit, or something in between.
- You can select individual non-profits, registered charities, charitable organisations, or community/corporate foundations anywhere in the world to receive your contribution.
- We can help you to identify, vet, and support best-in-class charitable organisations.
- You do not need to select recipients at the time of the pledge, but if you decide to do so you can change your designation at any point and as often as you like.
- If you’d prefer not to utilise the FFFG Donor Advised Fund and gift your proceeds directly to a charity or charities, that’s OK too.
- In this case, you will need to select the recipients today and will not be able to change them. Please click here to request the direct pledge agreement.
- The Founders Pledge is managed and administered by Founders Forum For Good (FFFG), a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, which is registered in England and Wales.
- Our trustees work with donors to facilitate their proposed giving, and make donations based on recommendations having independently evaluated their suitability.
- Giving through our Donor Advised Fund has all the benefits of setting up your own trust without the cost or administrative burden. This allows donors to direct their giving in a more structured way.
- FFFG is able to hold donations made following a business exit if the donor is as yet uncertain as to what their chosen charitable causes might be.
- For donors paying UK income tax or capital gains tax, donations to UK registered charities will be tax-efficient and eligible for the government Gift Aid scheme.
- Gift Aid effectively increases the value of a gift by 25% provided sufficient UK tax has been paid during the year to cover that.
- Any gifts of a capital nature made to UK registered charities are exempt from capital gains tax. However, you should be aware that the precise tax treatment of any gift will vary according to its composition, which for business exits, will depend entirely on what has been negotiated as part of that commercial process.
- Donors should seek independent tax advice to assess the precise tax implications of their giving.
- A brief outline of the tax position can be found on HMRC's website.