Percent Pledge Press

Percent Pledge’s COVID-19 Relief Portfolio

Joel Pollick
Posted by  Joel Pollick on Apr 3, 2020

We are announcing the release of a new COVID-19 Relief Portfolio to help companies, employees, and everyday donors become a force for good during this difficult time. Our force for good will begin mobilizing in full on April 6th. 

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Thank you to gratitude for taking fear's place

As a small business and young startup, this is scary. Startups are already uncertain, then a global pandemic hits! But as our team contemplated what this new normal would mean, our fear began to dissipate.

Gratitude took fear's place because we are lucky enough to be a part of the solution by simply continuing our mission. We have built proprietary technology and impact reporting that makes it simple, trusted, and transparent for companies of any size and employees at any level to give back--and now is a critical time to give back.

Leveraging what makes us unique to do good during this uniquely critical time

As we discussed how to respond--what to DO--it became clear that our three main differentiators perfectly aligned with what we felt was needed most right now.

1. Subscription Giving

At the core of our technology is a unique subscription-model; 3 minutes for someone to donate X% of their monthly budget and automatically support the causes or charities they care about most. This approach to giving--making it a habit--will provide our most vulnerable populations and communities with the sustained support they need to recover from COVID-19.

(note: we did also create a new one-time giving feature for this portfolio to offer donors greater choice)

2. Cause Portfolios

Researching and grouping top-rated nonprofits by impact area is what we already do. We call these groupings our Cause Portfolios. These vetted "charity mutual-funds" simplify the giving experience and diversify donor impact, which is needed right now when so many different causes and communities are being adversely affected by this pandemic.

3. Pledge Reports (our secret sauce)

Each donor--and company--gets personalized impact reports delivered right to their inbox each month. These reports combine real-time giving stats with impact stories from the nonprofits being supported, and everyone needs positive Coronavirus stories right about now. 

"Giving" companies of any size a remote-friendly engagement tool and way to join the narrative

The other--bigger--part of the discussion on our response was identifying who it would help. We are so grateful to many of our clients who helped us learn this piece. We learned that we could best help small and midsize companies, in two ways.

1. Offering an easy way for newly-remote teams to make a positive impact and connect through giving 

Now that employees are almost exclusively working remotely, companies are searching for ways to maintain their sense of community, company culture, and employee engagement. Companies have been incredibly creative in this regard, but most have no way to maintain philanthropic programs that employees universally love--and nonprofits desperately need.

Larger companies (more than 5,000 employees) generally have the technology to offer employees donation or virtual volunteering opportunities during this critical and lonely time; small and midsize companies (less than 5,000 employees) largely don't, so we are making that accessible to companies of any size. 

*extra incentive: the recent $2.2 trillion CARES Act includes a tax incentive for charitable giving. Section 2204 establishes above-the-line (pre-tax) deductions for charitable contributions in 2020, up to $300. This means that you can now deduct up to $300 in charitable contributions from your 2020 taxable income, which will reduce your tax bill!

2. Helping small and midsize companies to become forces for good and join the COVID-19 relief narrative

Because we mainly serve small-to-midsize companies, we have also put together a media campaign to help these companies join the COVID Relief narrative. Stories of what the Fortune 50 are doing have flooded the news--and for good reason--but so many smaller companies are doing amazing things to support the communities they serve.

These companies deserve to be celebrated--especially because many of them are stepping up in the face of far greater future uncertainty than larger companies. That is why we are providing them the tools to maximize their COVID-19 relief impact together with their employees, the reports to measure their growing impact, and the support to add their stories to the narrative--to the good news. 

Our people without work or food, our people on the front lines, and our people finding a solution

Now to the portfolio and featured charities.

COVID-19 has hurt everyone, but to maximize impact we focused our curation process on these three areas: 

  • Our most vulnerable communities without work or food

  • Our healthcare workers and local clinics on the front lines

  • Our scientists working on a solution and future preparedness

We looked first at current partners--identifying both Feeding America and Team Rubicon--then worked collaboratively with our network of philanthropic experts and nonprofit partners to complete this unique portfolio.

Donations to our COVID-19 Relief Portfolio will be evenly distributed to these 501(c)3 charities:

Feeding America

COVID-19 is in all 50 states, but so is Feeding America. America’s network of local food banks has mobilized quickly to deploy new distributions that ensure social distancing; expand storage capacity to account for increased food insecurity; deliver emergency food boxes to essential services; and supply grab-n-go meals to kids who rely on school meals.

(Charity Navigator's highest 4-star rating)

Blessings in a Backpack

Blessings in a Backpack are the experts when it comes to feeding kids outside the classroom--they've been doing it since 2008 with operations in 46 states. Now that schools have closed, the model and supply chain they've built to provide weekend meal bags to kids who rely on school for their meals is increasingly critical, valuable, and effective.

(Charity Navigator's highest 4-star rating and GuideStar's highest Platinum seal of transparency) 

Team Rubicon

Team Rubicon is quite possibly the world's most agile, sophisticated, and effective disaster relief nonprofit. Working together with local governments and other nonprofit agencies, they are deploying teams of military veterans to deliver supplies to healthcare workers and local food banks across the country. They are also working to get their volunteer veteran medics certified to treat the rapidly growing number of COVID-19 patients. 

(Charity Navigator's highest 4-star rating and GuideStar's highest Platinum seal of transparency)

National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics

NAFC's 1,400 clinics and 110,000 volunteers are filling the gaps in our healthcare system to treat millions of vulnerable and uninsured patients. They are working to increase testing and equipment; expand access to medication and telehealth; and provide operational and technical assistance to their member clinics in the most vulnerable locations.

(GuideStar's highest Platinum seal of transparency)

CDC Foundation

The CDC Foundation combines the world-class science of the CDC with private partners and other philanthropies. They are providing immediate support on the ground where government support is not available or available rapidly enough to meet the need. This includes additional support for state and local health departments, support for the global response, logistics, communications, data management, personal protective equipment, critical response supplies and more.

(Charity Navigator's highest 4-star rating)

The Workers Fund

The Workers Fund is a rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic by The Workers Lab, with 100% of donations going to workers who have lost their income and don't qualify for employer-based benefits. This crisis has exposed the cracks in our social safety net and our workers need money, fast. They are providing eligible applicants up to $1,000 within 24-48 hours.

These organizations were evaluated on

  • Speed, scale, and effectiveness of COVID-19 response efforts

  • Impact on low-income and minority communities

  • Track record of direct disaster relief

  • Innovations of model, technology, and program administration

  • Financial transparency and organizational effectiveness

  • Ratings from evidence-based charity evaluators

Joel Pollick

Written by Joel Pollick

Founder & CEO @ Percent Pledge. Expert in workplace giving, volunteering, and employee engagement for fast-growing companies.

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