Personio, Europe’s leading HR software company for small and mid-sized businesses, has today announced the creation of Personio Foundation, an independent and not-for-profit organization offering financial and business support to NGOs and social enterprises. The Foundation will focus on education and climate action, two of the most pressing issues facing the world today, with Covid-19 having wiped out 20 years worth of education gains, and climate change goals significantly below target.
Personio Foundation is based on a commitment made when Personio was created to set aside 1% of the company’s equity for good causes. This 1% stake is currently worth $63 million and will continue to grow until an IPO. An additional $3 million in cash donations from Personio’s founders, investors and the company itself will drive immediate progress.
The founders of Personio – Hanno Renner (CEO), Roman Schumacher (CPO), Arseniy Vershinin (CTO) and Jonas Rieke (COO) – will be closely involved in strategy and are advised by Nicola Crosta, founder of Impact46, former United Nations official and a recognised expert in foundation management. Day-to-day operations will be managed by dedicated staff, bolstered by expertise from Personio employees on secondment, while selection of grantees will take place via a robust screening process supported by external consultants.
Hanno Renner, Co-founder of Personio and Chairman of the Foundation, said: “The Covid-19 crisis has significantly increased educational inequality around the world and we are the last generation that can change the course of climate change. Personio Foundation will help to drive change in these vital areas that require immediate action and are close to the hearts of employees and founders.”
“We want to live up to our core value of ‘Social Responsibility’ that has been an important part of our business since day one. We are grateful that the hard work of the entire team at Personio, the trust of our customers and the continued support of our investors has put us in the position to launch Personio Foundation.”
Based in Europe but open to worldwide applications, Personio Foundation will offer financial and non-financial support via two flagship programs. Grantees in the Impact Portfolio will receive unrestricted financial grants and collaborative mentoring. The Impact Accelerator addresses a key challenge for the sector by providing knowledge and HR advice to help social purpose organizations grow their biggest asset – their people.
The first group of grantees will be directly sourced and selected by the Foundation’s team. Applications will be assessed based on ten criteria covering the robustness of each organization and its potential impact. Later in 2022, a global call for proposals will launch through the Foundation’s website and social media.
The launch of Personio Foundation is the latest in a number of initiatives by Personio to give back to society. Recently Personio.org was launched to offer improved access to its HR services for organizations such as NGOs, universities and public sector employers. This includes discounted pricing for organizations with non-profit / charitable status to support the sector beyond the organizations that will directly benefit from Personio Foundation.
Hanno Renner continued: “We already serve hundreds of organizations that operate in the education, nonprofit and public sectors, and are always considering how we can help them maximise their impact. Personio.org makes our services even more accessible for organizations that work for the good of society and supports our mission to democratize HR software.”