Hi Cornelius. CareerVillage.org makes money when individual donors, large companies, or "venture philanthropy" institutions give us grant funding. Here are some examples:
- Individual donors give us donations that range in size from $1 to $10,000, depending on who they are and what they are able to donate. We don't ask that often for individual donations, but it really does help.
- Companies like PwC, AT&T, AIG, Fidelity, Okta, Verizon, and others give us grants. In exchange, we provide them with impact reports that show them not only how many young people our community was able to support as a result of that funding, but also how much career advice their employees have been able to give by volunteering to answer career questions on CareerVillage.org. And we also do work to help facilitate those employees' volunteering, so that they have a good experience as volunteers, which will keep them happily giving advice to students for a long time.
- Venture philanthropy institutions: I'm using this term to capture a whole bunch of organizations who have given us grant money as part of competitions or innovation awards. FastForward, Aspire, Lumina Foundation, and several others have all awarded us some amount of money because they believe that CareerVillage.org is worthy of growing and making stronger.
But there are limits to how much money we can raise through these methods, so we are also looking for other ways to raise money so that we can grow the community faster, improve the website faster, and help more students get ready for careers faster.
My personal story related to this: For the first couple of years of CareerVillage we basically didn't have any money, and I wasn't getting any compensation at all, and I was paying for the servers to run basically out of my savings. I started off raising money from friends and family for CareerVillage.org which was where we got our first dollar. As a result, CareerVillage moved very slowly and took a long time to get things done. It took years before we were able to find some solid and predictable revenue which would allow us to actually hire our first employee and start spending money on things that would save us time. At some point, we figured out how to add in the corporate partnership model, and that was a big accelerant. But a big part of my job as Executive Director is to make sure that we have enough money to have the staff we need to execute on our strategy to provide as much help to students as possible.
Source: I'm the Executive Director of CareerVillage.org