Many startup entrepreneurs are interested in giving back but at the same time they have the small problem of being broke! There is a good rule of thumb that says “make yours first and then give back”. Basically saying that take care of yourself and then you will be able to do way more good and give way more than if you’re struggling to even pay your own rent.

However a new project has introduced a new twist to the equation. 1% of Nothing launched by Shervin Pishevar and Matt Galligan aims to get startups to donate 1% of equity to a charity. Now that 1% is probably worth nothing at first but if that startup succeeds or exits it can be a very significant donation.

Galligan has already experienced the model first hand. He was the founder of Socialthing where he had committed 1% equity to the Community Foundation of Boulder. A year later Socialthing was acquired by AOL and he had all but forgotten about the 1% until it became the years largest donation to them.

Their goal is for “early-stage corporate philanthropy to become an integral part of the startup world. We believe that just 1% of equity can potentially lead to 1% of worldwide change. That change could bring about 1% of newfound hope in the world. And if that newfound hope brings about 1% of a difference in the world our mission has been solved.”

What do you think of the idea and will startups start handing over their 1%?