After his military career ended, Black went to business school and along with two other army veterans started a nonprofit called Stop Soldier Suicide, which aims to reduce rates of veteran suicide by providing mental health support, housing assistance, or other services. But while fundraising, Black quickly learned how difficult it was to reach individual donors whose collective dollars could make a difference. The mission pivoted: Along with former business school classmate Jeremy Berman, a former product manager at IBM, Black started GoodUnited, a Charleston-based company that helps nonprofits engage with potential donors through social media.
Over $1 billion raised
While fundraising for Stop Soldier Suicide, “what would suck the soul out of me, and take away all hope, is that we had no ability to build relationships with anyone outside of the wealthy,” Black said. “We’d go to these fundraising events, and all these incredible people would give, and I’d have to focus my time on the three people who wrote the biggest checks. So Jeremy and I came together and started talking about, what would it be like if we could democratize the nonprofit support experience? So that was the catalyst.”
With GoodUnited, Black and Berman found a niche that was waiting to be filled. What started in 2014 with the two co-founders and a few volunteers has blossomed to a staff of 60 working on the north end of the downtown Charleston peninsula, in the heart of the city’s tech corridor