Donating equity to fund future philanthropic giving: A win-win for entrepreneurs and our community

[Editor: One of the best things about this time of year is that we often put more thought and consideration toward giving back to the community and helping others. That’s why it seemed like the perfect time to highlight the efforts of the OEN Entrepreneurs Foundation.]

We give a lot during the holidays, but there are some things you just can’t find on Amazon or at the mall. For instance, 10 million dollars in funds raised, volunteer hours served, and goods and services delivered to 100+ nonprofit organizations.

That’s what local entrepreneurs have given back to Oregon and SW Washington through the OEN Entrepreneurs Foundation (EF).

Here’s how it works: Entrepreneurs dedicate equity interests that will fund their future philanthropic giving when the company becomes successful. Setting aside equity in the early years is not only easy, but it demonstrates community commitment to the public, the company team, prospective employees, and partners.

“Those who really get behind supporting their community not only strengthen their own organization by having that direct connection but they send a really important message for others,” said Jen Barth, Executive Director of the local nonprofit Schoolhouse Supplies.

Sam Blackman, CEO of EF member company Elemental Technologies, adds, “If you fundamentally believe that your company has a chance of existing and succeeding because of the investments that your community has made… then you have a responsibility to give back to that community.”

Companies with successful exits that have given back through EF include Acrymed, Clarity Visual Systems, Jive Software, Kryptiq, Payless Long Term Care Pharmacy, Sabrix, TechTracker, Tripwire, and Unicru. And they’re not alone. See the complete list of OEN Entrepreneurs Foundation members.

To learn more about getting involved, visit the OEN website.