Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Chimp Founder John Bromley, whose company encourages people to be more thoughtful about when, why and how they get involved with charity. What was the inspiration behind the idea? Find out in today’s profile…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
For people, Chimp is your online charitable account. More broadly, it’s an online tool that empowers people and organizations to manage and amplify their charitable impact.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
Big picture, the inspiration is about wanting to see charity thrive in society – both the spirit of charity and the action of being charitable. But creating Chimp was also about recognizing that the vast majority “charity tools” were focused on helping specific charities fundraise for themselves. And that there were no good tools that empowered people and companies to more easily access and participate in charity, no matter what cause they cared about. As such, Chimp was built to be a cause-neutral tool.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I love working towards the strategic communications necessary for us to succeed, especially now as we prepare to introduce Chimp to a broader demographic.
The challenging part? Communication ain’t easy.
Internal challenge: Communicating to people I work with and managing our culture as we grow.
External challenge: Helping masses of people (re)discover charity…eg. how to take charity, something almost everyone has heard of but most don’t spend much time thinking about or acting on, and make it a more part of their regular life patterns.
Where do you see your business going in five years?
On a consumer level, I see Chimp being adopted and integrated in the lives of many more people: individuals, businesses, social groups and charities. On a more structural level, I see doing this in more countries. Right now we are focusing our efforts in Canada.
What does success look like to you?
More people being more charitable. This doesn’t necessarily mean people are giving more money away, although that may be a result. But I aspire for a future where people are more thoughtful about when, why and how they get involved with charity.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
When I worked in the investment bank, I wasn’t happy. There was one moment (or many) that I realized I wasn’t in the right job for me. So, perhaps counter-intuitively, my most memorable milestone is associated with a ‘negative’. But knowing what you don’t want to do is more powerful than knowing what you do want, in my opinion.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
1. Don’t worry about failing. Rather, learn from mistakes. Always.
2. To borrow from Nike: Just Do It. Said differently, take initiative.
I love people who take initiative, especially those who do so in an open and collaborative manner. It isn’t about doing it yourself, but rather about getting something done. Nothing gets done well without plenty of mistakes along the way. Learn to recognize mistakes and how to correct them as you go.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I live and breathe charity and do so in a professional capacity as well. In my professional world, I work hard to be “cause agnostic”…so I don’t really want to answer this question except to shamelessly plug Chimp. I do all my charitable giving through Chimp and it’s an important tool for me because it allows me to be an anonymous donor when I want to be.
What is Notable to you?
I suppose Notable is notable for creating a context where you can learn about and connect with other ambitious people. Like minds need to come together more often because ultimately we can do more together than we can by ourselves.
BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
BlackBerry, but close to reconsidering.
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
I’ve always been into sports. Currently, I ride road bikes. I race Category 3 level, which means I am among the faster of slow (eg. non-professional) riders. Biking keeps me fit but it also gives me valuable time alone and without distraction to think about things important to me.