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10 Startups to Watch — Good Done Great

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10 Startups to Watch - Good Done Great from Charleston Business Journal on Vimeo.

By Liz Segrist
lsegrist@scbiznews.com
Published Nov. 8, 2015
From the Oct. 19, 2015, print edition

Good Done Great co-founders Earl Bridges and David Barach were both laid off from Kintera before Blackbaud bought the struggling company in 2008.

They decided to launch a startup, but they had to find a niche in order to gain a foothold in technology for philanthropy, which can be a competitive space.

Co-founder Earl Bridges runs Good Done Great from a former church building on Rutledge Avenue. (Photo/Liz Segrist)Co-founder Earl Bridges runs Good Done Great from a former church building on Rutledge Avenue. (Photo/Liz Segrist)
“We knew we couldn’t compete with the larger companies at that point ... and there were a gazillion other fundraising tools,” Bridges said. “We decided instead of attacking them head-to-head in the nonprofit side that we would instead try to address the needs of the givers and focus on employee giving.”

Bridges and Barach launched Good Done Great from their homes — Bridges on Daniel Island and Barach in Tacoma, Wash. — in 2008.

The firm now counts 44 Fortune 500 companies among its customers — including Staples, Monsanto, Toyota and PricewaterhouseCoopers. About 1.5 million of those companies’ employees in more than 20 countries use the firm’s cloud-based platform.

“That’s something we built early on from an infrastructure standpoint,” Bridges said. “We wanted to be able to disburse to any charity in any country with any currency.”

Employees using the platform can log in to find volunteer opportunities, donate to causes, request employer matches, log volunteer hours and assist in disaster relief efforts.

“If you’re going to do anything, how do you inspire other people to do more? Just like a celebrity uses their fame to do good in the world, these big brands want to do the same,” Bridges said.

Good Done Great has moved its Charleston operations seven times in three years to accommodate its growing staff.

The company operated out of five different offices at the Charleston Digital Corridor’s Flagships 1 and 2 in downtown Charleston before relocating to a 2,500-square-foot office on Daniel Island.

The company outgrew that office quickly, however, and it now operates out of a 6,000-square-foot former church building on Rutledge Avenue. Coders work at desks where pews once sat.

The 44-employee company has raised about $1.75 million of its ongoing $2.5 million angel round. Bridges said he sees near-term opportunities to either merge with or acquire other companies to scale — just last week Good Done Great acquired northern Virginia-based AmeriGives, also a corporate philanthropy services provider, for an undisclosed price. The company will add 32 clients and 15 employees to Good Done Great.

Reflecting on the company’s start, Bridges said the team developed and implemented the initial platform for the Community Foundation of Greenville in three weeks. Bridges said it was not fully built out at its launch, but it was solid enough to prove the concept and sell to other organizations.

“It was built enough for us to go out and prove that we could do it,” Bridges said. “You can come up with a really cool application ... and then you can spend lots of time and money building it — and it’s possible that no one will like it or use it. ... We just grew incrementally and followed the opportunities and tried to stay nimble.”

Reach staff writer Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119 or @lizsegrist on Twitter.

 

Read more about the 10 Startups to Watch:

Bidr

Charleston Gourmet Burger Co.

Geekin Radio

Good Done Great

HomeTrackr

ISI Technology

Lowcountry Street Grocery

PokitDok

Pueri Elemental

Stre.am

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