By signing the “Pledge 1%” pledge last year, GLiNTECH, a longtime Atlassian partner based in Sydney, Australia, formed a lasting partnership with Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation. Volunteering with the Play Therapy department and the Foundation at large has become an entrenched part of GLiNTECH’s culture - not to mention a whole lot of fun.
According to Desma Spyridopoulos, the Pledge 1% lead at GLiNTECH, corporate philanthropy wasn’t a part of the company’s culture before they signed. Employees were appreciative of GLiNTECH’s annual gift to the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, but didn’t feel a personal connection to the cause. Moreover, getting employees to participate in charity work on their own was more onerous than Desma anticipated.
Everything changed after GLiNTECH signed the 1% Pledge in 2017. When the Foundation heard GLiNTECH had signed the pledge, it asked Desma if her company could contribute its time, skills and technology, none of which it could otherwise afford. “This charity work is something that would allow our employees to use their skills to help a charity they care about,” Desma said.
She added, "It's made it easier to communicate with my team and the Foundation about what we’re able to contribute."
From Desma’s perspective, signing the 1% Pledge was an opportunity to get the company involved in philanthropy within the context of their day-to-day work. Within a few weeks, GLiNTECH had set up an internal project, and employees were champing at the bit to get involved. Desma said, “Now that employees know how 1% works, they're asking 'why don't we do this?' Everyone's got an idea."
In the few months since GLiNTECH pledged, they’ve planned to donate hours of consulting services to make sure the Foundation is able to get the most out of Trello and Salesforce. In the coming months, GLiNTECH employees have planned a video game tournament against some of the teenagers in the hospital. Some are even practicing so they don’t get embarrassed in front of their colleagues.
Over the next year, GLiNTECH’s plans are far more ambitious. Employees are scoping a project to use their 1% time to build an app that will help the child therapy department at the Sydney Children’s Hospital keep a centralized record of patients’ therapy preferences. The app would record how the children like to receive treatment to reduce the stress of going into a hospital, clinic, or emergency room. It would include information including, but not limited to: which arm is preferred for a cannula, whether patients need to be held in a particular way for a procedure, or if a patient has specific routines that help them cope.
Desma said that prospective employees want to be a part of a company making such an outsized impact. ”Candidates I interview say they're interested in 1% and that it can be a part of what they do. I was amazed how fast the news traveled about our pledge.”
In GLiNTECH’s second year as a Pledge 1% participant, Desma wants to focus on promoting her efforts, both within the organization to boost participation and outside to spread awareness of GLiNTECH’s willingness to lend a hand.
However, she recognizes that signing the 1% Pledge has changed GLiNTECH forever. "Our charitable work became a focus when we pledged.”
She added, “The pledge has completely changed the way we do business.”
Click here to join GLiNTECH, Atlassian and hundreds of companies that have signed the 1% Pledge.
Atlassian co-founded Pledge 1% as a movement to change the world through inspiring early–stage corporate philanthropy. Signing the Pledge commits participants to committing 1% of their equity, time, product, and profit to social impact projects in their community. Through these contributions, signers ensure that philanthropy is integrated into their core business and that they are making a lasting impact on the world.
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