Atlassian Gives Big to Charity

Collaboration and application development tool maker Atlassian says its Starter license program has generated more than $500,000 in one year in donations to Room to Read, a global nonprofit organization focused on literacy and gender equality in education.

"Atlassian, makers of collaboration and developer tools, announced that its Starter license program has generated over $500,000 in donations to Room to Read, a global nonprofit organization focused on literacy and gender equality in education, in just 12 months," Atlassian said in a news release May 25.

"In April, 2009, Atlassian first introduced its Starter licenses to enable small teams and software startups of under 10 users to access its popular software products like the JIRA issue tracker and the Confluence wiki. Each Starter license costs only $10 and includes a perpetual license, full technical support and updates. To date over 31,000 licenses have been sold to over 14,000 unique customers."

"The great results have taken us by surprise," Atlassian CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes said in a statement. "We thought we might sell a few thousand licenses, and then the promotion took on a life of its own. The prospect of making a meaningful donation and getting great software has been too good for business customers to pass up. Room to Read's efforts to promote literacy have inspired us for years, so when we sought out a charity for our Starter licenses, it was an easy choice."

The release continued, "Room to Read has used the Atlassian funds to invest in literacy programs and girls' education in Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Cambodia. The current and future projects include the establishment of 34 libraries, four schools and two local language books. Other funds have been set aside to sponsor 250 scholarships through the Girls' Education program, which provides school fees, books, uniforms and transportation, mentoring, and life skills training to help girls complete secondary school. In total, more than 32,000 children will have benefited from educational opportunities supported through the Starter license promotion."

The company also said, "Atlassian's Room to Read donations are an extension of its innovative 1/1/1 corporate philanthropy model, where 1 percent of employee time goes to volunteer work, 1 percent of company equity goes to the Atlassian foundation and 1 percent of products are donated to nonprofits.

"According to John Wood, Room to Read founder and board chair, 'Atlassian's contributions show how companies can succeed while also doing good for their community. Their innovative approach to selling software is enabling Room to Read to reach tens of thousands of children in Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Cambodia and empower them through education.'

"In addition, Atlassian participated in a matching challenge with Financial Times readers. Atlassian pledged to equal Financial Times readers' donations to Room to Read of up to $100,000, effectively doubling its monies raised for Room to Read."