Why We Pledge 5%

A short interview with ThinkTilt about why they pledged 5%

This post originally appeared on the pledge1percent.org website. We've reproduced it here to share our story about why we pledge 5%. Read the original post here.

ThinkTilt is a new venture founded by three colleagues committed to making a difference in their communities. Their product ProForma is an add-on for Atlassian’s JIRA project management tool, which allows any team in an organisation to use JIRA to handle common business processes. Read our interview below with CEO of ThinkTilt, Simon Herd, about why they have joined the movement.

How did you hear about pledge 1%?

As an add-on developer for Atlassian’s JIRA product, we are very familiar with a lot of what Atlassian does. The Pledge 1% movement caught our attention before incorporating ThinkTilt, as a great and straightforward way to encourage corporate philanthropy.

What have you pledged?

During the initial planning stage of ThinkTilt, I was considering the various options for structuring the venture that might help us succeed. The two other people that I wanted to entice to join me to lead ThinkTilt had worked with me at a large social enterprise in Australia, and I knew from experience that being part of a social enterprise was one of the big rewards for doing the work we did. I considered seeking BCorp certification; however, the administrative and compliance burden was such that we did not think it was appropriate for a new enterprise. That is why we looked to the Pledge 1% movement as a means of demonstrating our commitment to supporting the communities we operate in.

So as I drafted the business plan and made the pitch to my now fellow directors, we incorporated a provision stating that we would pledge 5%. Initially, the pledge only covers 5% of equity (on a non-diluting basis); however, as our operations expand we will incorporate time contributions and also product contributions.

Why did you pledge 5% instead of 1%?

We wanted to bake into our organisation’s DNA that giving back is a key value. We felt that 5% was of a sufficient size that it would impact how we manage our team, especially when we take on more staff and have to provide for their contributions of time. Also pledging 5% was no different to allocating 1% of equity at the outset, as the actual value of the pledge was negligible. We have also made a binding commitment that, if we take on outside investors in the future they will be similarly bound by our pledge.

What are your plans for the future?

As we take on more employees we will have to look to incorporating their contribution of time. We will probably look to direct their time contribution to give back in the fields that they are experts in. For us, that is software development, and process and form design. We are also looking to work with Atlassian to explore different options for allowing the contribution of our product through the Atlassian Marketplace.