One of my core beliefs is that a business needs to care about more than just their customers and their people. They need to care for the local environment they work in, and they need to care about people (in their local area if possible) less fortunate than them. It’s part of being an ethical business. A healthy business shouldn’t be about hoarding money, it should be about doing good with it.
At Travis CI we started a program a last year. Each of our employees gets to choose a charity where we donate an equal amount to. We did the same again this year. While we encourage focusing on local charities (with regard to where each of our team member lives), it’s up to everyone to pick their favorites.
And because we think it’s important to set a good example, and because anonymous donations are bullshit, below you’ll find the breakdown of what we gave to, as a commitment of regularly doing good and hopefully giving even more next year.
As part of our employee program, we gave to the following charities:
- The Trevor Project: $1,200
- Mercy Corps: 1,000 EUR
- Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina: $1,200
- Cleveland Animal Protective League: $1,200
- Bike Pittsburgh: $1,200
- motz & Co e.V.: 1,000 EUR
- Die Arche: 1,000 EUR
- Campaign Against Homophobia: 1,000 EUR
- Wellington City Mission: 1,000 EUR
- Code and Cupcakes: $175
- Ada Initiative: $1,025 (I could’ve punched myself for not making it $1,024)
- Wheelmap: 400 EUR
- Tausendundeine Rampe: 500 EUR
- betterplace.org: 100 EUR
Beyond these donations, we wanted to make true on one of our commitments as a company, to help increase diversity in technology and software development. To that end, we donated to the following organizations:
- Girl Develop It: $2,000
- Black Girls Code: $2,000
- Trans*H4CK: $2,000
- Ada Initiative: $285 (based on profits we made selling stickers on DevSwag)
We also supported a few local organizations:
Throughout the year 2014 we also increased our sponsorships of diversity tickets to conferences, giving people an opportunity to attend who otherwise may not have the resources to do so:
- Ruby Conf Australia: AUD 978
- Strange Loop: $1,000
- JSConf: 1,675 EUR
- Frozen Rails: 1,046.50 EUR
- Magma Conf: ~$700 (we gave away two tickets that were included in our sponsorship package)
- kod.io: 500 EUR
In total, that comes down to roughly 22,000 EUR or $27,000 in 2014, or about 1.25% of our total revenue in the same year.
We’ve been doing our donation rally towards the end of the year both in 2014 and 2013, which ends up being a stressful experience. In 2015, we’d like to increase the percentage of our revenue that we give away to charitable causes and to support increasing diversity in software development, supporting open source and more (by way of the Travis Foundation.
We’d also like to increase our support of more local organizations that help more people to get into software development and technology. Send me an email if you have or know of an interesting project!
We’re also reconsidering how we’re approaching donations, possibly switching from an annual schedule towards making it a quarterly thing, and giving our team members time that they can devote to help in communities or help organizations in need of the most valuable of all goods, our time.
How about you?
Has your company been doing good? Why not lead the charge and tell the world about it? When a company is doing well, that should reflect on their surroundings too.