1point8 initiative encourages and aims high-tech workers’ donations

The 1point8 project is an accelerator program that encourages Israeli high-tech workers to donate 1.8% of their shares to social organizations.

1point8 logo (photo credit: 1POINT8)
1point8 logo
(photo credit: 1POINT8)

The nonprofit Israeli innovation accelerator Start-Up Nation Central has announced the launch of the 1point8 project, in collaboration with the Social Solidarity Foundation and with the involvement of several senior figures from the Israeli technology sector.

1point8’s goal is to encourage Israeli hi-tech workers at any stage to donate 1.8% of their shares or options to social organizations. Members will join by signing a non-binding pledge, granting them a membership to the community and a say in fund distribution decisions.

According to a press release on the subject, a community day will be held every few months during which organization heads will present their visions to the 1point8 community. Participants will then vote on the allocation of the 1point8 fund’s proceeds.

“Start-Up Nation Central partnered with the 1point8 initiative from the ideation stage,” said VP of philanthropic partnerships at Start-Up Nation Central, Laura Gilinski. “We helped articulate how to introduce new philanthropic investors to compelling nonprofit ventures, suggested optimal work models, and best practices for connecting with the nonprofit sector. Our deep familiarity with and understanding of both the Israeli tech ecosystem and the nonprofit world positions us well to support this important initiative aimed at investing in Israeli society.”

The initiative is led by Israeli hi-tech executives with extensive experience in the field, including Bird CEO Yaniv Rivlin, Google public policy manager Dona Raz Levy, Target Global partner Ben Kaminski, among others.

Co-founder of the Start Up Nation Mentorship Program, Adam Shapiro, facilitating a panel at the public international launch event in New York City (credit: SHAHAR AZRAN)Co-founder of the Start Up Nation Mentorship Program, Adam Shapiro, facilitating a panel at the public international launch event in New York City (credit: SHAHAR AZRAN)

“I'm all for donating to charity, and especially from the privileged position of having a high-tech salary,” noted an anonymous high-tech worker. “But I'd much rather choose what I donate to - I simply don't see the benefit in a shared fund that I have minimal control over.”

He added that it’s unclear what demographic the project is aimed toward: “I can imagine the only market is people who generically are like ‘I want to donate, theoretically, but I can't ever decide what [organization to donate] to.’”

“From my own experience, people want to give, and do give back, but often get lost in the maze of bureaucracy, seemingly unlimited giving choices, and the lack of transparency of where the money is going,” said Yael Wissner-Levy, vice-president of communications at global insurance company Lemonade, another member of 1point8’s founding team. “Making giving back easier and simpler is something both the for-profit and nonprofit world can improve on.”