Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Learning Paths

You have many options when it comes to implementing your product pledge and whatever you choose will likely evolve over time. The following case studies and examples of Pledge 1% members leveraging their products are intended to offer ideas, inspiration, and lessons learned.


Photo credit: Canva for Nonprofits.Photo credit: Canva for Nonprofits.



Donate and/or Discount Your Product and/or Services

A donation is the gift of your products and/or services to a nonprofit, fiscally sponsored organization, government, social enterprise, educational services organizations, and/or marginalized communities.  A discount typically represents a reduced price, for example 75% off.  Donation and discount programs are often combined (i.e. 10 free licenses and 75% off of additional licenses over 10).  Your product pledge policy should be an extension of your company’s core business model. For instance if your model is based on seat licenses follow the same framework for your donation/discount program.  If your pricing model is based on usage, specify a pledge based on usage.

Both donation and discount programs usually have a predefined selection criteria and eligibility requirements to help ensure the donation is effective. Whatever the scope, it’s important you select a model that works for your team and your broader business goals. 


Depending on your size, your program can start by offering a few select nonprofit partners your product/services for free. You can expand to a set number or choose to award products or licenses based on employee volunteering, nominations or voting. Finally, some companies offer a program limited by a set of qualifications (like budget size, nonprofit status, country, etc).

If you have a subscription based product, you might want to survey a few potential nonprofit customers to see how many licenses might actually be impactful and what support they might require. A nonprofit might need fewer licenses of an analytics tool, for example, than a CRM product, etc. 


Many companies use a donate-then-discount structure for their Product pledge offerings, donating some amount of product as a baseline and then extending discounts on anything above the donation. Okta for example donates 50 licenses of their workforce identity products to eligible nonprofits, and then extends a 50% discount on all additional licenses.


To keep your program aligned over time, consider structuring it as a discount rate relative to your company’s standard pricing rather than specifying separate list prices. For example using “50% off” rather than “$10 per user/month” allows for easier change management if there are price changes from your company or if new products get added to the mix. 


When thinking about how you “package” your donated product, if applicable, we recommend you work with your packaging and pricing team to develop a model that aligns with the rest of your company. A cross-functional agreement ensures that if packaging and pricing models are refreshed (as new products are introduced, etc.) your donation program will not get left behind.


Who will be eligible for your product donation? Some programs limit beneficiaries to nonprofits only, while others extend to fiscally-sponsored organizations, social enterprises, educational institutions, government, or direct individual donations. We recommend you speak with your finance department to consider the tax implications of all of these options. 



ABOUT is the social impact arm of Box, the leading Content Cloud that enables organizations to accelerate business processes, power workplace collaboration, and protect their most valuable information, all while working with a best-of-breed enterprise IT stack. leverages resources from the Box community to drive positive social outcomes. The more missions we power with our Content Cloud, the more we invest back into capacity-building for nonprofits.

  • eligibility requirements: Organizations eligible for the program have a declared and verifiable charitable or philanthropic mission to benefit communities that could include, but are not limited to, providing relief to the poor, advancing civil society, delivering education, preserving culture, restoring the environment, and championing human rights. Hospitals and K-12 educational institutions are not eligible for the discount.

  • Box serves over 11,000 charitable organizations.

  • Through, qualified nonprofit organizations can receive a free starter offer of up to 10 seats. 

  • When eligible nonprofit organizations need expanded functionality or more than 10 seats, they receive discounted pricing.

“We are always looking for feedback on how to better serve our customers’ needs. One of the changes we implemented based on feedback from nonprofits facing fundraising challenges due to Covid-19 was to expand our discount model. In addition to our existing 50% discount for eligible nonprofits on our core product offer and free access for up to 10 seats with our 'starter’ product, we added several new discounts: a 65% discount on our product ‘suites,’ a 75% discount on any individual ‘add-ons,’ and a 20% discount on Box consulting. We do offer some pro bono consulting services as well.”


conrad.jpegCorrie Conrad,
VP of Communities and
Impact and Executive Director of



Optimize your product and/or service for nonprofits

Your product is likely optimized to meet the needs of your company’s target customer base. There are often times when that set of features and functionality may need to be adjusted to meet the prioritized needs of a nonprofit, education, or government customer. Meeting these social sector needs may take some focused development resources on your part, or it could be as simple as creating tools and templates to help these customers more effectively and efficiently use your product. 

If you choose to go this route, just know that there could be downstream impacts in terms of provisioning, support, and education or documentation. We generally don't recommend customizing your product unless you have the resources to support a wholistic experience for a custom product. 



ABOUT is a social impact center focused on partnering with the global community to tackle the world’s biggest problems. builds powerful technology for, and with, our community of nonprofits, schools, and philanthropic organizations. With their guidance, solutions are tailored to maximize social impact by helping them operate effectively, raise funds, and connect.


