Company Foundation Versus Employee Choice…And VC Guidance on Philanthropy

Just read Brad’s post on one of his companies donating 1% of their revenue through ’04 to the Lance Armstrong Foundation…and then Ross Mayfield’s add-on as he describes how SocialText treats philanthropy and community service. My reactions:

1. This is all great stuff that everyone should be doing.

2. The foundation (digital media for youth) is the sole recipient of the company’s 1% employee time, equity, and profit. Ryan Martens at Rally Dev takes a different approach. He thinks employees should be able to get involved with organizations about which they are passionate. The salesforce model makes it easier to track the impact of the collective effort, Ryan’s philosophy is 100% inclusive, in case some employees don’t believe in the mission of a company foundation. Interesting differences.

3. What if a firm like Mobius VC put together a framework for all their portfolio companies to develop integrated philanthropy? Mobius’ own philanthropy could be a resource center and a turn key guide for their newly funded companies to get started on this early. The way this stuff will spread is for organizations that have a big impact and influence on start-ups to exercise that influence in a philanthropic way. Maybe they’re already doing that, I don’t know.

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