When entrepreneurs are successful, they often want to give back to the community in some way. Ryan Martens, the co-founder of Rally Software, came up with a great model inspired by what he’d observed Marc Benioff do with the Salesforce.com Foundation.
When my previous startup, Avitek, was acquired in 1999, we missed a huge opportunity to talk about the role, benefit, and responsibility of leaders to make our community better as part of our commercial efforts. With our financial windfall, I turned to our local community foundation to figure out how to start making a difference locally.
I was shocked at the low level of philanthropy in our community, especially in contrast to the stark needs of many nonprofit organizations. From the perspective of the entrepreneur, the community really looked perfect. I assumed that you started philanthropy when you got older, upon retirement. I was naïve due to my laser focus on my business.
Brad Feld and his wife Amy Batchelor had the same realization several years earlier when I talked to him about it. He challenged me with the words, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”
I began an exploration to understand what other people around the United States were doing to bring corporate social responsibility into their startups. I noticed the great work the Marc Benioff (Salesforce.com
CEO) and Suzanne DiBanca (Salesforce.com
Foundation Executive Director) were doing. They had a model of 1/1/1 where they gave ...