Today, has two distinct purpose-built products, also known as clouds: Nonprofit Cloud and Education Cloud. These solutions are designed to help customers be agile, resilient, and meet the changing demands of those they serve. Whether it’s fundraising or student engagement, innovates for, and with, the community to address the unique needs of its customers. Its partner ecosystem helps further increase the capacity for social innovation.



The suite of purpose-built products takes Salesforce and makes it much more specific for particular sectors: different data model, different set of business processes. Basic terms like ‘customer’ changes to ‘student.’ Salesforce has the more generalized products with purpose-built products on top.



Partner to Address an Urgent Social Need 

Many Pledge 1% members partner with a specific nonprofit and at times other Pledge 1% companies to tackle a pressing social issue or urgent need.  Often focused collaboration, leveraging your product coupled with the reach, know how, and/or resources of other organizations can drive some truly meaningful results.  



Cruise for Good is the social impact commitment of Cruise, a global zero emission self-driving car company. Cruise for Good leverages its all-electric AV fleet to connect, support, and strengthen communities where and when needed most. To achieve this, Cruise partners with nonprofits providing vital goods and services to underserved communities, whose delivery or transportation pathways can be significantly strengthened through access to its fleet. 

Photo credit: SF-Marin Food Bank.Photo credit: SF-Marin Food Bank.



Cruise for Good was born in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020. As soon as shelter-in-place began, food insecurity skyrocketed. In San Francisco, the number of people dependent on the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank nearly doubled, from 32,000 households to nearly 60,000. Cruise responded by committing part of its fleet to deliver groceries and meals alongside the Food Bank and the SF New Deal. Cruise helped deliver over a million meals to families and communities in need throughout San Francisco. To date, 84% of deliveries have gone to zip codes with high poverty rates, ensuring they serve the most vulnerable and low- income communities.



  • Cruise started by understanding the greatest community need and where its resources could accelerate the impact of nonprofits already addressing it.
  • The program partners with high-impact nonprofits in cities where Cruise operates, organizations who know and serve their communities best.
  • Through their nonprofit, Cruise tracks key indicators (e.g. meals delivered) and then calculates how those apply to specific areas of need (e.g. percentage of meals delivered within zip codes with significant populations living below the poverty line). 
  • They also track environmental output. All Cruise vehicles are electric vehicles (EVs) and energy is fully sourced from renewables. As such, Cruise has driven 100% clean miles for this program, offsetting tons of carbon emissions in the process. 
  • These two factors are important together because low-income communities often bear the brunt of the climate crisis. The value of the business decision to be electric serves communities better as well.




Leverage Product to Fundraise and/or Launch a Social Enterprise

Sometimes companies leverage the sale or revenue from a specific product to trigger nonprofit funding.  Others create social enterprises, allocating revenues from specific verticals to fuel future social impact grantmaking.


A social enterprise or social business is defined as a business that has specific social objectives that serve its primary purpose. Social enterprises seek to maximize profits while maximizing benefits to society and the environment. For some Pledge 1% members, creating a social enterprise (or .org arm of their company) is a great way to leverage the profits retained from nonprofit customers to fund social impact programs. 


Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey) created a special survey product called SurveyMonkey Contribute. To incentivize survey participation they donate $0.50 to one of a dozen selected charities. They have given away over $15 million in donations to nonprofits since 2011.


In addition to Atlassian’s profit pledge,  they committed ALL of their revenue from their “Starter Licenses” to their non-profit partner, Room to Read.  This “Starter License” program offered customers the opportunity to purchase a license for up to 10 users for $10 vs the more expensive enterprise offerings at that time.  Atlassian has donated more than $10 million for Room to Read since creating Starter Licenses more than 10 years ago.  As business shifted to the cloud, “Starter Licenses” were replaced by free Cloud licenses and the company began directing revenue from all Atlassian product sales to non-profit customers to the Atlassian Foundation.  These "Community Licenses" are offered at a 75% discount to standard pricing. All Community License revenue is currently donated to the Atlassian Foundation.


When Appfire saw a challenge in its industry—helping Atlassian customers to migrate from Server to Cloud—the company created a solution to cut down on time, manual work, and data loss. The next challenge was getting other partners to integrate their products with Appfire’s migration solution. The answer? Appfire donates $5,000 to Pledge 1% on behalf of any Atlassian partner that integrates with Appfire’s products in 2021.



 ABOUT is the social impact arm of Twilio, a cloud communications platform as a service company that allows software developers to programmatically make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, and perform other communication functions using its web service APIs. 

ORIGINS OF THE SOCIAL ENTERPRISE In 2013, Twilio created a program where they would donate one billion messages to social impact organizations over ten years, called “One Billion Messages for Good.” It took just three years to get to one billion messages, so they have significantly expanded the program since.


