In this episode, Mike Spear and Eric Barela discuss the launch of their new project, Altruous, and share pieces of their personal backstories of how they got into this work. They highlight the significance of Altruous in addressing social challenges and amplifying unheard voices. The conversation explores the intersection of social justice and personal background, emphasizing the need to recognize and value diverse perspectives. They discuss expected value calculations, the debate between quantitative and qualitative evaluation, the role of human evaluators in an AI-driven world, and the importance of comprehensive evaluation methods.
Throughout her career, Becky Straw has seen the impact stable employment can have on individuals and their families. A self-described “advocate for the unsexy,” Becky has repeatedly gotten involved with causes that foster entrepreneurship and job creation in developing communities around the world.
Of all the social entrepreneurs we've met, few have had as diverse and unique a career journey as Rama Chakaki. Truly a citizen of the world, Rama spent parts of her youth in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. She's run both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. She's pushed boundaries in technology and touched countless lives through uplifting multimedia and purpose-driven e-commerce. Rama joined Cause & Purpose to share stories from her life and career, lessons learned, and discuss her latest ventures, including edSeed, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform that gives young refugees the resources they need to succeed in school and provide their entire family a new chance at life outside of a refugee camp.
Shannon Farley is the cofounder and executive director of Fast Forward, an accelerator that focuses specifically on tech nonprofits. To date, they’ve graduated seven cohorts, raised more than $275 million on behalf of their members, and impacted the lives of more than 88 million people. Cause & Purpose was beyond excited to host Shannon and discuss how an entrepreneurial mindset has helped her career journey, from mobilizing the largest network of millennial philanthropists ever to funding the next great nonprofit founders obsessed with making a lasting impact on the world.
CauseMic is a boutique consulting firm cofounded by Matt Scott, CEO, to help nonprofits who want to truly disrupt the social sector. Their work is hyper-focused on implementing rapid growth plans that will see organizations scale their revenue 10x in 3 to 5 years, using technology to build personalized relationships at scale, and driving authentic engagement between organization and audience. Matt joins Cause & Purpose to share his insights, tactical advice, and so much more.
Karin Underwood is the Founder and CEO of Verano Health, an accessible mobile platform to provide life-changing diabetes self-management training to low-income Americans with chronic disease. She’s spent a lifetime embedded in social impact, from high school service trips all the way to living in Kenya for two years post-college with the One Acre Fund. Karin joins Cause & Purpose to detail her exciting journey as a nonprofit tech entrepreneur and share countless lessons-learned from a lifetime of firsthand experience interfacing directly with the communities she wants to help. Long before she founded Verano Health and graduated from the Fast Forward nonprofit tech accelerator, Karin Underwood was diving headfirst into service projects with her church and high school. Working with childcare centers, orphanages, and halfway homes for women at this formational time showed her that the world was so much bigger than her comfortable upbringing. The shining example for Karin came while she was in college working with homeless populations in St. Louis. The director of the center where she worked came to a meeting one day without her laptop. When asked what happened, her director said that her house was broken into and had many things stolen. Her response to all this was: “It’s OK, because I’m sure they needed it more than I did. I’m lucky enough to have the resources to get a new computer and replace these things.”“That moment had a huge impact on me. It was compassion in the face of great loss, and it showed me the kind of person I wanted to become.”Inspiration from her mother’s work in healthcare, on-the-ground service in East Africa, and time in the trenches with community health clinics would help her become that person. In this episode, you’ll hear:Heartfelt stories of impact from Karin’s time on the frontlines with patientsWhat a healthcare system of the future could look like in the U.S. About the importance of user-centered design and developmentHow to successfully introduce tech and innovation to people who really need itEditor's Note: In this episode, Karin refers to her company as CoachMe Health. They have since rebranded to Verano Health.
Lisa Wang is the founder and CEO of Almost Fun, an innovative nonprofit organization whose mission it is to ensure low income and BIPOC students have a culturally responsive, accessible, and engaging resources that empower their learning. Almost Fun is also a graduate of FastForward’s nonprofit accelerator program, which we have featured in our startup edition on the podcast. Lisa joins Cause & Purpose for a tactical and enlightening discussion of what needs to change in how educational content is being made, what she learned from her time at Google about educational effectiveness and progress, and the lessons she has already learned in scaling a non-profit startup.
