The TisBest Team holding the Seattle 2.0 Award for "Best Nonprofit Startup." The team from right to left: Lorraine Craft, Jim Branch, Jon Siegel, Erik Marks, Jim Phillips, and Chad Edwards
TisBest Founder, Erik Marks, giving a brief acceptance speech at the Seattle 2.0 Awards. Over 400 people attended the 2nd annual gala honoring the top innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors in the Seattle Startup Community.
Jon Siegel talking about TisBest Charity Gift Cards with entrepreneur, Ron Wiener, at the Seattle 2.0 Award Reception.
TisBest Philanthropy received the “Best Non-Profit Start-Up” award at the Seattle 2.0 awards event on Wednesday, May 19. This is a great honor for TisBest, and wonderful recognition of our efforts to connect individuals and businesses to the causes and charities they feel passionate about.
Our founder, Erik Marks, has succeeded in combining technology with the goals of micro philanthropy, and created an entire new category – the charity gift card – in the process. That the technology hotbed of Seattle recognized the work we do is especially gratifying.
Launched in November of 2007, TisBest truly is a start-up. And TisBest has gone through many (if not all) of the usual challenges faced by new technology ventures. Now a scant 2.5 years later, TisBest has raised over $1 million for charity and created a significant following of people who are looking for a way to give a meaningful gift without giving “more stuff.”
One of the reasons I’m so pleased to receive this award is that it validates my belief that the entire world of giving – of philanthropy – is going through a massive set of changes. Just a few months ago, tens of millions of dollars were raised for Haiti relief using text messaging. That new development has forever changed the way we’ll respond to future catastrophes. New organizations such as Jolkona Foundation (www.jolkona.org) are springing up, creating imaginative ways for donors to better see the results of their donations. And a new generation is recognizing that one needn’t be rich to be a philanthropist.
TisBest is thrilled to be a significant part of the world of philanthropy. At its most basic level, “philanthropy,” from the Greek, means “loving humankind.” In today’s world, that meaning has broadened to include loving our planet, the plants and animals that live on it, the air we breathe, and even the freedoms we so enjoy.
So thank you to the Seattle Community and our national community of supporters for recognizing TisBest Philanthropy. We think the best is yet to come. Our goal is to create more awareness and open new sources funding for worthy charities in the years to come, and to make gift-giving a more meaningful experience for giver and recipient alike.
Jon Siegel, TisBest Executive Director