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How Pledge 1% Helps Businesses Make An Impact With One Small Step

With one simple concept, Pledge 1% has come up with a way for businesses to easily make an impact. This year, The Anthem Awards has joined Pledge 1%to increase its impact on the community, and joining the movement to donate time or resources to a nonprofit or cause of its choice.

Read our interview with their team to learn why Pledge 1% is so effective and how you can get involved.

Why should companies take the pledge, and what are the benefits they receive from joining this movement?

Pledging 1% is one of the easiest ways to structure and formalize your social impact program, and there are so many benefits to doing this. Internally, we’ve seen companies that engage with social impact see higher employee retention and stronger team culture. Externally, it’s good for your business, as more and more of today’s consumers prefer brands that prioritize having a positive social impact. Pledge 1% provides a flexible framework for companies to donate 1% of their profit, product, employee time, and/or equity to causes they care about, and our team and peer community is here to help create the strategies that resonate most with your company’s culture, employees, and overall business plans.

 

What inspired you to create the Pledge 1% Community forum, and how do you engage members?

One of the greatest strengths of Pledge 1%, is that our members come from virtually every sector of business across the globe. Every day, we learn new ways businesses can have impact from our members. Our platform is a new resource designed by our members for our members that allows like-minded leaders to connect, share ideas, and access the latest tools and information about corporate impact.

It’s free for Pledge 1% members to join, and provides instant access to our Playbooks, tools, case studies, blog, as well as ongoing member events. The tools and conversations within the Community cover a variety of topics, from “Getting Started” to VTO policies to special events like our last Humanitarian Relief Series event, “Contextualizing the Refugee Crisis,” which outlined how companies can best support the needs of this vulnerable population. 

 

How and where can people sign up to be a part of the Pledge 1% community?

Our Community is a collaborative and trusted space for Pledge 1% members. To join, you’ll need to take the pledge here. Once you’re a member, you can join the Community via the community log-in page, which will be sent with your confirmation email shortly after you sign up!

Any company can take the pledge and you do not need to already be giving back to join. You also do not need to have a plan in place; you just need to share how you’d like to give so we can send you the best tools and next steps. Since you are joining as a company, you will need executive sign-off or internal permission to complete the form.

 

Your platform connects members to everything from educational programming, job postings, to new initiatives by members themselves. Why was it so important to create this new resource for individuals engaging in social impact?

Pledge 1% is a community of over 17,000 companies around the world who have committed to leveraging their assets to do good. We’ve always been focused on supporting individuals who work in corporate impact, and over the past 5 years, we realized there aren’t many spaces where these individuals can connect, share ideas, and think about new solutions for their team and communities. As a movement, we are uniquely positioned to build the Community and tap into our network of experts to co-create resources with our end-users: individuals who do this work every day.

 

What are some of the different pledges that can be taken, and how does it translate into the giving aspect?

We currently have four standard pledge types – profit, product, equity, and time. Each of these serves a different – yet vital – purpose, and companies are free to choose which pledges they like (or a combination of these). They can also change their pledge, adjust their goals, or add new pledge types as their program evolves.

Many companies start by donating time and commit to other pledge types when they have profit or team in place to execute. 

Product pledges are also very common and can be extremely important because they can directly answer the needs of the community companies are serving. A great example of this is Cruise’s product pledge – 1% of their EV fleet goes towards delivering food to those in need. 

We also see companies giving profit to a number of causes, often adopting different models and approaches to dedicate financial resources to their values and the communities where they work.

A new trend we are seeing is a rise in equity pledges, which is quickly becoming the new normal for companies to set aside shares for future impact. Companies like Canva, Coinbase, Digital Ocean, Olo, UiPath, and Unity Technologies are paving the way for startups to have impact via liquidity events. We are grateful to have our Boardroom Allies, a group of VCs and investors who are supporting their portfolio companies through this process. 

Lastly, as we continue to navigate world events, we are constantly learning about new combinations of these pledge types and other ways companies are leveraging their influence, CEO voices, spaces, and other assets to make a difference. 

You can download our toolkits for each of the pledge types and read more examples in the Community. 

 

How and where can people sign up to be a part of Pledge 1%?

Taking the pledge only takes 30 seconds! You can become a part of Pledge 1% by visiting our website today. 

 

What do you get access to once you become a member at Pledge 1%?

When you join Pledge 1%, you immediately gain access to case studies, resources, and one-on-one guidance on how to implement the best impact program for your company. You also gain access to our Community platform and our growing network of members. 

 

If people/organizations are interested in taking the pledge, but need additional information, what resources are provided for that?

We are always open to answering questions! If you’re interested in taking the pledge, you can do so directly on our website, or you can contact our team at support@pledge1percent.org with your questions. We have a number of resources available in our Community, including a series of Playbooks –  such as “How to Get Started” – that help companies structure their giving plans from the ground up. You can also ask questions to others in our network within the Community Forum.

 

What have you learned through your work since the foundation of Pledge 1% in 2014?

We’ve learned that there are a number of ways companies can have an impact, and that it can sometimes be challenging for businesses to move their pledge to action (and that’s OK!). Our flexible framework, team support, and peer learning community provides the tools businesses need to develop programs that work best for their team and goals. 

Most importantly, we’ve learned that companies large and small play a huge role in helping today’s communities. As we navigate crises like the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and climate change, among others, we’ve seen companies step up in new and innovative ways. As a movement, we are not just changing how companies operate; we are uniting business leaders to work together to redefine how they can have an impact, and ultimately, change the world.

If you are interested in partnering with The Anthem Awards, please reach out to our Managing Director Jessica Lauretti at jessica@anthemawards.com

Patagonia – Don’t Buy This Jacket

Patagonia has put social impact at the core of their brand mission and values from the start, and their iconic Don’t Buy This Jacket campaign demonstrates how brands can use their platform to make an impact — or better yet, to help reduce our impact. This 2011 ad ran in the New York Times on Black Friday, making a lasting impression for its bold message addressing the issue of consumerism head on and asking readers to take the Common Threads Initiative pledge to reduce, repair, reuse, recycle, and reimagine a world where we take only what nature can replace.

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NEWS & ANNONCEMENTS

Ad Council’s Love Has No Labels Movement

Love Has No Labels is a movement by The Ad Council to promote diversity, equity and inclusion of all people across race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and ability.

Read our Q&A with Heidi Arthur, the Ad Council’s Chief Campaign Development Officer on the team behind LHNL collaborates with partners to combat implicit bias—from crafting PSAs to driving viewers to take action, to how brands and companies should approach corporate social responsibility with authenticity.

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