My 32nd birthday was on December 6th. Thanks to the inspirational chat I had with Adam Braun from PencilsofPromise.org, instead of asking for something for myself this year, I decided to start a campaign to give back and build schools in Ghana.
I set the campaign goal to $25,000 within a week. My family also decided that for every dollar donated up to $25k, we would match it. If the community reached its $25k goal, we'd put in $25k ourselves and together be able to build two schools in Ghana by early next year.
On my birthday, I sent an email and a few status updates on social media to the SPI community who had expressed interest in getting involved when I had teased the idea of building schools with Pencils of Promise earlier in the year.
When I woke up the morning of December 12th, I saw this text message from Chris Ducker that came in overnight:
The best wake-up ever.
Within 6 days, the campaign was fully funded and it was so exciting to watch it all happen. Even my 4-year old son got involved and every morning he asked to see how much we had raised.
By the time my birthday week had ended, the SPI community donated a total of $26,251.00 – actually surpassing the goal as people still wanted to get involved. I literally cried a few times while watching the donations and the messages come in on the campaign page.
Thank you, on behalf of my entire family, for your generosity. It blew us away.
News from Pencils of Promise
Later on the 12th, I received an email from the Pencils of Promise Team, including Adam Braun himself, who shared some cool news:
Besides being one of the fastest funded campaigns, 24 countries got involved and donated to the campaign, which became their widest reaching campaign in history! We set a record people!
As I've said many times in the past, the SPI community is definitely the best and most supportive community online – and I think this proves it. Whether you donated to the campaign yourself, shared it or even if you're just a casual reader who stumbled upon this article – you are making a difference!
Today, my family was happy to put in our match of $25,000 – and I couldn't feel any better! Look where we are at now:
Without even asking, the donations seem to still be coming in from you, which is amazing! I'm not sure when the campaign will officially end but I knew it was going to be up at least until my donation had been processed. As long as people still want to get involved, however, I'd love to keep it up.
If you're still interested in being a part of history with me, you can check out the campaign here.
Another Reason the SPI Community is Awesome!
I also noticed that we raised more money than any other individual AND team during this Season of Promise:The SPI community donations alone would have surpassed all individual and team fundraisers. All I can say is…you rule.
I know I've said “thank you” too many times in this post already, but I'm sorry—I'm just so excited about all of this and so incredibly grateful for the SPI community and all that we're doing together.
There are nearly 400 people who donated, donating amounts ranging from $1.00 to into the thousands. I wish I could send a personal message to each and every one of you (I've already sent a couple hundred!) and give you a shout out here on the blog too, but you all know who you are and how I feel about you. I love you for what you did, and so thankful for your support.
Next year, I hope to travel to Ghana to see the schools already built and meet the children who are learning in them. I'll keep you posted all along the way, and like I mentioned on the campaign page, I definitely want to take a videographer with me to be able to film the entire trip.
For each of the schools built, I get to include dedication text that will go on a plaque that will be mounted to the front of the school. One of the schools I'm dedicating to my family. The other, I'm dedicating to you, the SPI community. You'll see it when I make my way there.
I also want to thank Pencils of Promise, an amazing organization that truly embodies the spirit of giving who gave me the easy opportunity to think bigger and give back in this way. It was such a great experience working with the entire PoP team.
If you're interested in doing something similar, you can visit PencilsofPromise.org. You can also listen to me and Adam on a podcast interview so you can get a true understanding of how all of this got started.
Finally, a lot of people were asking “why this campaign” or “why not this one instead”, and all of these other initiatives I could have spent my time, money, influence and effort on. Trust me, I'm going to keep giving back in many different ways to many different causes over time—this is just the beginning. I wanted to start with PoP and Adam because he was the one who inspired me to give back in a way that's beyond myself and my immediate world.
And with that, Happy Holidays to you and yours. To all of you who took the time to read this today—Thank you!
David Hooper says
Adam Hanneman says
Very cool Pat! Congratulations on more then doubling your goal. Keep us updated on the final donation number!
Mary Kathryn Johnson says
Giving is the ultimate in receiving, isn’t it, Pat?! It is the most amazing feeling in the world to know you have touched someone so deeply. Stay with that well deserved feeling, Pat! You are AMAZING!
Stefan Malic says
Congrats Pat. By creating SPI, you’ve created something bigger than yourself and you’ve used it the right way. We’re all proud of you.
Paul Tomes says
You hear this all the time Pat, but you inspire people. A simple statement but one that carries power.
Take a moment and appreciate what you have and what you have given but also, through your inspiration, understand what you have enabled others to do.
Keep going Pat!
Happy birthday, and congratulations on the great results and all the people you’ve helped
Robert Lopez says
Congrats Pat. The best part about this is hearing the passion in your words and witnessing the seed you are planting in your children’s minds.