  • Because Twilio is a usage-based model (they categorize their product by number of texttwilio_ex2.png messages or phone calls, rather than software licenses or seats), they are able to give qualified social impact organizations a credit on their Twilio account that allows them to use Twilio to, for example, set up a hotline to receive calls. With this credit, nonprofits can receive tens of thousands of calls or send 80,000 text messages before ever having to pay a dime. 
  • Once an organization has gone through their whole credit (most never use it all) and experimented with the platform, many wish to continue to keep their program participants engaged this way. If they make the choice to further invest in Twilio, there is a dedicated nonprofit/social impact price point, which is kept stable so organizations can rely on it. In doing so, is able to generate revenue so they can hire additional technical engineers and content producers to help nonprofits understand how to use the product. 

BUSINESS FUNCTION OF TWILIO.ORG is a core business unit within Twilo, and integrated within each function of the business to accelerate social impact from each and every employee. The team has been able to scale success quickly because of this, working directly with the same sales executives, marketing team, and customer engineers to facilitate the same experience as commercial customers, and serve as subject matter experts for the use cases and constraints of the social impact organizations.


Directly Empower a Marginalized Community 

In addition to supporting nonprofits, some Pledge 1% members leverage their product to directly support and/or elevate customers or partners of diverse backgrounds such as BIPOC or female entrepreneurs. 




Photo credit: Yelp.Photo credit: Yelp.



Yelp Foundation's mission is to support charitable organizations and activities addressing the needs of local communities, including access to information, education, local economic development, and freedom of expression, and to promote a culture of philanthropy among employees of Yelp Inc.


  • Yelp’s product is a platform, so the company had to be creative about how to leverage its offerings to support the businesses who use their services. In 2019, Yelp launched a ‘Women-Owned Businesses’ initiative to uplift female entrepreneurs. This was core to Yelp’s Foundation mission as women-owned businesses put 70-80% of their money back into their families and communities, far more than men. Yelp wanted to support these communities, helping to enable financial independence, close the gender and racial pay gap, and begin to chip away at the larger gender and racial wealth gap.  

  • Yelp broadened its approach to include many new identity-based attributes on the platform, spotlighting Black-owned businesses, Latinx-owned businesses, and more to come. When a business marks themselves as Latinx owned or Black-owned, Yelp sends them a sticker to post to their window. 

  • To take it a step further, Yelp also signed onto the 15% pledge, to make sure that 15% of its content on social channels, 15% of the resources it uses to send care packages to employees, 15% of the businesses it show across channels are Black-owned. This was the call from traditional retailers and Yelp followed suit.



Create a Ripple Effect (Engage Your Partners and Customers) 

Invite and encourage your ecosystem of partners, vendors, customers, and developers to join you in driving change.  By enlisting your network and combining cash and noncash assets (especially for companies that have made multiple pledges) you can accelerate impact outcomes and maximize company resources.  





Okta for Good is the social impact arm of Okta, an identity and access management company based in San Francisco that provides cloud software to help companies manage and secure user authentication. Okta for Good’s mission is to strengthen the connections between people, technology, and community. It focuses on four core areas:

  • Developing tech for good ecosystems
  • Expanding economic opportunity and pathways into the tech sector
  • Supporting nonprofits addressing critical needs in our global communities
  • Empowering our employees to become changemakers


  • Okta launched its 1% pledge in 2016 with a commitment to provide all validated nonprofits with 25 free licenses of Okta’s core products, with discounts on additional licenses and training. In 2021, that commitment was expanded to 50 free licenses and a guaranteed 50% discount for additional licenses. This enables Okta to reach approximately 80% of the world’s nonprofits with Okta’s core products for free. 
  • Okta also launched a Pro Bono Professional Services program to support nonprofits in implementing Okta’s technology.
  • Another key aspect of Okta’s product philanthropy program is leveraging its core products for social impact. One of Okta’s key business initiatives is to grow the Okta Integration Network (essentially, Okta’s “app store”) so that customers will always be able to find the tools they need to do their work. In April 2019, Okta launched Apps for Good, a collection of integrations enabling Okta’s corporate customers to engage their own employees in charitable giving and volunteering. The benefit to customers is that they can deploy these integrations to build and scale their own “Okta for Good” as seamlessly and securely as they deploy all of their other applications from Okta.

“At Okta, we believe that it is our responsibility to give back because our success is ultimately linked to our communities. Through our range of programs, we have a powerful opportunity to partner with a wide range of nonprofit organizations to secure the technology that they use. We value our nonprofit partners and are committed to working with them to continue to make a difference in our communities.”


erin.pngErin Baudo Felter
VP of Social Impact & Sustainability at Okta