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Founders Pledge at Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Public Health is a pre-exit philanthropy program of Yale’s Office of Development. The pledge makes it possible for entrepreneurs and leaders like you to get involved in philanthropy at an early stage—without making a binding commitment up front. It’s an opportunity to envision what kind of impactful gift you’d ultimately like to make to Yale School of Medicine (YSM) or Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) to transform medicine and health. As a member of our Founders Pledge community, you’ll benefit from features designed to help you and your company succeed.


Founders Pledge is open to alumni, former trainees and fellows, and friends of YSM and YSPH who:

  • Are founders or key employees of (typically) a privately held startup company—or a startup that recently had an exit or liquidity event.
  • Hold equity in that company.
  • Wish to make a meaningful philanthropic gift one day to YSM or YSPH to support that school’s mission and ensure a healthier world.


1. Make the pledge

Start by making the pledge—a step now that simply sets your intention to be involved with YSM or YSPH through philanthropy. It expresses your (nonbinding) intent to gift to YSM or YSPH some portion—to be determined later—of shares that you hold in your company or of your future proceeds from an exit/liquidity event of your company, such as an IPO or acquisition.

Upon making the pledge, you become a Founders Pledge member and join a dynamic community of philanthropically minded individuals who are eager to make a transformational difference at YSM or YSPH and in the world.

2. Access our member benefits

A program of unique benefits will be available to all members of the distinguished Founders Pledge community. These currently include enhanced visibility and connections to Yale resources. We also plan to offer networking opportunities. Given that we are still in the early stages of shaping this initiative, we welcome your ideas about what benefits would add value. Please reach out to us.

3. Succeed and share

When your company is nearing an exit/liquidity event, we can begin a conversation about the type of gift you might wish to make to support an initiative that you’re passionate about. You may envision supporting research, a program or center, a professorship, scholarships, or some other existing or emerging initiative.

We’ll work with you to shape your gift’s specific focus, size, and timing, and when you give the green light, we’ll draft an agreement. Members should consult with their tax and/or financial advisors thoroughly concerning the structure (typically shares of equity or cash) and timing of their gift.

4. Your time to shine

We are eager to publicly celebrate all gifts, to express our immense gratitude to each of our members. With your permission, we will celebrate your gift in selected Yale media and on our Founders Pledge website. We’ll also work closely with you, now that you have become a Founders Pledge donor, to ensure the lasting impact of your generous support.

Embrace a Vision of a Stretch Gift

We invite you to consider a gift that may seem like a “stretch” today but will likely feel within reach in the future, once your business achieves the exciting milestone of a successful exit event. The Founders Pledge helps you to dream big about how you’d like to support a high-impact, transformational initiative at YSM or YSPH.

Some members may decide to gift one or two percent—or more—of their ownership in or their personal proceeds from an exit/liquidity event of their company. As always, we are grateful for gifts at all levels. We are happy to discuss a range of giving opportunities that will allow you to meaningfully advance the mission of YSM or YSPH and achieve significant impact.

Reach Out

Please feel free to contact our team with your questions and ideas. We look forward to hearing from you!

If you’d like us to get in touch with you, please send your contact information using the Inquiry Form or contact us directly at