Sales & Marketing Executives Victoria Mr. Tom Williams, CEO "Selling Philanthropy - how giving back raises the bottom line"

Please join us in welcoming Tom Williams. When Tom Williams the Internet whiz kid left a lucrative career in Silicon Valley to start a philanthropy website at age 25, his colleagues must have thought he was having a premature mid-life crisis. Conventional wisdom is that Williams had a change of heart and turned his back on Internet business trends to tinker around with saving the world. But it could be that the man who started his career with Apple at age 14 and helped set the stage for iTunes had simply foreseen the intersection of charity and the Internet as the next fertile ground in a web landscape saturated with offerings for music, photos and news. In 2004, Williams moved home to Canada and started, an online charitable foundation that brings people together to accomplish a specific goal for a charity they choose - a philanthropic MySpace so to speak. Any interest, passion, belief or thought can form what Tom calls GivingGroups: in these groups, for instance, school children collecting books to send to other school children in a developing country, or raising money for a disaster relief effort, or even supporting a non-profit organization in their own community are provided with a hub to raise money, give money, give time, support or share ideas while monitoring the progress of that project. Behind the scenes, GiveMeaning screens the causes, connect donors with charities, collects funds on behalf of charities and issues tax receipts. "My dream for GiveMeaning is that we inspire people to take action. I believe that most every person cares deeply about something, but I9m equally sure that many of us find ourselves doing little for the causes that matter most to us — not because of a lack of desire, but a lack of confidence. I know this because I9ve felt it, and many of my friends feel it too. We have each thought, 9How can any of my small efforts possibly make even a tiny dent in fixing the issues that I care about?9

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On the Web

The $5 philanthropist - GiveMeaning: December 2006

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