This is the most amazing story I have ever heard and was sent to me by a good friend and reader. I have bumped another GIVE for this story as it needs immediate support in the next 48 hours to achieve their goal.
I am hoping some of you will feel as inspired as I did to make a small donation today. I didn’t hesitate because I thought it took so much courage to do what these students and specifically the founder Travis Kiefer, is doing. Starting a not-for-profit organization is a huge undertaking and this is especially so for a group of students. They have partnered with organizations such as KIVA to help people around the world lift themselves out of poverty through entrepreneurship, creativity and business. Here’s the Gumball Capital story.
Day 66: Give 66
“If you want to feel lazy, spend about ten minutes with Travis Kiefer.
He’ll start out by telling you how he spent every waking moment of his teenage years in low-income South Dakota, studying and scheming over how he could be the first one in his family to go to college, and the first kid in his high school’s history to go to an Ivy League school. His dream school: Stanford. As a kid from a low-income family, he knew the biggest way to change his family’s economic reality was a Silicon Valley start-ups.
Then, he’ll tell you about how he spent much of his first year building a non-profit called Gumball Capital. It aims to spread entrepreneurship and philanthropy to college kids by challenging them to take $27, 27 gumballs and one week, and turn it into a project that raises money. Schemes range from midnight Pizza sales to tiny carnival games substituting the gumballs for regular balls. Last year 12 schools had 47 teams competing and raised just under $2,000, which was donated to micro-lending organizations like Kiva with the goal of eradicating hunger in the world.
Then, he’ll tell you that he took a year off at Stanford to run the organization fulltime, taking no salary, sleeping on his friend’s dorm floor and borrowing other student’s guest-meal passes to eat.
He wants to expand Gumball Capital to fifty schools this year all over the world. Next week, one in India has organized 100 teams of three-to-five students to raise money for the poor. But the organization needs money for the materials, shipping and the administrative stuff entailed with organizing all of these teams. So he’s trying to raise $125,000 this year that will fund the program for a while, given the $27 given to each team is always paid back out of the proceeds. He’s already raised $75,000.
How’d he raise all that money? By pledging to run a marathon on every continent. He’s done one in Ireland, Argentina, San Francisco, Zimbabwe, Australia and Japan. In a few days, he’s headed to Antarctica. Oh, and he just started running last March. “Yeah, I’m a little crazy,” he says with his Kenneth-like-toothy grin.
So, I’ve met a lot of impressive people in fifteen years in the Valley, but talking to this kid for an hour yesterday just blew me away. He is everything the best entrepreneurs are: He’s smart. Hardworking. Has insanely huge visions and goals that only get more outsized the more he achieves. He’s a tenacious networker and pitchman.
Kiefer is hoping this final marathon will put them over the top for their fundraising goals and support the organization through the spring semester. He needs $27 out of 2,000 people.”
I so admire people like Kenneth. He makes it all seem possible that each of us can really do something whether huge or small. We just have to muster the courage it takes and surround ourselves with other people that have a similar goal and put our heart and soul into it.
Way to go Kenneth! Thank you for inspiring me to GIVE today.
Time Commitment: 5 minutes
Cost: $27.00 donation