Social Impact Q&A with Pledge 1%


As we gear up for the 2019 Innovations in Corporate Social Impact summit on October 30th, we’re chatting with local leaders and experts to get their take on corporate social impact.

We sat down with the team at Pledge 1%, a global movement to create a new normal in which giving back is integrated into the DNA of companies of all sizes. Pledge 1% encourages and challenges individuals and companies to Pledge 1% of equity, profit, product, and/or employee time for their communities. Here’s what they had to say.

Why do companies need to support social impact?

Companies have a unique ability to have a massive positive social impact. We see this everyday at Pledge 1%. Whether they are donating product, time, profit, or equity, companies can leverage their unique assets to make a difference.

What are the biggest untapped opportunities for enterprises to support social innovation?

There are great opportunities for enterprises and businesses to collaborate on social innovation and impact. When companies pool resources, expertise, and agendas to work together to solve a challenge, this can have an exponential impact. For example, in Boston every October, tech companies have come together to organize Tech Gives Back day across the city. Through this, over 2,000 local tech workers from 75+ companies volunteer at over 45 nonprofits, all in one day.

Which companies (other than your own) are doing a great job increasing social impact alongside their core business activities?

We learn of so many great examples of companies having an impact everyday at Pledge 1%. Our model is flexible so that every company--no matter their size or industry--can leverage 1% of resources for a positive impact. One major trend is companies setting aside equity. We are helping more and more companies pledge equity before their IPO, which is a great way to unlock funds to support their impact programs in the future.

Which suppliers are helping to drive social impact? Are there early stage companies or not for profits that are helping larger enterprises increase their social impact in an innovative way?   

Pledge 1%! We are a nonprofit that empowers and encourages all companies to have an impact. We provide free tools and resources, along with an amazing peer support network to help companies--including early-stage startups and new ventures--learn how to integrate giving back into their DNA. To learn more visit

What will help companies drive more impact? (For example, additional senior leadership support, other?)

We want impact to be the new normal and to be a core part of every company’s business from the start. We’ve seen the data proving that corporate social responsibility is valued by customers and can help attract and retain top talent. We want the paradigm to shift to accept that giving back is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do for your business, and we believe that the more founders, VCs, and organizations that start embracing this mindset, the more companies will hopefully make impact a core part of their business.