The making of a 1.7 million dollar donation drive

We are very pleased to announce the success of Dan Smith’s donation drive in raising $1.7 million, mainly for effective charities. Smith’s donation drive started with $175,000 available for matching, which eventually grew to $500,000 thanks to the generous support of Martin Crowley, Tom Crowley and an anonymous donor. Thanks to the help of the REG community and many others, Dan Smith’s drive successfully maxed out its $500,000 in matching funds, resulting in $1.7 million raised in total. This donation drive has far surpassed its initial goals; here’s the story of how it happened.

November 14th

Dan Smith announced his donation drive on November 14th, starting off with $175,000 in matching funds for nine charities, including the REG recommended charities the Against Malaria Foundation and GiveDirectly. No stranger to effective giving, Dan Smith had previously raised $210,854 for charity during his 2015 drive, but his goal of raising $300,000 by Jan 1st, 2017 was his most ambitious yet.

December 2nd

On Dec, 2nd, Dan was joined by an anonymous donor who agreed to match up to $125,000 in donations to the Against Malaria Foundation, GiveDirectly, and 350.org once the initial matching drive was filled. Combined with Dan Smith’s initial $175,000, the anonymous donor’s contributions raised the stakes yet again for a goal of raising $600,000 in total. While this was an immense stroke of good fortune, Dan’s luck would continued with the support of yet another individual.

December 20th

On Dec. 20th, Daily Fantasy Sports superstar Martin Crowley maxed out the remaining $250,000 in matching funds and allocated an additional $200,000 to matching for three of GiveWell’s top-rated charities; AMF, GiveDirectly, and the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative. Crowley’s contributions brought the total matching funds available to $500,000, more than double than was initially available. Crowley’s bold move raised the goal to $1 million, with the drive’s deadline just 11 days away.

December 31st

In this critical final stretch, Smith’s drive received enough donations to bring the total to $900,000, just $100,000 away from the big $1 million. On Dec. 31st, with $70,000 to go and just 24 hours remaining, Martin Crowley gave the drive one final push by pledging to donate an additional $200,000 should the goal of $1 million be reached. Martin’s generosity succeeded in generating the last $70,000 needed; on January 1st, Dan Smith announced that the drive’s goal of $1 million had officially been reached. Martin’s extra $200,000 brought the total money raised to $1.2 million, soaring past the big $1 million mark.

Martin and Dan’s luck would continue when in another stroke of good fortune, Martin’s brother Tom Crowley (known as chipotleaddict in DFS circles) made a surprise donation of $500,000 just before the drive’s deadline. This incredibly generous act brought the drive to a stunning close, and brought the total raised to a whopping $1.7 million

Thank you to Dan Smith, Martin Crowley, Tom Crowley, and our anonymous donor for making this drive an incredible success, and thank you to everyone who donated to support the drive! This has been a truly historic fundraiser; one of the biggest in the history of effective altruism. Watching so many people come together for effective giving has been a truly inspirational experience.


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