If only raising money for awesome causes was a business model, we’d be set.
On a whim, I decided that we’d spend September participating in Charity:Water’s annual fall fundraising drive. I was inspired by the fact that the campaign was targeted to Rwanda this year, a country that’s been close to my heart since I traveled there for book research several years ago.
What started out as simply doubling the prices of our monthly event tickets and giving the extra to Charity:Water ended as part of a glitzy Vegas promotion where $1,000 could get you dinner with me, Paul Carr, and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.
Our goal — which seemed a massive stretch at the time — was to raise $20,000. We did more than four times that, thanks to our generous readers and the largesse of Hsieh, who matched the donations for the Vegas high-roller package.
It was particularly generous of Hsieh given how many more people took us up on the Vegas offer than expected. I thought one or two people would dig this deep. More than 30 of our readers did. One even donated $5,000, just because.
This created a massive logistical challenge for all of our admins, but I’m told we have most of the dinners squared away and all the hassle was for a great cause. I’m really looking forward to meeting all of you who donated. If we couldn’t accommodate the time you wanted to come, I apologize. It’s hard to find the three of us in town at the same time.
This whole experience has been stunning to me. It says a lot about our unique readership. These are not snarky twelve-year-old tech fanboys sitting in their parents’ basements soaking up the latest Apple rumor. These are socially conscious founders and investors who want to make the world a better place — either through their day job or donating their hard earned cash to a good cause. I’m honored we get to write for you everyday.
Thanks to everyone who made raising this much cash possible, and of course, to Charity:Water for doing the hard work. As a result of our combined efforts nearly 1,400 Rwandans — like the little girl above who I met on my last trip — will now have access to clean drinking water.
(If anyone would like to get us to a clean $90,000 the campaign is still open.)