FAQs

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MAKING YOUR PLEDGE

Explore some of the details of the pledge itself.
  • Who can make a Founders Pledge?

    You can make a Founders Pledge if you hold equity in a company. This includes founders, investors, and institutional investors.

  • How much does it cost to participate in Founders Pledge?

    Nothing beyond the pledge donation itself! We provide our services free of charge.

  • Wait, you mean it's completely free?! There's no cost at all?

    Correct. We operate a 100% model with zero commission, transaction fees, or hidden costs.

  • How do you fund yourself?

    We currently rely on a small group of donors that provide monetary and in-kind support. Of course, if you like what we’re doing, you can always donate a small portion of your pledge to us directly. No pressure at all, though!

  • Is Founders Pledge legally binding?

    Yes. We’re not about empty promises - or “philanthroPR”, as we call it.

  • Can I change my mind?

    You can always choose different charities, and change them as many times as you’d like. The pledge itself, though, is binding.

  • Do I need board or investor approval?

    Nope! That’s the beauty of it. Founders Pledge is a personal commitment made on an individual basis. Your donation comes out of the personal proceeds you make upon your own exit.

  • Is Founders Pledge on the cap table?

    No. Because our pledge is based on your personal proceeds from an exit, you remain the owner of the equity, not us. This is one of the (many) reasons it’s so simple.

  • What happens if I never exit?

    If you don't exit, you don't transfer any funds. It's that simple.

  • What happens if the business fails?

    If an exit never occurs, your pledge has no value, so you're off the hook. No harm done.

  • Is there a minimum pledge percentage?

    Yes. We start the pledge at 2%, but the average is around 4%. We can even help you optimise the amount for the best tax break!

  • Do I need to select the charities today?

    No. You can select your charities at any point and change your mind as many times as you like before your donation is deployed.

  • Can I select ANY charity I want?

    Almost. The only restrictions are that the charity can’t be political or involved in missionary work.

  • What if it’s not a 501c3 or otherwise registered charity?

    You're free to donate to any not-for-profit (NFP) organisation, whether registered or not. However, we are obligated to vet any unregistered NFP’s to ensure their purposes are charitable.

  • I already have a charity I support, can I still make Founders Pledge?

    Of course! You would just indicate that charity on your pledge.

  • I have some unique views on charity. How do I know Founders Pledge is right for me?

    We understand that giving to charity is a deeply personal act. The beauty of Founders Pledge is its flexibility to fit your needs. Get in touch - we’d love to discuss.

  • How does my money get to the charity?

    We operate a Donor Advised Fund (based in either the UK, USA, or Luxembourg, depending on your tax jurisdiction), which is one of the most common ways people give to charity today.

  • What’s a Donor Advised Fund?

    A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is like a charitable savings account. When you have an exit event, you transfer your donation to us and we move the funds into our DAF under your name. You can then dictate how the money is deployed.

  • Why would I want to donate through a Donor Advised Fund?

    Simplicity, really. A DAF has all the benefits of having your own foundation - including enabling you to give over any number of years and have tax benefits - but without the large administrative burden. We are one of the very few organisations in the world that provides this service for free.

  • I want to start my own charity/foundation at some point, can I still pledge?

    Yes, of course! Founders Pledge gives you ultimate control over where your donation goes. If you decide to set up your own charity or foundation, and want to designate it as the recipient of your pledge, that’s no problem.

  • I know I want to help, but I just don’t know yet and haven’t thought about it at all…

    We’re not asking you to change how you give, we’re just asking you to formalise your commitment. If you're planning to donate to charity on exit anyway, you have lots to gain and nothing to lose.

THE BENEFITS

Check out why it's worth making a pledge.
  • Why don’t I just donate on my own?

