Change.org Founder Receives $2.5 Million From Bill Gates

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Photo: Courtesy of Bryan Thomas, The New York Times

Ben Rattray, the founder of Change.org, threw a successful funding party attended by every reputable entrepreneur in America along with their bold donations. Everyone from Bill Gates, to Adriana Huffington, to Ashton Kutcher donated to Change.org. While initially Rattray believed it would have made more sense to get funds from one institution, he could not deny the experienced, philanthropic, entrepreneurs what were passionate about their mission.

Tech entrepreneurs love this startup, launched from Rattray’s home in 2007, because it is a tech platform combined with a social mission. Change.org supports the idea that the internet is one of the main sources to change the world, which can be driven by entrepreneurs themselves. Rattray has remained consistent in his beliefs through his education at Stanford University during the initial shift to digital media, during his time at the London School of Economics, and through his frequent public speaking about the combination of technology and social change.

In addition to the original mission of Change.org, it is also very attractive from an investment perspective. As of 2013, the startup has grown immensely from 35 million users to 80 million. Currently, the company consists of 222 employees and there are offices located in 18 different countries.

Rattray, one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012 and one of Fortune’s 40 under 40 list, uses his good reputation to influence social change in a number of areas, for all generations. In the past, Change.org has motivated Seventeen magazine to stop photoshopping their models, introduced a “blocking” feature on LinkedIn in response to concerns about stalkers, and caused The Gap to stop selling fur products. With his recent fundraising success, hopes are high for Rattray and Change.org to receive yet another respectable title.

-Deirdre McAndrew