[Ip-health] Kickstarter is now a Public Benefit Corporation

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Tue Sep 22 14:17:24 PDT 2015

I found this interesting.  Jamie


Kickstarter Inc is no more. We’re now Kickstarter PBC — a Public Benefit
Corporation. We’re thrilled to share this news, and we’d love to take a
minute to tell you exactly what it means.

Until recently, the idea of a for-profit company pursuing social good at
the expense of shareholder value had no clear protection under U.S.
corporate law, and certainly no mandate. Companies that believe there are
more important goals than maximizing shareholder value have been at odds
with the expectation that for-profit companies must exist ultimately for
profit above all.

Benefit Corporations are different. Benefit Corporations are for-profit
companies that are obligated to consider the impact of their decisions on
society, not only shareholders. Radically, positive impact on society
becomes part of a Benefit Corporation’s legally defined goals.

Kickstarter is excited to join a growing list of forward-thinking
organizations — like Patagonia and This American Life — that have taken the
big step to become a Benefit Corporation. While only about .01% of all
American businesses have done this, we believe that can and will change in
the coming years. More and more voices are rejecting business as usual, and
the pursuit of profit above all.

If you want to see what we think is important, you can find a link to our
Benefit Corporation charter here. We’ve spelled out a specific list of
values and commitments we’ll live by: We renew our longstanding commitment
to arts and culture. We declare how we plan to conduct ourselves in
situations that are often swayed by profit motives. And we newly commit to
donate 5% of annual post-tax profits to arts education and organizations
fighting inequality. Every year, we’ll release an assessment of how we’re
performing on the commitments we’ve made.

There was not a single dissenting vote by a Kickstarter shareholder to
re-incorporate as a Benefit Corporation. We’re once again grateful for the
support and partnership we’ve had from this group of friends, investors,
and current and former team members. Thank you all!

>From Kickstarter’s inception, we’ve focused on serving artists, creators,
and audiences to help bring creative projects to life. Our new status as a
Benefit Corporation hard-codes that mission at the deepest level possible
to guide us, and future leaders of Kickstarter.

To all the creators and backers who have helped make Kickstarter what it is
today — we’re excited to keep working with you, and helping new creative
projects come to life as Kickstarter PBC.

James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
KEI DC tel: +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040, Geneva Mobile:
+41.76.413.6584, twitter.com/jamie_love

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