Founders Pledge

Founders Pledge

Effective Giving Research & Advocacy

Founders Pledge empowers entrepreneurs to do immense good by conducting rigorous charity research and advising its members on how to maximise their impact through strategic philanthropy.


What problem is Founders Pledge working on?

Founders Pledge is a global community of entrepreneurs committed to finding and funding solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. On joining, every member makes a legally binding pledge to commit a chosen portion of their personal wealth to charity. This sends a powerful signal to the startup ecosystem: impactful giving should be the norm, not the exception.

What does Founders Pledge do?

Founders Pledge champions evidence-led and thoughtful approaches to impact. It equips members with charity research, streamlined giving infrastructure, and a global network of experts to learn from — empowering them to bring their resources to the global problem-solving table.

Specifically, Founders Pledge provides:

  • Community: Entrepreneurs can explore the issues they care about in the company of world-leading experts and members from 28 countries. Founders Pledge’s intimate events gather the voices at the frontier of social change to educate on evidence-driven impact strategies.
  • Research into high-impact giving: Founders Pledge’s charity research team provides bespoke guidance to identify the most transparent, high-leverage giving opportunities around the world, tailored to members’ unique values.
  • Support: Founders Pledge is the only zero-cost, end-to-end solution for charitable giving, with complete administrative support and a Donor Advised Fund.

What information does Giving What We Can have about the cost-effectiveness of Founders Pledge?1.

As of 2022, Founders Pledge reports that since launching in 2015, its community has collectively pledged over $8 billion to social causes, with over $890 million already donated to high-impact charities. Spanning 37 countries and over 1,700 members, its membership includes the people behind industry-leading companies such as DeepMind, Skype, Spotify, Uber, and Planet.

We previously relied on Founders Pledge’s research to inform our charity recommendations. However, we’ve since decided to base our recommendations on our new evaluators research. While we expect to soon look into Founders Pledge as part of this more in-depth evaluator research, we haven’t yet.

Please note that GWWC does not evaluate individual charities. Our recommendations are based on the research of third-party, impact-focused charity evaluators our research team has found to be particularly well-suited to help donors do the most good per dollar, according to their recent evaluator investigations. Our other supported programs are those that align with our charitable purpose — they are working on a high-impact problem and take a reasonably promising approach (based on publicly-available information).

At Giving What We Can, we focus on the effectiveness of an organisation's work -- what the organisation is actually doing and whether their programs are making a big difference. Some others in the charity recommendation space focus instead on the ratio of admin costs to program spending, part of what we’ve termed the “overhead myth.” See why overhead isn’t the full story and learn more about our approach to charity evaluation.