Give it up

Brad and Amy invited Jil and me to the Community Stars event held by the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County today. This event recognized some amazing non-profits in the community, as well as some special individuals who have given their time, money, and energy to the community. It really inspired both of us to read and learn more about these organizations who do so much to make Boulder a better place.

A while back, Techstars committed 1% of its equity to the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado. This is such a easy way for startup founders to institutionalize a commitment to giving back to the community which helps and nurtures their business (explained really well here). You can do it early in the life of your company and when you’re successful, you help your community to be more successful as well.

It’s not just giving money that matters. It’s thinking of ways to include giving back in your overall business or life plan that matters. For some that might mean volunteering. For others it might mean donating. Or it could just mean building your startup to be as successful as it can be and donating a portion of it to causes you believe in.

Another great example of this way of thinking is the recently launched mShopper site. When I first met David Gould six months ago, I was impressed by his commitment to not only build a great product, but to institutionalize giving back in the business plan in a way that makes sense for his customers as well as his company. I’ll cover mShopper a bit more in an upcoming post.

Ask yourself – what can your company do to give back to your community or to any causes worldwide that you want to support? How can you improve your personal and company mensch-factor? Then build it in. Examples like what mShopper has done, or what the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado enables are great options that I hope you’ll consider exploring.

file under: Blog, Startups