According to Fast Company, there seem to be as many business models as colors in the rainbow … yet few have the charitable cachet of “Causium.” This is a wildly successful and public-spirited invention by software company Atlassian.

Atlassian announced that through their Causium software distribution model they’ve amassed a grand total of $500,000 in charity donations. In this case the charity is Room to Read, a literacy improvement program that’s a personal favorite of the company’s founder.

This has turned Atlassian into Room to Read’s largest single donator, and the money will go to educating readers in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Cambodia, including establishing “34 libraries, four schools, and two local language books” as well as scholarships in the Girls Education program.

It’s an admirable program, and amazing news for two reasons: First, it took just seven months to raise $400,000 of this amount. Second, Atlassian raised the cash in an unusual way, by sort of giving away a high-quality, technically supported software product to tens of thousands of customers. This, explained Atlassian’s Director of Product Marketing Daniel Freeman, is the “Causium” business model.

The Causium notion began when Atlassian did a deep dive into its business and realized it wasn’t achieving significant sales of its software in the small businesses segment. “We were hurting in market share,” Freeman said, and the team realized “we were doing so poorly we could give away a product in this segment and not hurt our bottom line.”

Continue Reading: “Forget Freemium, Meet Causium”

Photo by Room to Read.