How to Set up a Volunteer Opportunity in a Month: The Finale!

We did it! Our volunteer event with the Carolina Youth Development Center was a huge success! Although we weren’t able to play bubble soccer (an event which has been postponed for a later date), our afternoon was filled with dancing, food, and kickball!

To kick off our fun-filled afternoon, we fired up the grill with hotdogs and hamburgers to satisfy the hungry appetites of the kids. Before our meal, two of the older youth offered a prayer, and Good Done Great’s co-founder, Earl Bridges, spoke briefly on Good Done Great’s mission and work as a technology company.

Earl Talking

In between bites of mac n’ cheese, Good Done Great employees chatted with the children and shared with them insights about our roles at GDG, our taste in music (Katy Perry vs. Iggy Azalea), and our unique talents including break-dancing and singing.

A poorly-timed hotdog eating contest immediately preceded a game of kickball. Although the kids outnumbered the GDG team, GDG pulled off a great win despite a popped ball and hot weather. We’re not proud that we beat a bunch of kids, but we felt it was beneath their dignity for us to just let them win.

After a quick break to catch our breath, the afternoon continued with a Charleston RiverDogs baseball game in downtown Charleston. The kids and their chaperones hopped on the CYDC bus to the stadium where we enjoyed the game complete with dance breaks, balloon animals, and face painting. Some of the kids even participated in an activity on the field in the middle of the third inning!

Activity

We had an incredible time volunteering with CYDC. Our employees spent time with an amazing organization and peaked one young man’s interest to code! Like any one-day volunteer event, it is important to extend the work with the non-profit. Good Done Great looks to support CYDC in future volunteer and giving campaigns.

We hope this three part series inspired you to plan your next volunteer day of service! Not only does volunteering boost employee engagement and team bonding, it also provides tremendous benefit to the non-profit which lasts way beyond the short time spent serving them!

Happy Volunteering!


Check out our other posts in this series:

How to Set up a Volunteer Opportunity in a Month: Part Two

How to Set up a Volunteer Opportunity in a Month: Part One

Revolutionary Philanthropy

Dear GDG Team,

Today at 10am the Confederate battle flag will be taken down from flying in front of the South Carolina statehouse in Columbia. This is a good day for equality and an important day for South Carolina. As a purpose driven company and a South Carolina B Corp, we are proud to see this symbol moved to where it belongs – into history.

But let’s remember that the flag is only a symbol and sadly, the discrimination that the flag has represented still exists; not only in South Carolina and in the US, and not only along racial lines, but religious, immigration status, sexual and many, many others. The reduced prominence of a symbol doesn’t solve the problem, but it’s a good first step. There’s more work to do.

Discrimination stems from ignorance. Ignorance comes from a lack of education and opportunity, something that is widespread among the poor. I believe that fixing poverty is the best way to do away with hateful divisions. To fix poverty government has more work to do. Business has more work to do, and so does philanthropy.

So let us recommit ourselves to our mission of inspiring revolutionary philanthropy and let’s have our mission take on a new meaning when we use the word, revolutionary. Let’s not just change the way people give, but let’s help them understand why. We can make a difference with the work that we do and we can take this day, this symbolic day, as a moment to reflect on the possibilities and opportunities before us and decide to have an impact.

David Barach, CEO

Good Done Great

DonateWell.com is Live and Ready to Start a Giving Revolution

I’m so excited to announce the launch of DonateWell.com, our first step toward a new comprehensive platform for givers. This first release is geared toward serving the tens of thousands of nonprofits that our partner corporations and their employees support. Nonprofits can now claim their profiles, update their information, view and download donor and disbursement information, and more.

With the launch of DonateWell.com, we are putting into the practice what we started when we formed our hybrid organization with DonateWell, our 501(c)(3) donor advised fund, last fall. This new for-profit/nonprofit organization advances what we began in becoming a B Corporation one step further toward legally instituting that we are a purpose driven organization that does good by doing great.

