New Partnership Aims to Shift the Story of Startup Culture

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Jenifer Thom, jthom@sff.org, 415.733.8565

New Partnership Aims to Shift the Story of Startup Culture
Full Circle Fund and The San Francisco Foundation Announce
Expanded Partnership to Build a Community of Socially-Minded Founders

San Francisco, CA – A new program is aiming to leverage startups’ success to benefit Bay Area nonprofits.  Full Circle Fund and The San Francisco Foundation announced an expanded partnership that supports Founders Pledge, a program of Full Circle Fund that engages startup founders to pledge at least one-percent of company equity toward positive social change in their communities.

For each pledge-maker, it starts with a desire to do good from the start, with the Founders Pledge providing a vehicle to leverage business success to build stronger communities in the Bay Area.

“More and more we are meeting with people in the thriving startup sector that want to make a difference,” said Fred Blackwell, CEO of The San Francisco Foundation. “This is an ideal partnership that provides another avenue for us to work together with founders who are driven to give back in the communities that they are a part of in the Bay Area, and who are building that ethos into the DNA of their companies. This is the type of bold cross-sector work that we believe can have a powerful positive impact for people across the region.”

Since Founders Pledge launched in August 2014, 28 early-stage companies have made the pledge to demonstrate a commitment to positive social change. Startup founders who have signed on board are building innovative platforms for addressing a variety of challenges, including community-based mobile banking, peer-to-peer education investment, employee engagement, and travel planning.

Early pledge-maker and Founder of Obindo, Joe Kleinschmidt, believes in the importance of this movement and has committed to being part of the solution to challenges faced in the Bay Area. “As the Founders Pledge community continues to grow, The San Francisco Foundation is an ideal partner for developing innovative and meaningful connections between startups and Bay Area nonprofits. Together, Full Circle Fund and the Foundation bring decades of experience and expertise related to community impact, and this amplification of our partnership is welcome news for all who have made the pledge, and for positive social change in our region.”

Founders Pledge Graphic

Founders Pledge helps early-stage companies make a positive social impact from the very beginning by providing the community of pledge-makers with educational programing and meaningful engagements with Bay Area nonprofits. As interest increases around impact investing and Bay Area economic sustainability, Founders Pledge is expecting to see their community of pledge-makers grow to 100 by the end of 2015. Additional partners in this mission include the Salesforce Foundation, Pledge 1% and Causecast.

Learn more at makethepledge.org and join The San Francisco Foundation, Full Circle Fund and Founders Pledge members at Bay Area Bold, bayareabold.org, on September 25th, where leaders will speak to the power of ingenuity and innovation to spark solutions to challenges faced in the Bay Area. At the event, three finalists for TSFF’s 2015 Innovation Award will showcase the ways they are using fresh ideas and new approaches to expand opportunity in the Bay Area, and the winner will be determined by a live and online public vote. The winner will receive a $20,000 award from The San Francisco Foundation and strategic workshops with Full Circle Fund that leverage the expertise of our joint Bay Area network. The winner will also be featured in a series of short profiles on KQED television and radio.

To learn more about Founders Pledge contact Rob Joyce at rob@fullcirclefund.org and follow @Founders_Pledge.

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About The San Francisco Foundation
The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) focuses on expanding opportunity and ensuring a more equitable future for all in the Bay Area. TSFF is the community foundation serving the Bay Area since 1948, granting more than $808 million over the past ten years. Through the generosity and vision of our donors, both past and present, TSFF granted $94.3 million in fiscal year 2014. TSFF brings together donors and builds on community assets through grantmaking, leveraging, public policy, advocacy, and leadership development to make a greater impact in our community. By focusing on people, organizations, neighborhoods, and policy, advocacy and organizing, the Foundation addresses community needs in the areas of community health, education, arts and culture, community development, and the environment. The San Francisco Foundation serves San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Mateo Counties. Visit sff.org and follow us @TSFF.

About Full Circle Fund

Full Circle Fund is an active network of 200 professionals who leverage their time, talent and resources to help advance high impact nonprofit organizations. The Full Circle Fund model goes beyond simply writing a check, attending a fundraiser or volunteering for a day. Members come together to identify and advance proven solutions to challenges by vetting organizations in four core issue areas – Health, Economic Opportunity, Environment and Energy, and Education. The annual Full Circle Fund Grant Portfolio is comprised of 10 -15 nonprofits that receive unrestricted funding and capacity building support from Full Circle Fund Members. Since 2000, Full Circle Fund has raised over $11 million, partnered with over 100 organizations and leveraged the skills and resources of thousands of Bay Area professionals, who have volunteered over ninety-thousand hours of service. Learn more at fullcirclefund.org or follow @fullcirclefund.

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