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How it Works

There are many forms of charitable donations, but only one is perfectly suited to startup founders

WHY EQUITY

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.

WHO PLEDGES

Equity donations through The Upside Foundation are perfect for founders of companies that:

  • Are incorporated
  • Are private
  • Are Canadian
  • Hope to grow the company and either sell or IPO one day
  • Want to make an impact

Companies can join as early as at incorporation or as late as having raised hundreds of millions of dollars or having hundreds of employees. Companies can join from any industry, though the majority of member companies are tech-focused.

Kogitiv team at Upside's Employee Volunteering Social

HOW IT WORKS

Company donates stock options, warrants, or personal proceeds (typically 1%) to Upside 
Company has a liquidity event
(goes public or gets acquired)
Cash proceeds are donated to the charity of the company's choice

Steps to Share Your Upside

There are a few easy steps to pledge a portion of your company equity to charity and become an Upside Member

1. Complete one-minute pledge form

See Pledge to access the form and get started

2. Sign legal documents using our templates or your own

See FAQs for more information on the various ways to structure your donation, via a standard option agreement, your employee stock option plan (ESOP), warrants or personal proceeds

3. Select your charity(s) now or later

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)

4. Tell the world about your commitment

Signal your values to employees and customers on your website and social platforms, and encourage others to follow suit 

5. Enjoy Upside Membership and work towards your liquidity event! 

See Impact to see past Upside Member liquidity events

One of the often overlooked benefits of pledging to Upside Foundation is that the planned donation is captured as a line item on your cap table. We all know the volatility of startups and we all have the best intentions but it is comforting to know that, no matter what, that commitment is locked in for the future.
Ben Zifkin, Founder & CEO of Hubba
It was so meaningful for me to have my company be a part of this when I was an employee, so one of the first things I did when I started my own company was to take the Upside pledge. I couldn't believe how easy it was to get my donation set up!
Fatima Zaidi, Co-founder & CEO of Quill Inc.
I chose to work with Upside because of the simple process of giving back to a charity of our choice, and the notion of being able to share some of the success we plan to have with our company with the community.
Philip Poulidis, Co-founder & CEO of ODAIA
The whole reason I founded a start up in the first place was to make a lot of money to help more people, so joining Upside was a natural fit.
Sarah Selhi, Founder & CEO of SpaceiShare

Ready to bring your values to life in your company?

Fill out the one-minute pledge form,
or explore if Upside is a fit for you