Making the Pledge

MapAnything Makes Lasting Impact by Pledging 1% Equity to FFTC

By 2017, MapAnything (now Salesforce Maps) had long been a supporter of Pledge 1%, a global movement that encourages companies to pledge 1 percent of staff time, equity, product or profit for their communities. At the time, the company provided location services for Salesforce data, and it was Salesforce — a founding partner of Pledge 1% — that inspired the local tech company to subscribe to the 1-1-1 philosophy. Having already contributed 1 percent of its technology and 1 percent of its people (through volunteering with dozens of community nonprofits), the company announced its intention to pledge 1 percent of equity to Foundation For The Carolinas.

As the company had grown since its founding in 2009, it consistently prioritized its philanthropic endeavors. It committed hundreds of hours of its employees’ time to community volunteering, donated to local charities and worked with the City of Charlotte to promote youth employment. Now that they had announced a new round of funding and had reached 150 employees, MapAnything CEO John Stewart knew the time was right to take the next step with a larger and more lasting equity gift.

“The concept behind Pledge 1% is that companies who engage in early-stage corporate philanthropy and leverage a small portion of future success can have a significant long-term impact on the community,” said Doug Benson, FFTC Senior Vice President and In-house Counsel, who helped structure the transaction.

The concept was realized after Salesforce acquired MapAnything in 2019. The donated shares were liquidated and the proceeds were used to create an FFTC Corporate Donor Advised Fund, which has begun distributing grants to nonprofits.

According to Benson, “We are hopeful that MapAnything’s gift will inspire other companies and business owners to review their charitable goals and consider whether a similar gift will help achieve those goals.”

“Starting a company is not easy and presents new challenges every day,” Stewart said. “Entrepreneurs need to remember how blessed they are to be tackling these challenges when many around us are facing much more pressing and much more fundamental challenges.”

The 1 percent equity gift was made through FFTC’s subsidiary, Community Investments Foundation, which allows the Foundation to accept gifts of ownership interests in privately held companies for charitable purposes. Given the amount of wealth in the U.S. comprised of private businesses, this has become an important trend in charitable giving.

“The FFTC team was knowledgeable and made it clear that we were partners working together to achieve a common goal,” Stewart said. “After working closely with the Foundation for several months, it is clear why they have achieved the record of success in the Charlotte region and have made a lasting impact on individuals and organizations through the grant programs and support they provide.”

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Jennifer (she/her) is Vice President, Marketing Operations at FFTC. She lives with her family in Huntersville and volunteers with PFLAG Charlotte.