From the perceived tragedy of being laid off to this next new high of touching peoples lives in a positive way, it feels great to witness. I can only imagine how it feels to be the architect behind it. God bless you Pat. May this be one small step towards many, many new highs.
Paul Back says
That is awesome news Pat! – you did a really good thing here. Its amazing to see that people can make a real difference.
Naomi Goodlet says
So happy for you. Fully support your vision and looking forward to seeing the outcome. Happy holidays everyone!
Alex Bulat says
Congrats, Pat! Thank you for walking the walk and making internet and a world a better place.
Ryan Biddulph says
Pat, congrats!!! And Happy Belated too! Wonderful to give back to folks who are empowered by your giving!
Sarah & Beth Anne says
Love, love, love this, Pat! Can’t wait to see this journey continue to unfold! Watching you and other generous entrepreneurs make a difference is what inspires me to keep going. Keep up the good work, dude!
– Beth Anne
Fantastic results Pat, well done! So refreshing to see someone in the online business space do something like this 🙂
lifestyle e-magazine says
congrats pat . you realy making internet and a world a better place and it’s amazing feeling you deserv it
Daniel Decker says
So happy to have been involved with this. Thanks Pat for your example, leadership and heart for others. #DoGood
You rock Pat Flynn! Thank you for letting us all be a part of building a school. 😀
Will Atkinson says
Brian D. Hawkins says
Hi Pat, With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility. You would make Spider-Man proud. 🙂
Roslyn Rajasingam says
Well done, Pat! Thank you for being so generous to those in need. Have a great Christmas!
Raweewan M. says
Congrats Pat, I’m part of your campaign too. This is really awesome! 🙂
Jake Posey says
Pat – so proud of you. Keep it up. Next year, 4 schools
Mauricio TZ says
Congrats Pat! Feel great with this 😀
Kulwant Nagi says
chuck boakye says
Hey Pat, i’m native of Ghana and live in the capital, Accra. I’m so proud to be a part of this community and you have no idea how much this campaign will impact on the lives of young Ghanaian school children. Thank you Pat and everyone of you out there who contributed in one way or the other towards the success of this campaign.
Matteo Siniscalco says
You are teaching me so much, Pat … thank you, you’re wonderful!
Internet Geeks says
Congrats! and you would do such campaign very year. This is Good/GOD work.
Matt McWilliams says
Absolutely awesome Pat! What a cool way to start the day 🙂
Travis Nelson says
Congratulations Pat! This is an incredible accomplishment and no doubt you are excited and proud. Looking forward to watching this project move forward and change lives!
Ren Rod says
I feel honored to be a part of this community. Pat is such an incredible leader both as a professional and as a giving human being. Thanks Pat for all you do.
Jordan Agolli says
The campaign was such a success because you are a leader people want to follow. So happy SPI community reached and surpassed the goal! I can’t wait to see the schools you are going to build 🙂
Congratulations! This is so inspiring. You made this happen. Really amazing!
Jeff Willener says
Hey Pat, great job. I’m a firm believer happiness comes from giving and not from taking. Keep going…
Crystal Foth says
Congrats Pat! What a great goal to accomplish. Glad I could donate to say that I helped contribute! Wonderful cause and so happy to see it do so well! I knew it would… you are adored by your fans and you deserve it.
Oh, man! You are awesome! BTW, my personal goal is the same 🙂 Only one question – why Ghana?
Jordan Clifford says
Hi Pat. My name is Jordan. I just wanted to say hello and thank you, before you got too big to notice. Perhaps you’re already there–nothing wrong with that 🙂 I found you a month or two ago through your podcast and have devoured a ton of your material. I feel way more equipped to venture out as a solopreneur armed with all the free knowledge. I hope to chat/meet you at some point down the road. I’m a big fan. Thanks again!
You´re awesome Pat! love this.
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Sam Priestley says
Congrats Pat! Looking forward to seeing pictures of the schools. I have just have just following your blog and so far it has been a real eye opener. Please continue the good work
Hi Pat. Congrats on reaching the goal towards this awesome project. I think it is great that successful online marketers can give back to the world in such a productive way!
Terungwa Akaahan says
Pat, you achieved something very few can…what better wish can one demand than ensuring that lives are bettered on the occasion of his birthday? Keep the flag flying!
Congrats Pat! Great job. This is so inspiring.
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And why not? Thanks and congrats Pat.
Rahul Yadav says
Thanks pat for such a nice work
Make Your Way Up says
That’s fantastic! Amazing cause and a wonderful way to give back.
I hope I will get inspiration from you and your blog and will hopefully achieve a lot through my bog at: http://www.makeyourwayup.com/
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Bassar Patel says