Startup equity for charity foundation gets charitable status

A foundation that aims to help start-ups support charities and those in need has achieved approval as a charitable foundation.

The Upside Foundation of Canada’s goal is to “Share the Upside” by encouraging startups to give back to their communities, and that mission will be helped with its approval by the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency as a charitable foundation.

“While we were convinced that the Charities Directorate would appreciate the enormous potential of the Upside Foundation to grow the pool of Canadian charitable giving, it is nice to know that the legalities of the approval are behind us”, said Robert Antoniades, chair and co-founder of the Upside Foundation of Canada, in a statement.

In a unique and creative model of corporate philanthropy designed for startups that lack the cash to match their social conscious, the Upside Foundation facilitates early-stage, high-growth companies to support local charitable efforts by donating stock options, not cash. And when the liquidity event happens, the options are sold with the proceeds going to Canadian charities, with a specific focus on education, poverty, and technology. Hence the mission to “share the upside.”

“The Israeli model has shown us that entrepreneurs appreciate being given the opportunity to contribute to something meaningful and by sharing their ‘upside’ with others, they have created a stronger business culture and enhanced their success,” said Mark Skapinker, a co-founder of the Upside Foundation of Canada, in a statement. “Our discussions with Canadian entrepreneurs, venture capital firms, incubators, accelerators and angel investors have been very positive, which reinforces our strong belief that the venture capital community cares about giving back.”

Seven Canadian companies are already participating.

According to the foundation, participating in the program will help startups attract and engage prospective employees who care about corporate social responsibility, and motivate their employees by knowing their efforts will benefit the broader community.

Source | Upside Foundation of Canada

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