|Founder||Dafna Bonas, David Goldberg|
|1,487 (May 2021)|
Founders Pledge is a London-based charitable initiative, where entrepreneurs make a commitment to donate a portion of their personal proceeds to charity when they sell their business. Inspired by effective altruism, the mission of Founders Pledge is to "empower entrepreneurs to do immense good".
By May 2021, around 1500 entrepreneurs across 30 countries have signed up to Founders Pledge. Collectively, they have pledged to donate $3 billion in share value, and about $475 million in donations have been completed to date.
Founders Pledge was initially launched in 2015 by the Founders Forum for Good, which focuses on helping social entrepreneurs build and scale businesses. 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.
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".
Starting in London, Founders Pledge has since expanded and opened multiple new offices in cities such as Berlin, New York and San Francisco. In addition, Founders Pledge has launched partnerships with organisations including Y Combinator, MassChallenge, and Forward Partners. 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."
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.
- First, they aim to build a community of impact-driven entrepreneurs by organising events to educate members on evidence-backed impact strategies.
- Second, they provide administrative support with donations and offer a donor-advised fund.
- Third, Founders Pledge conducts research into high-leverage giving opportunities and advises its members on where to give based on their personal values.
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:
- impact investing,
- climate change,
- evidence-based policy,
- animal welfare,
- mental health,
- and the mitigation of existential risks.
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%. Comparing several donation pledging initiatives, Vox writes that Founders Pledge forces The Giving Pledge "to compete for the mindshare of today’s tech community".
A complete list of members is available on the Founders Pledge website. Notable members of Founders Pledge include the following:
- Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of Google DeepMind
- Kathryn Petralia, Co-founder & COO of Kabbage
- Roy Bahat, Head of Bloomberg Beta
- Niklas Adalberth, Founder of Klarna and Norrsken Foundation
- Andrew Fisher, Executive Chairman of Shazam
- Eric Wahlforss, Founder & CPO of SoundCloud
- Uma Valeti, Founder & CEO of Upside Foods
- "Forbes". Retrieved 15 December 2019.
- "Founders Pledge Homepage". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
- 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.
- Rovnick, Naomi (2016-05-06). "Wealthy millennials explore venture philanthropy". Financial Times. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- Schultz, Abby. "The Age of Moonshots". www.barrons.com. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- "About Us". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- "Home". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- Volpicelli, Gian (2017-06-12). "Brent Hoberman left lastminute.com and formed an empire. This is how he did it". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- "One of the most exciting new effective altruist organisations: An interview with David Goldberg of the Founders Pledge". 80,000 Hours. 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- Fallon, Harriet Marsden, Katy (2016-07-10). "More of the best New Radicals 2016". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- Shead, Sam. "Germany's multimillionaire startup founders are being encouraged to donate to worthwhile causes". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- "Y Combinator signs up to Founders Pledge charity scheme for social causes". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- Partners, Forward (2018-02-07). "Our pre-seed termsheet". Medium. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- Altman, Sam. "YC and Founders Pledge". Y Combinator. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- Shead, Sam. "Facebook's little-known billionaire cofounder is funding a London charity". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- "Founders Pledge — General Support". Open Philanthropy. 2016-10-14. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- "Founders Pledge — General Support (2018)". Open Philanthropy. 2018-01-24. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- "Community". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
- "How It Works". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
- "Research". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- "The difficulty with the EU's sustainable investment rules". Financial Times. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- Samuel, Sigal (2019-12-02). "Want to fight climate change effectively? Here's where to donate your money". Vox. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- Piper, Kelsey (2019-06-13). "Is climate change an "existential threat" — or just a catastrophic one?". Vox. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- 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.
- Goth, Aidan; Hoeijmakers, Sjir (2020-09-25). "Psychedelic-Assisted Mental Health Treatments Executive Summary". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2020-12-04.
- Paynter, Ben (2018-09-25). "Why nonprofits should be courting entrepreneurs as donors". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- Schleifer, Theodore (2019-05-28). "MacKenzie Bezos signed the philanthropic commitment her ex-husband spurned". Vox. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- "Members". Founders Pledge. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
- Bahat, Roy (2019-10-24). "Announcing Bloomberg Beta's Third Fund". Medium. Retrieved 2019-12-16.