    There are several major benefits to joining our community:

    1. We provide you with research into finding the best opportunities for giving based on what you care about. Our in-house research team, and extensive network of charity evaluators, enable us to source, evaluate, and vet charities in your chosen cause area, ensuring that your giving goes further;
    2. We provide you with the mechanism (through our Donor Advised Fund) to do tax efficient, strategic philanthropy. The alternative to this, is setting up a foundation - which can be expensive and time-consuming;
    3. You gain access to a likeminded community of founders, VCs and charity thought-leaders through our carefully curated programme of dinners, events, and informal meet-ups.

    There is also value beyond what you can give personally: your pledge will inspire others to pledge, helping create a movement of giving back in the tech sector.

  • What tax benefit do I get through Founders Pledge?

    We're a charity, so your transfer to Founders Pledge counts against your taxes as a charitable gift. You only have to worry about a single transaction, and we handle the rest. Less headache for you, and you still control where the money goes in the end.

  • What happens if I pay taxes in more than one country?

    We deal with dual taxation as needed to find the best solution for the individual.

  • What does your community do?

    You become a member of the FP community by pledging, and members have the opportunity to participate in various events, dinners, and meet-ups throughout the year. Our largest event is our annual forum in London, whilst smaller, more intimate dinners hosted by our partners take place regularly across Europe and the US. We also offer more informal meet-ups throughout the year like breakfasts, BBQs, and parties. There is also a Facebook page for inter-member discussions!

  • What happens at the forum?

    The Founders Pledge forum is our annual, all day, event where our members are invited to join us for a day of thought-provoking TED-style talks, inspirational discussions, and networking with renowned experts from the world's most impactful charities, leading academics, and tech’s most influential philanthropists. Taking place in early Summer, we round off the day with a relaxed and informal BBQ, drinks, and socialising with other FPers.

  • What happens at one of the hosted dinners?

    Intimate and informal, with usually around 20 people or so, these dinners are an opportunity to speak more closely about a specific topic. This allows us to connect our members directly to some of the most important people doing charity work in the world today. We regularly feature eminent academics and leaders in the development and NGO sectors as guest speakers.

  • What happens at one of the meetups?

    We're increasingly doing more informal meetups across Europe and the US, like working breakfasts, Summer BBQs, Christmas parties, and general hangouts whenever a member of the FP family is town. These are a great way of getting to know other members, meeting the team, and bringing a friend to see what FP is all about.

  • What if I can't attend any of the events?

    Don't worry! Sometimes showing up in person is out of the question, so we’re building our digital content to make up for it. You’ll be able to take as hands-on of an approach as you’d like. You can reach out to our research team for bespoke philanthropy advisory services, and connect with other members, as well as the team, via Facebook. Videos from our forum are also available.

AFTER AN EXIT

When you eventually reach success, the exciting part happens!
  • What happens once I exit?

    If we hear that you are close to exit, we’ll keep an eye out and then contact you once it’s official.

  • Are there any deadlines?

    While our pledge indicates some specific timelines for letting us know, we are generally flexible and proactive about reaching out.

  • How do I decide on a charity if I haven’t yet?

    Good question! This is one of the biggest advantages of being a part of our community. We work with you to figure out what your interests are, and then search out which charity is doing the best work in that field. We can help you as much or as little as you want; it's really up to you.

  • Can I change the percentage that I’ve pledged?

    Yes - as long as it’s still above the minimum two percent. In fact, we can even help you determine what your optimal percentage would be for tax reasons.

  • What happens if I forget to tell Founders Pledge I exited?

    We've set up our system up so that this won’t happen. While an exit can be a hectic time, we know that our members are more interested in giving to those in need than the average founder. So don't worry - we will sort it out!

  • How do you decide which charities to recommend?

    Our starting point is what you care about. We'll probe into this to understand what cause areas it would be best for you to personally focus on. We then seek to find the highest impact interventions according to the evidence and data out there, and evaluate the charities working on these programmes. For more details on our methodology, just drop us a line and we will connect you to the research team.

  • What charities have other founders given to?

    There's been a huge range of charities that our exited members have chosen to give to, from climate change to global poverty to dementia. You can check out some of our exit stories here.

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