How Okta Is Driving Social Good

By Amit Chowdhry ● October 7, 2019
  • Identity management company Okta is a major advocate of the Pledge 1%. Here are some of the ways that Okta is driving social good.

Okta, a company that has built a solution that helps organizations both big and small accomplish important missions, had taken an oath to Pledge 1% for social good a few years ago. Through the program, Okta started offering its products free to nonprofits with 25 employees or fewer. And the company will be offering deep discounts to larger organizations.

Back in 2016, Okta CEO and co-founder Todd McKinnon pointed out that “technology can truly be the catalyst for positive change, which is why we recently debuted our Okta for Good program and took the 1% pledge — committing our time, product, and equity to give back to the community.”

And Okta co-founder and COO Frederic Kerrest also explained in an Inc. article that there are 4 ways that startups can launch a social impact program. The four ways include making a commitment, connecting your product to impact, activating your team, and not going at it alone.

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Kerrest pointed out that Okta’s commitment to Pledge 1% enabled the company to grow its dedication towards providing resources, case, studies, and one-on-one guidance. Once Okta went public, Okta for Good was formalized in the S-1 registration document. This documented emphasized to public investors that an investment in the company was an investment in Okta for Good as well.

And it is not just about the employee time spent and dollars invested. Kerrest explained that the products or services you build can drive social good too. For example, Twilio had published Twilio.org’s “Recipe for Good” book, which outlines how social impact organizations have built thousands of Twilio apps in order to fuel positive change by mobilizing volunteers, delivering critical information, and engaging supporters.

In order to activate a team, company leaders need to engage the broader organization in social good efforts. And leaders need to make sure that everyone has the ability to contribute time and effort to local volunteering or fundraising events. One of the best ways to do this is by giving employees time off each year to participate in social good efforts. Okta gives each employee 3 days of volunteer time off per year.

Plus it is important to team up with other organizations in order to build relationships with business partners, customers, prospects, and industry peers. By driving social good as a team, it will further business and community objectives.

“Creating a successful social impact program does not stem from just one person at a company; it’s a team effort, ideally supported by leaders dedicated to giving back, motivated employees and community partners who view corporate giving in a similar light. We all have a responsibility to give back, and our success is linked to our communities: businesses can’t thrive unless our communities are thriving as well. The earlier you embed the ‘giving mindset’ into your organization, the easier it will be for your company to scale alongside the mission and build on it as you grow,” wrote Kerrest via Inc.