There were several factors that came together in the creation of DonateWell.com. First there was the concept that Earl and I developed to better serve employees with a centralized way to manage their giving. Then came the acquisition of the Give.com IP which laid the technological foundation for our platform. Speaking of foundations, the conversion of Give.com Foundation into the DonateWell donor advised fund was a crucial step toward providing employees with the means to make tax-deductible donations in a centralized way. Finally, came the amazing engineering and UX effort of our product and engineering team led by Paul McElhinney.

For now, DonateWell.com is just serving the nonprofits, but the giving revolution has just begun, so watch this space!

We’re Moving On Up (Again!)

After the accumulation of two senior staffers and our initial funding, GDG quickly outgrew our Marina Drive location, and headed to… a church?

Yes, that’s right.

Good Done Great’s Charleston headquarters relocated to a former church building on the Upper Peninsula of Charleston. Located beside the Rutledge Cab Company (a popular lunch spot with locals), the new location offers an open-office/collaborative work environment in the budding Silicon Harbor tech community.

If you stop by our HQ on any given day, you may find our team of software implementers and account managers playing a quick game of ping-pong in the great room or collaborating outside on GDG-blue picnic tables.

One of our first office shindigs in our new location was a fiesta hosted by the Sales & Marketing team with homemade steak fajitas, chips & salsa, competitive cornhole, and a rolling stream of the NCAA basketball tournament.

Prior to our moving-in, internal chatter at GDG surrounded the most creative way to utilize the baptistry. Ball pen? Puppy tank? We didn’t arrive at a succinct conclusion; however, the piece remains quite the talking point with visitors and passersby.

If you didn’t know… we’re strong believers in empowerment, and we’ve found that providing our employees with the opportunity to give feedback surrounding their needs in an office-space increases overall happiness, well-being, and employee engagement.

Now that we’re settled in, we’re ready to see what we will accomplish during our time at Rutledge Ave!

GDG Office

Meet {g}ecko: GDG’s Official Mascot

Any fast-growing technology company needs an official mascot to increase camaraderie and act as a cheerleader to celebrate employee and client successes. Not to be confused with the GEICO Gecko, Good Done Great’s two leopard geckos are Harry and Ace or is it Lloyd and Gary…

There is internal debate regarding the official names of our leopard geckos. A quick poll of our Charleston and Tacoma offices reveals an interesting collection of responses: Brandon Jr. and Brandon1, Good and Great, and Sir and Madam Sticky Feet (a bit more appropriate considering the female once laid eggs).

Once a week around midday, the Charleston office gathers around the gecko tank for the feeding extravaganza- crickets doused in calcium powder tumbling to their imminent deaths. Any visitor to our office would undoubtedly question several employees’ claims as animal-lovers as we cheer on the geckos’ preying upon the unassuming crickets.

Curious about our favorite weekly pastime?- Take a peek into the day in the life of the GDG geckos…

Our Big Investor Event in Charleston

We’ve been working on raising capital for just a short while now, and we’ve had some great early success. We’ll be hosting investor gatherings in South Carolina, participating in events in Houston, Washington, DC, Charlotte, and Seattle, and speaking with investors from Boston to Atlanta to Tacoma and San Francisco.

 

IMG_2938

Just last week, we hosted a large investor event at the DwellSmart warehouse in Charleston with participation of local investors, other tech leaders, and community members. We also invited students from the business school at the College of Charleston because when else do they get a chance to see a real life presentation like this!

The event was lots of fun. Edmunds Oast catered, and the Jazz trio was lead by our own Senior Product Engineer Ben Wells, multi-year winner of the Charleston City Paper bassist of the year. And of course, Earl and I had a great time talking about the amazing work our team and clients do.

GDG’s First Reseller Partnership

In 2013, we made the strategic decision to expand on our software for foundations and corporate giving programs and to develop solutions for workplace giving and volunteering. It seemed the natural extension to the work we were doing for the institutional giving programs of our Fortune 500 clients. By mid 2014, we started realizing that it was through CSR that we had the greatest opportunity to inspire the most meaningful impact.

As a B Corporation, impact is very important to us. As a technology business, focus is very important to us as well. Putting those two together, we decided that if we were going to focus on the part of our business that was going to have the greatest impact – CSR, we needed to find the best way to serve the very important work of our non-corporate clients.

