Pledge 1% Movement: Sage Gives Back
By: Stephen Kelly, CEO, Sage
‘Serving as a force for good in the world’ is at the heart of the way we do things at Sage. The phrase is from Marc Benioff, talking about the role he thinks business should play, but its also the guiding principle for the impact we want to have on our communities. It isn’t good enough for us to just delight customers, or be a great place to work for our colleagues, or deliver for investors. We also want to touch the communities we serve in a way that is meaningful – we want to be a force for good. That’s why we have embraced the Pledge 1% movement so wholeheartedly, giving that and more in free cashflow, colleague time and products to our community. We want our strong rallying cry for compassionate capitalism to inspire others to do the same as Pledge 1% launches in the UK.
We are starting to see the real impact that corporate philanthropy can have. I have been blown away by the special work our colleagues are doing to change the world through the Sage Foundation. Recently, I visited the Little Rose Community Centre, in the township of Soweto, South Africa, where more than 60 enthusiastic colleagues have been using their Sage volunteering days to build a library for hundreds of disadvantaged children. The Little Rose Centre is steps away from the shacks where these children live with no sanitation nor running water and it provides an essential safe haven. Now, with a new, modern library, the Centre provides more than that – it provides these vulnerable children with hope. In the words of the great Nelson Mandela “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. I have never felt so proud to represent Sage at the emotional opening of the Centre.
We live in a competitive world and taking time out to give back can feel counter-intuitive, particularly for small businesses, the true heroes of the economy, who are making a human sacrifice every day to provide two thirds of the job in most economies. But the beauty of the Pledge 1% model is that it only asks what businesses can give – from the millions of start-ups and entrepreneurs we serve, to the multinationals with deeper pockets. And I honestly believe that contributing to our communities helps us build a great culture inclusively for colleagues and customers, so it is the right thing for do for our businesses as well as a compassionate way to give back to good causes.
Contributing to communities is rapidly becoming the new norm for businesses who want to make a difference. The Pledge 1% launch accelerates the movement in this country – so let’s see other UK businesses leading the way and becoming a force for good in the world.
Thinking about building giving back into your company culture? Pledge 1% can help. Take the pledge today at www.pledge1percent.org.
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