The World’s 25 Best Givers?

If you’ve ever played sports with me, you know that I’m competitive.  Admittedly, screaming obscenities at my brother during an annual family wiffle ball game may be crossing the line of “friendly” competition.  I have been quoted as saying [out loud], “Are we playing a game here or is this just stupid?!?”.  Fortunately, all of my closest friends were within earshot. 

I read an article this morning that sparked my sense of business competition.  Every year, Barron’s Magazine publishes the Barron’s Top 25 Givers” issue that measures and ranks socially conscious individuals that are making the greatest impact on some of the world’s most urgent issues.  I was disappointed to learn that Edge of Seven is not in the Top 25…YET

The world’s top givers are some of the household names of philanthropy: Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah, Clinton, and Jeff Skoll.  Some of the other givers founded organizations with roots similar to that of Edge of Seven.  And finally, two of the givers created products that I use on a daily basis. 

Ed Norton, the actor and #13 on the list, founded Crowdrise in 2010 to make charitable giving easy and fun.    His crew noticed that online giving accounted for only 5% of philanthropic donations and jumped on the opportunity.  We have also leveraged this opportunity by creating an Edge of Seven profile on Crowdrise so that volunteers can fundraise for their trips, supporters can generate awareness, and together, we can create a movement.  The more people that know what we’re all about, the more money we will raise.  The more money we bring in, the more girls that we can empower, communities that we can support, and countries that we can push towards the end of poverty.  Thanks, Ed.

At #19, Marc and Lynne Benioff have founded the Salesforce.com Foundation, an organization that makes grants and helps nonprofits manage their IT. “It was costing them huge amounts of money to set up databases, to run them—and we come in and will do that for free,” Marc says.  Databases aren’t sexy.  They don’t make you want to shout for a cause.  BUT, without a place to store information in a well-organized manner, we’d be out of business.  Salesforce.com donates 10 free licenses to new nonprofits so that we can focus on what’s important: the mission.  Thanks, Marc.

Reading the issue, I am inspired by the ability of these people to make massive change.  And now, we have another concrete goal for 2011.

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