Proud to announce: GoodUp!

It was 2007, I had just graduated from University and I was eager to contribute to the world in so many ways. Nobody however, was actually asking me to do so. Here I was with all this energy and a strong set of skills to put to good use, but without a job that challenged me to use my full potential and a little unsure where to best make use of it. Let alone knowing if the choice I made would indeed be making a difference...

Then I stumbled into Bart. We began talking about the serious challenges the world’s faced with. Hunger, climate change, low access to health care services. Too much to be solved by the traditional organisations alone. There is such a need for all this unused potential like the energy and skills we ourselves had to offer. But what a struggle it was to put it to best use. It turned out we had a shared pain. And while that’s great to share from time to time, this alone was not enough.

We continued talking, discussing opportunities and trends we saw around us. We discovered our shared passion for the potential of the ‘crowd’: the Internet has brought people together in a way that was unprecedented. It has made it easier than ever for like minded people to come together and share their desire to contribute to topics they care about! At that time, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing was just starting to see the light.

And it was then and there that we had our epiphany. We realised the time was NOW to solve the world’s problems in a smarter way, by using the power of the crowd. We wanted to create a place where people would find each other when working on small or big problems. A digital platform where people eager to solve a problem could ask for help, whether it be money, time or expertise, from people around the world. If everyone would just spend 1% of their time, energy or money on doing something good, we could create serious change in the world. And that is how 1%Club was born.

The big idea and our small team -we started of with two people, grew to four and eventually ended up with twelve by the end of 2014- gained a lot of positive attention as an innovative start-up. We were becoming successful in what we’re doing. To date, we realised over 1,388 projects in 83 countries. Plus, we have secured sufficient support for our own organisation, mainly from Dutch the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Because we were off to such a great start, we figured we were onto something. We managed to create a community in which people were really helping each other solve problems in a smart way. But our goals exceeded our current situation. We wanted more. We knew there were so many more people out there who had great ideas and a willingness to help as well, but how could we reach them? The easiest way would be by making use of existing communities…

By then, it was 2015 and we aspired to become a social enterprise. We wanted to become self sufficient, to prove to the world that our idea in itself has great value. We decided to be bold and drastically reinvent ourselves so that we could solve even more problems, and achieve more. This was our time. Our plan was simple:

  • Use the power of existing networks and crowds to multiply impact;
  • Engage with organisations that are already interested in us, see what they are struggling with and how we could help; and,
  • Earn enough money to sustain ourselves.

So we took off. Guided by the classic masterpiece “From Good to Great” we sketched our so-called hedgehog concept: the one thing we offer our clients that we are absolutely best at. We also defined our passion, skill set and economic engine - the thing we would ask money for.

Defining our mission was the easy part. We are passionate about doing good. And we exist to help organisations Do Good, better. Our skill set is to supply help in the form of an online platform and additional services that facilitate your people to do projects on topics they really care about. Our tools and services help match people with great ideas to people who want to help out in some way. Thus, it becomes possible to harvest unused ‘do good’ potential. We were about to build a mothership with the original 1%Club as the flagship platform to prove that this concept works.

And then, it seemed as though the universe conspired to help us reach our goal. In the same week we came up with this new concept, we got a call from our first client. Booking.com was looking for an internal platform to enable their employees to spend some time and energy on doing good. This beautiful and inspiring organisation became our launching customer and has been part of our exciting journey since day one. To this day, they are still with us and have become part of a growing client base that consists of more than 30 platforms already. With all these organisations using our platforms, we have made a positive impact on the lives of 283,237 people thus far. Yes, we can actually measure that!

Our team expanded and we continue to learn and improve our product. We work tirelessly on building our social enterprise and our grand dream is to have a positive impact on the lives of a billion people every year through the platforms and support that we offer.

Being a viable business is not an easy task, particularly when combining it with a focus on creating continuous positive impact in the world. It can be mind-blowing at times but this doesn’t phase us; we are here doing it and still going strong. And, we’re even taking it one step further. We’re not just challenging people to do good, but to also live up to their purpose. Whether you are an individual or an organisation. This is more than just a fad - it is the way to live up to your full potential and create the much needed better world. At the same time, we realise it can be quite a struggle and that is what we are here for: to make that journey as fun and easy as possible. Our team of thirty professionals equipped with massive relevant expertise is ready to start that journey with you.

Building on all that we have learned and done thus far, we are proud to present the new brand for our mothership: GoodUp. Let’s take doing good to the next level, Up! We are ready to make our tools and services accessible to a wider group of users. We’re going to reach out to corporates, cities and communities. We invite you to “Do Good, Better” with us to create better and faster solutions for the great number of challenges that the world’s faced with.

Let’s team up for change!

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Anna Chojnacka & Bart Lacroix

Visit goodup.com