Last January I turned down a couple big job offers, and instead chose to go work for a small startup in Chicago. I’d been a fan of GiveForward for a long time, and I really respected what co-founders Desiree and Ethan had been able to do in just a few short years: put together a staff of really smart but also incredibly caring people, dedicated to building a crowdfunding site to help people raise money for necessary medical expenses.
We’ve all been working really hard, and today we’re celebrating a huge milestone: $100 million in donations given to those in need. That figure was at $25 million when I started, guys – we’re growing so fast. People now know us, trust us, and have seen that crowdfunding works.
This is exactly why I came to GiveForward. I wanted to be part of a company where I could say with absolute certainty that the work I do makes a difference in people’s lives every single day. I’m so proud to be able to say that with conviction whenever I talk about my job. My work is worth $100,000,000 . . . not in profit, but in the immeasurable value of lives saved and lives changed. I am incredibly fortunate to be in a position to make this kind of impact, and I’d like to thank Ethan and Desi for giving me the chance to make history with them.
We put together a little thank-you page this week – you can check it out here.
I’d also like to leave you with a few of my personal favorite moments from the past year:
1. Like when we were able to put together a $70,000 fundraiser for Nolan, faced with the diagnosis that he had just weeks to live, to help him give his college sweetheart Morgan their dream wedding and honeymoon with the entire family. Watch this video, guys. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen (Nolan died shortly afterward).
2. Or when we went to rural upstate New York to surprise one of our families who already had a fundraiser, but desperately needed a specific (and expensive) piece of rehab equipment for their dad to recover from his injuries . . . and we gave it to them as a gift, because we live what we believe: Create Unexpected Joy.
3. Or when two teenagers formed an unlikely friendship and started fundraisers for each other after they met in the cancer ward of a Tampa Bay hospital, and one of our staff heard that they liked to watch movies together, so she found out all of our favorite movies as teenagers, then used her $500 Unexpected Joy budget (which every staff member gets per year) to go out and buy all the movies and deliver them to the kids.
Bonus: When we go out into the community and do fun/interesting things to make people smile, because sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most.
Thank you everyone for giving, thank you for caring, and thank you GiveForward for being a company worthy of its values. Here’s to another $100 million… 🙂