There are many forms of charitable donations, but only one is perfectly suited to startup founders
Founders of early-stage companies often feel unable to engage in social responsibility initiatives since they are tight on cash to donate, time to volunteer, or the capacity to develop an impact strategy. They require a solution that is:
Enter: the equity donation. Incorporated into the cap table early on, its value grows alongside the company’s. This means Founders only have to focus on building their business, knowing that will result in a greater charitable donation in the future. The Upside Foundation was inspired by similar, very successful models in Israel and Silicon Valley.
Equity donations through The Upside Foundation are perfect for founders of companies that:
Companies can join early in their lifecycle (shortly following incorporation, during an incubator program, or when they are pre-revenue) or late (after raising hundreds of millions of dollars, having hundreds of employees, or while preparing for an acquisition or IPO). Companies can join from any industry, though the majority of member companies are tech-focused.
There are a few easy steps to pledge a portion of your company equity to charity and become an Upside Member
See Pledge to access the form and get started
See FAQs for more information on the donation structures (either on behalf of the company via an existing stock option plan or a general options donation, or from your personal proceeds), see here for a quick walkthrough of the donation document, and access the Donation Agreement here
You can choose any registered Canadian charity that is meaningful to you and your company, at the time of your company's initial equity donation, when you have a liquidity event, or any time in between (see Charities for more information)
Signal your values to employees and customers on your website and social platforms, and encourage others to follow suit
See Impact to see past Upside Member liquidity events