Okta, a leader in identity and access management (IAM) software based in San Francisco, CA, has developed a unique and ambitious model for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The founders demonstrated high-level commitment by setting aside equity for CSR pre-IPO. In only a few years, Okta has created a solid framework for social impact and given generously to its global communities while keeping its social impact in sync with its core business. Going forward, Okta is considering how to sustain its social impact during economic downturns, grow its employee volunteer programs, and evolve its CSR model as the company matures. The model was inspired by Pledge 1%, a framework for corporate philanthropy which guides companies to give 1% of profit, product, and people’s time for charitable causes.
This case examines Okta’s model, the roots of CSR, the benefits and challenges of sustaining CSR through economic downturns, models of CSR in mature tech companies, and how careers in this area have evolved.