March 30, 2011; Source: FastCompany | First there was the "The Giving Pledge," which commits the richest Americans to give away the majority of their wealth to charity. Now comes the "Palindrome Pledge." Like that better-known pledge, it too is a promise by successful people – but not necessarily billionaires – to give. And instead of money Fast Company says the pledge is a commitment by signers – 100 executives from technology, venture capital, hospitality, and other industries – to spend at least a year serving on the boards on nonprofits that need their skills.
"We're challenging the current model of just giving money by creating deeper engagement," says Palindrome Advisors founder and entrepreneur Zaw Thet. The pledge is essentially an extension of work Palindrome Advisors has been doing since its founding last May as a nonprofit. It has been serving other nonprofits by providing free consulting services for social and mobile media, cause marketing, and other critical issues that the group says many of these organizations "were unable to tackle."
Among the signatories to the Palindrome Pledge are a number of high-tech notables from Silicon Valley. They include: former chief privacy officer of Facebook Chris Kelly, Playdom co-founder Rick Thompson, former Mint.com CMO Donna Wells, Tapjoy CEO Mihir Shah, and Yahoo! founding executive team member Ellen Siminoff.
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Other names are: Twitter’s president of global revenue Adam Bain, Social Gaming Network founder Shervin Pishevar, Google vice president of product management Neal Mohan, and Apple director of iPhone apps Dag Kittlaus.
In keeping with Fast Company's description of this new undertaking as a "philanthropic Match.com," Palindrome will pair executives with nonprofits. That screening process, says Thet, ensures that organizations get the people best suited to their needs and volunteers will know they're contributing to organizations where they can do the most good.—Bruce Trachtenberg