Founders Pledge

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Founders Pledge
Founded2015; 9 years ago (2015)[1]
FounderDafna Bonas, David Goldberg
Area served
1,776 (May 2023)[2]

Founders Pledge is a London-based charitable initiative, where entrepreneurs commit to donate a portion of their personal proceeds to charity when they sell their business.[3][4][5] Inspired by effective altruism, the mission of Founders Pledge is to "empower entrepreneurs to do immense good".[6]

By May 2023, 1,776 entrepreneurs across 30 countries[3] have signed up to Founders Pledge. Collectively, they have pledged to donate $9.3 billion in share value (of which $891 million in donations have been completed to date).[7]


Founders Pledge was initially launched in 2015 by the Founders Forum for Good, which focuses on helping social entrepreneurs build and scale businesses.[8] David Goldberg, co-founder and CEO of Founders Pledge, has stated that the ideas of effective altruism, and the work of 80,000 Hours in particular, have influenced the trajectory of the organization.[9]

Founders Pledge was named one of the New Radicals 2016, which are "innovative projects chosen by The Observer and Nesta as making a real difference to society".[10]

Starting in London, Founders Pledge has since expanded and opened multiple new offices in cities such as Berlin,[11] New York and San Francisco.[3] In addition, Founders Pledge has launched partnerships with organisations including Y Combinator,[12] MassChallenge, and Forward Partners.[13] In September 2016, Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator, wrote on the Y Combinator blog: "Many of our founders ask us about how they can donate part of their equity or post exit proceeds, and now we have an answer: Founders Pledge."[14]

Since 2016, Founders Pledge was awarded two major grants⁠—totaling more than $6 million⁠—from the Open Philanthropy Project, a foundation largely funded by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz.[15][16][17]


Founders Pledge runs three main types of activities, all of which are free of charge for its members.[3][7]

  • First, they aim to build a community of impact-driven entrepreneurs by organizing events to educate members on evidence-backed impact strategies.[18]
  • Second, they provide administrative support with donations and offer a donor-advised fund.[19]
  • Third, Founders Pledge conducts research on high-leverage giving opportunities and advises its members on where to give based on their personal values.[3][20]


Founders Pledge partners with GiveWell for its research on cost-effective global health and development charities. In addition, Founders Pledge has written research reports on various topics, including:


Entrepreneurs signing up to Founders Pledge enter a legally binding commitment to donate a portion of their personal proceeds on liquidity to charity. The minimum commitment is 2%, though on average entrepreneurs commit around 7%.[26] Comparing several donation pledging initiatives, Vox writes that Founders Pledge forces The Giving Pledge "to compete for the mindshare of today’s tech community".[27]

A complete list of members is available on the Founders Pledge website.[28] Notable members of Founders Pledge include the following:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Forbes". Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Founders Pledge Homepage". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 12 May 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Bell, Douglas. "The Radical Founders Raising Billions For Charity - Is This A New Social Movement?". Forbes. Archived from the original on August 29, 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-15.
  4. ^ Rovnick, Naomi (2016-05-06). "Wealthy millennials explore venture philanthropy". Financial Times. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  5. ^ Schultz, Abby. "The Age of Moonshots". Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  6. ^ "About Us". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  7. ^ a b "Home". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  8. ^ Volpicelli, Gian (2017-06-12). "Brent Hoberman left and formed an empire. This is how he did it". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  9. ^ "One of the most exciting new effective altruist organizations: An interview with David Goldberg of the Founders Pledge". 80,000 Hours. 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  10. ^ Marsden, Harriet; Fallon, Katy (2016-07-10). "More of the best New Radicals 2016". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  11. ^ Shead, Sam. "Germany's multimillionaire startup founders are being encouraged to donate to worthwhile causes". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  12. ^ "Y Combinator signs up to Founders Pledge charity scheme for social causes". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  13. ^ Partners, Forward (2018-02-07). "Our pre-seed termsheet". Medium. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  14. ^ Altman, Sam. "YC and Founders Pledge". Y Combinator. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  15. ^ a b Shead, Sam. "Facebook's little-known billionaire cofounder is funding a London charity". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  16. ^ "Founders Pledge — General Support". Open Philanthropy. 2016-10-14. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  17. ^ "Founders Pledge — General Support (2018)". Open Philanthropy. 2018-01-24. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  18. ^ "Community". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  19. ^ "How It Works". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  20. ^ "Research". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  21. ^ "The difficulty with the EU's sustainable investment rules". Financial Times. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  22. ^ Samuel, Sigal (2019-12-02). "Want to fight climate change effectively? Here's where to donate your money". Vox. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  23. ^ Piper, Kelsey (2019-06-13). "Is climate change an "existential threat" — or just a catastrophic one?". Vox. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  24. ^ Neal, Meagan (2018-12-21). "It's hard to design good policies. This simple idea can help governments do it". Vox. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  25. ^ Goth, Aidan; Hoeijmakers, Sjir (2020-09-25). "Psychedelic-Assisted Mental Health Treatments Executive Summary". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2020-12-04.
  26. ^ Paynter, Ben (2018-09-25). "Why nonprofits should be courting entrepreneurs as donors". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  27. ^ Schleifer, Theodore (2019-05-28). "MacKenzie Bezos signed the philanthropic commitment her ex-husband spurned". Vox. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  28. ^ "Members". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2019-12-16.

External links[edit]