COMMON Foundation combines the power of an incubator with philanthropy and social entrepreneurship to support, promote and develop non-profit ideas and organizations in the US and abroad for the benefit of people, planet, and peace. Prior to becoming the CEO of COMMON LLC, Mark Eckhardt was a principal at UFUSE Visionary Strategy Management, a global consulting firm devoted to unleashing creativity and helping entrepreneurs produce outstanding results through innovative business strategies, organizational design, and alignment of partnerships. Mark is also a Zen Buddhist Priest who has dedicated his life to transforming the nature of capitalism through social and environmental entrepreneurship. Mark joined us at Cause and Purpose to share the lessons he has learned through an entire career of conscious impact-building within capitalism.
Mari Galloway is the CEO and a founding board member of The Women's Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC), a Northern Virginia-based non-profit organization passionate about helping and empowering women to succeed in the cybersecurity field. Their primary mission is to advance women in cybersecurity by providing programs and partnerships that promote networking, education, mentoring, resource-sharing, and opportunities. Tennisha Martin is the founder and Executive Director of BlackGirlsHack (BGH Foundation), a national cybersecurity nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education and resources to underserved communities and increasing the diversity in cyber. BlackGirlsHack provides black women and girls with resources, mentorship, direction, and training required to enter and excel in the Cybersecurity field.
Michael Edmonson is the co-founder and CEO of Worthy Mentoring, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that connects mentors and mentees in the LGBTQ+ Community through a mobile iOS and Android App. The Worthy Mentoring App offers a safe platform for our community to seek personal guidance, professional advice, support, and friendship.
Caroline Spears is the Executive Director at Climate Cabinet, which began as a volunteer-based team in 2018, when a Texas state legislature candidate asked for climate talking points and policy solutions that were relevant to her district. They realized that this need was not unique: many candidates want to run on strong climate platforms but don’t have the time to simultaneously run a full-time campaign and do cutting-edge policy analysis. Thus, Climate Cabinet Action was born. Climate Cabinet Action has supported candidates and pushed climate on the campaign trail in four campaign cycles, including 2018 state legislature races, 2019 presidential primaries, 2020 state and congressional races, and 2021 Virginia House of Delegates elections. In 2020, they worked with 100 campaigns. Caroline grew up in Houston, Texas which is known for great food and for being the energy capital of today. She grew up with conservationist and pro-oil conversations happening around her and she took note of the tensions. She remembers evacuating for Hurricane Rita and the effects of Tropical Storm Allison. She saw the realities of climate change around her and saw her city grow an awareness of what that really meant. As she got into high school, Caroline took a specific interest in climate change as she tried to process and sort through all of the conflicting research she was hearing about what worked and what didn’t. She was fascinated by the combination of science and social science. In college she focused on answering these questions, even changing her major just before graduation and extending her graduation by two years to be able to take every climate class offered.
Diana Wilson is very proud to be the Founder & CEO of Yielding Accomplished African Women (Yaa.W) and Black Sisters in STEM (Black SiS). They are a globally recognized nonprofit whose work has been featured by MTV, Google, The Malala Fund, Face2Face Africa, Blavity, The Late Afternoon Show with Berla Mundi and many more. Black Sisters in STEM is building the largest talent marketplace of Black college women in STEM and training the next Fortune 500 CEOs, innovators and world class leaders.
Jason Shim is the Director of Digital at the Ontario Science Centre. With over 15 years of experience spanning the nonprofit and academic sectors both as an employee and a consultant, he has consistently helped organizations stay ahead of the technology curve. He loves to help organizations explore the question “How can we harness technology to make a difference in the world?” In 2013, he led Pathways to Education to become the first Canadian charity to issue tax receipts for Bitcoin donations, providing access and awareness to a brand new tech-savvy audience.
Nathan Mallipeddi is the Founder and CEO of Myspeech, an international nonprofit, where he leads a team of ~50 members and ~200 volunteers in tackling two of most significant issues in the field of healthcare services in speech therapy—the lack of access to care and unaffordable prices. They are currently building a technology platform to scale therapy and community services to millions of people who stutter around the world. They’ve impacted ~25,000 people in 26 countries, with partnerships in 30 schools. Their partners include Fast Forward, Future Founders, Harvard Innovations Labs, Microsoft, Salesforce, Verizon, the Westly Foundation, Donald A. Strauss Foundation, UCLA SOLE, the World Stuttering Network, and many more.
Altruous is a revolutionary impact evaluation and discovery platform for philanthropists, foundations, and businesses, passionate about driving meaningful change with their charitable giving.
We give modern funders the tools, information, and support they need to ensure their philanthropic resources are used most effectively, in the causes they care about most. Want to do more than just give? Want to drive meaningful impact and fund world-changing solutions?
Altruous can help.
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