And that’s why I’m so excited about our very first reseller, Jungle Lasers. They are a group of dedicated geeks with extensive experience in implementing complex software solutions for government entities, foundations, and nonprofits. With Jungle Lasers as a Good Done Great reseller, our foundation and governmental clients will have an experienced technology organization dedicated to their success.

What this means for GDG is that our software will continue to serve the meaningful work of our non-corporate clients and we’ll be able to focus all our attention on the impactful work we’re doing in corporate social responsibility.

Good Done Great Begins First Ever Capital Raise for $2.5 Million

After five years of funding our company entirely through client revenue (aka bootstrapping), we are now ready to take on external investment. Why now? Here’s why:

Other People’s Money
Earl and I have seen too many cases when a company took money too early – before they knew exactly what the company was really about. This has worked very well in some extremely rare cases, but mostly it’s a recipe for excessive spending on experimentation and learning about what a company should be doing. At GDG, we were adamant that we weren’t going to experiment with Other People’s Money. We were going to learn our lessons on our own dime. And now that we have, we’re confident that any capital we take on, will be Other People’s Money that will be used effectively.

Product Market Fit
Having learned our lessons, means that we’ve now found product market fit. We know our market, what the right products are, how to price them, how to deliver them, and how to support successful clients that generate a lot of value from our products. We are rightly seen as industry innovators and leaders, and we want to take that success and amplify it to benefit many, many more great companies and givers. The buzzword for amplification is scale, and it takes capital to scale. Now that we have product market fit, we’re ready to scale.

Iteration and New Products
In addition to wanting to accelerate what we’ve already done, we’re not content to just replicate a successful model. We want to continue innovating on our products through a continuously iterative process. At the same time, we’re also ready to build and deploy new products. There is huge potential not only in CSR, but in creating tools that serve givers. I don’t want to give too much away, but the tools we’ve been building for CSR have a broader appeal than the Fortune 500 market we’re serving now, and we want to build new products for a broader, multi-sided marketplace. All this equates to a quicker rate of R&D than what an organic growth budget can accommodate and to achieve it, we need capital.

The Best Team
The people at Good Done Great are some of the best out there. We’ve hired some great people recently. To execute on our plan, we’re going to need to continue hiring great people at a faster rate than what organic growth can provide. Our team is the most valuable resource we have and to grow this team, we’re going to need capital.

We’re excited to take on additional funding and benefit from the experiences our new investors and collaborators will bring. This is a big step for us, one that we take with lots of confidence in our team’s ability to deliver great results, both for our current stakeholders and for our future shareholders.

Silicon Harbor Magazine Features New Leadership

Silicon Harbor Magazine did a great write up on the two key members who have recently joined our senior leadership team, Paul McElhinney and Rebecca Guthrie. We are all so delighted to have these two tech veterans join GDG. You can read more about their backgrounds in the Silicon Harbor Magazine article posted about them here.

GDG Acquires Give.com Intellectual Property

Today, we completed the acquisition of Give.com LLC’s intellectual property and technology. This is a very exciting move for us, as we’ve been working for some time now on developing a plan that would give us better giving tools to serve our CSR clients and their employees. The Give.com IP gives us a solid technological foundation to build upon for our next generation of giving tools.

The top features of the platform are:

  • Searchable database of all nonprofits with the ability for nonprofits to claim their profile and update their information
  • Online donation processing
  • Individual giving accounts where donors can plan and manage their giving

BCorpCircleAs part of the agreement with Give.com, we’re also assuming responsibility for the Give.com Foundation, which is a donor advised fund. This is a big deal. It means that not only are we a B Corporation, we are now also a for-profit/nonprofit hybrid organization. By taking this step, we are furthering the legal institution of being a purpose driven organization that does good by doing great.

We are changing the Give.com Foundation’s name to DonateWell, and we’re going to refocus its mission on partnering with innovative technology companies that support giving and nonprofits to maximize the flow of capital to social and environmental causes. Taking in donations and disbursing funds has been a great need for us, and we know that other technology companies have this need as well. And so, as we had done in the past with Grantr and 4Good, we’re again opening up our work for others to benefit as well.

We have a ton of amazing plans for what we’re going to do with our new technology platform, and we’re looking forward to all the new releases that are coming in 2015.