Odyssey Advisor’s Annual Pledge to Give Back

One of the cool perks of working for Odyssey is our corporate giving policy. During November, we all begin thinking about organizations that we’ve volunteered for or are passionate about. When we’ve narrowed it down to one or two each, Odyssey donates a total of 1% of our annual total revenue to them.

The policy is a hybrid of two different philanthropy initiatives – the Pledge 1% movement and an annual giving guide created by former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

The Pledge 1% movement inspires corporate philanthropy and was founded by powerhouses such as Salesforce, Atlassian, and Rally. The mission is to get companies and entrepreneurs to pledge 1% of their equity, time, product, profits, or a combination of those things as a way to give back.

Nicholas Kristof, when he was writing for the New York Times, started an annual holiday gift-giving guide that connected his philanthropic readers with organizations that were desperately in need of resources and donors.

And that’s how our giving policy was born. Odyssey donates 1% of the total annual revenue (not profits) to charities that we get to choose. Here are the charities we chose to support this year and how they inspired us.

Alzheimer’s Association

Andrew Taggart, “I chose the Alzheimer’s Association because my great-grandfather had Alzheimer’s and it is a horrible disease that I believe can be cured in the near future with the right funding and awareness.” 

Charity: Water

Samantha Schneider, “Safe drinking water is undeniably important. Charity: Water has a mission to provide access to clean water to thousands in developing countries. They partner with communities to implement long-term sustainable water projects, as well as facilitate education around sanitation and hygiene to maintain long-term health for those areas.

Charity: Water is completely transparent about donations – they provide photos and GPS coordinates of every project, and pledge that 100% of charitable giving goes directly to the projects and not to the overhead of the organization.” 

Feed My Starving Children

Kurtis Thompson, “In the developing world there are still millions of children who die from preventable causes. It is estimated that half of these preventable deaths are related to hunger and malnutrition.

Feed my Starving Children provides fully prepared (just add water) meals to children around the world. Using volunteers to pack the meals, they can deliver meals around the world for an average cost generally less than $0.30 per meal.” 

Fight for the Forgotten

Francis Fraine, “For many people in the world, the basic needs of food and water are difficult to come by. Fight for the Forgotten seeks to build wells and develop sustainable agriculture for the Pygmys in the Congo with the goal of breaking the chain of poverty, suffering, and slavery they currently endure. 

The charity is a very small organization that dedicates as much as possible without excessive overhead.” 

Mission of Deeds

Caleb White, “Mission of Deeds helps provide household items to impoverished families in Massachusetts where I’m from.” 

No Kid Hungry

Luke Matchett, “I chose No Kid Hungry as my organization because I really like their approach to fighting child hunger, especially the way that they provide grants that help schools offer free meals for their students.  

They also work with educators and lawmakers in order to generate the funding necessary for schools to offer breakfast so that no kid has to go through the school day hungry.”

Kirby Prigioni, “No Kid Hungry is an organization working to end childhood hunger. They do this through a number of methods: funding school breakfasts and summer meals, working with the legislature to improve existing programs and teaching people how to shop to make their money go further. 

I chose No Kid Hungry as my organization because I think the work they are doing is so important, especially now when so many are struggling. All the charities we chose are great and there are so many important causes, but it’s good to know that while kids can’t help their situation, they’re still being fed.” 

Save the Children

Stephanie Irvin, “Children across the world and even in the U.S. are struggling to survive. Save the Children pioneers programs across the globe in order to provide children with a healthy start in life, protect them from harm, and help them grow. In 2020, their programs helped save 197 million children around the world, 1.1 million of those here in the U.S.

85% of every dollar that they raise goes directly to their mission. I chose this organization because, being a mom of two children, I can’t bear the thought that there are innocent, helpless children without their basic needs and who are in harm’s way.” 

Second Chance Animal Shelter

Caleb White, “Second Chance is a shelter I’ve worked with personally for a couple of years now. They’re a great animal rescue and adoption charity.” 

World Central Kitchen

Samantha Schneider, “World Central Kitchen has been providing meals to communities after disasters around the globe for many years. At the start of the pandemic, they pivoted and began partnering with restaurants and growers in communities all over the country to not only provide millions of warm, nutritious meals to those in need but to support those affected in some of the hardest-hit industries – providing working for chefs and support staff whose business has been decimated by stay-at-home orders, as well as generating revenue to help keep these small businesses afloat.

WCK is so much more than just providing meals to areas affected by disasters. They also help boost the local economy and promote sustainable food systems to help communities improve their resilience against future disasters.”