Founders Pledge – Making a Difference Now for the Future
By Brynne Kennedy
Mar 03, 2017
Last week, I had the pleasure of co-hosting a dinner event in San Francisco with David Goldberg, co-founder of Founders Pledge. Preparations for this event began at the end of 2016, when David contacted me to assist with the expansion of the event programs put on by Founders Pledge in the United States.
(David Goldberg, Co-founder and CEO of Founders Pledge; Brynne Kennedy, Founder and CEO of MOVE Guides; and Andy McLoughlin, Partner at SoftTech VC)
Designed for entrepreneurs at any stage of their journey, Founders Pledge provides a perfect solution for forward-thinking startup owners looking for a way to support the social causes and charities closest to their hearts. By signing a commitment now to pledge at least 2% of our personal exit proceeds, entrepreneurs can commit to making a monetary and social difference now, even if their exits are quite a way off. Since Founders Pledge was launched in June 2015, it has grown into a global community that spans 22 countries and more than 650 members, and has pledged more than $200 million for global charities.
David and I spoke at the event about the charitable efforts made by our respective companies, but the highlight of the evening was the program delivered by our guest speaker, Patrick Ball, founder of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group.
Under Patrick’s leadership, his organization has undertaken pioneering data science work within the human rights space. He has spent more than 20 years conducting quantitative analysis for truth commissions, non-governmental organizations, UN missions and international criminal tribunals against former heads of state. Drawing from personal experience contributing to human rights cases in 30 countries, Patrick led us on an exploration of the strengths and pitfalls of utilizing data science in a social context. It was a captivating presentation to say the least.
Patrick’s presentation led me to consider how data science could be woven more tightly into MOVE Guides’ social responsibility program, #Mobility4All. As we announced earlier this year, we will be donating 1% of our revenue to assist refugees in relocating and resettling in their new home. After visiting the Calais Jungle Refugee Camp with the Founders Pledge in October, I know that we must do more to help support the refugees’ global mobility.
Through our partnership with Help Refugees, we are providing resources and donations on the ground as well as evolving our corporate relocation products to help resettlement efforts. Our campaign is already raising awareness and funds but Patrick’s timely discussion has me wondering how we can further shine a light on the humanitarian disaster that is today’s refugee crisis.
Which brings me back to the reason for hosting last night’s event. Founders Pledge is not just about helping charities. It’s about rallying around common causes – and actually taking part in changes that can make the difference in so many people’s lives. Based on the many conversations I had with energized entrepreneurs in the audience last evening, I believe we can change the world far beyond the scope of our collective businesses.
Brynne Kennedy is Founder and CEO of MOVE Guides, which she launched in 2011 while earning her MBA at London Business School. A frequent speaker and author on topics of technology, HR and global mobility, she previously worked at Lehman Brothers and Standard Chartered.