One Hundred Industry Leaders Take the Palindrome Pledge: a Commitment to Philanthropy and to Nonprofit Board Representation
San Francisco – March 30, 2011 – One hundred top industry leaders, in a variety of sectors from across the world, made a public commitment (“The Palindrome Pledge”) today in order to change the way they give back to the nonprofit sector. The Palindrome Pledge grants that advisors will take a more prominent role in the Board management or operations of a nonprofit, pushing the traditional role beyond fundraising and volunteering to address the pressing business and management needs of many nonprofits. The announcement of this group of “Founding Advisors” was made today by Palindrome Advisors’ Founder and Chairman, Zaw Thet.
"This is just the start of how Palindrome Advisors will disrupt the nonprofit sector and create new, innovative ways for business leaders to contribute," said Zaw Thet. “Before Palindrome Advisors, there was no easy path for nonprofits to find experienced leaders to help them at a board management level. A board role is not just about fundraising, but includes developing growth plans, operational efficiency, cause marketing, customer relationship management, event planning, and much more. Nonprofits need help in these areas, and that is precisely why we created Palindrome.”
Palindrome Advisors was initially founded in May 2010 as a nonprofit serving other nonprofits by providing free consulting services for social and mobile media, cause marketing, and other critical issues most nonprofits were unable to tackle. While impactful, Thet realized that the model was limited in its ability to impact nonprofits on a larger scale. The true potential of a group of experienced and talented for profit leaders, with a willingness to help, was not being fully realized.
After almost a full year of working on re-defining the giving back model, Palindrome Advisors launches today with its group of one hundred Founding Advisors. These Founding Advisors have taken the “Palindrome Pledge” – a commitment to serve on the board of a nonprofit for at least one full year and to attend monthly “salons” hosted around the world. The idea for the Palindrome Pledge was inspired by Thet’s current entrepreneurial venture as CEO of 4INFO (one of the world’s largest mobile advertising platforms), his experience as a Soros Fellow at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and by the Giving Pledge, a campaign designed by Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates which encourages billionaires to pledge a majority of their wealth to philanthropy.
In order to maximize results, Palindrome carefully matches Advisors to nonprofits based on their skills, interests and a nonprofit's needs. The salons serve as a platform for Advisors where they can compare notes on board experiences and identify common pain points in the nonprofit sector. Palindrome also hosts an annual summit: a forum for Advisors to evaluate the group's impact on nonprofits, discuss best practices, and add additional philanthropic or community programs that Advisors can participate in.
The group of Founding Advisors includes a diverse set of leaders in different industry sectors and locations. They come from companies like Google, the San Francisco 49ers, Twitter, Playdom, 4INFO, and Facebook and from locations like London, New Zealand, Pakistan, San Francisco, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Miami. A few Founding Advisors are highlighted here: Brett Brewer, President of Adknowledge and previously a co-founder of Intermix/Myspace; Paraag Marathe, Chief Operating Officer of the San Francisco 49ers; Donna Wells, CEO and President of Mindflash and previously CMO of Mint.com; Chris Kelly, former Chief Privacy Offer of Facebook and candidate for CA Attorney General; Claire Alexander, Vice President of Digital Strategy and Business Development at Discovery Channel; Benjamin Boyer, Managing Director at Tenaya Capital; David Selinger, CEO and Co-Founder of RichRelevance and co-founder of the nonprofit, My Two Front Teeth (now part of The Family Giving Tree); Warren Ilchman, program director for the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans; David and Ellen Siminoff, two of the most respected investors and technology executives in the world; and Mike Fenzel, Chairman of the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs (CENSA), an active US Army Colonel and infantry officer, and formerly a White House Fellow on the National Security Council staff. For a full list of Founding Advisors please visit http://www.palindromeadvisors.org
Palindrome matches each Founding Advisor to a nonprofit and is actively screening and seeking additional nonprofit partners that want to participate in the program. Ben Paul, the Executive Director of After-School All-Stars, and one of Palindrome’s first nonprofit partners, commented that “Palindrome is a dream come true for the nonprofit landscape. It allows nonprofits to interact not just with the industry’s best talent but also with the technology, culture and innovation that comes with that talent.”
Peter Kim, Executive Director of the Glow Foundation, another Palindrome nonprofit partner, said: "Working in the social sector as a leader and serving on boards, I realize the need for recruiting new and young leaders to serve on nonprofit boards now versus later. Palindrome creates a forum for young leaders to give back now, before they retire, to serve on nonprofit boards and create positive social impact during (as opposed to after) their careers."
For accredited press, there will be a media call and Q&A with Zaw Thet, Palindrome Founder and Chairman, Ben Boyer, Chris Kelly and Donna Wells on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 at 930am PDT / 1230pm EDT.
Download the press release: Palindrome Advisors Launch (Press Release)
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