StartingBloc $17 Today towards a Radically Different Future

by StartingBloc

Over the last 17 years, StartingBloc has run 46 highly rated Institutes in 9 cities around the world. These Institutes have been transformative, life-changing, and grounding for 3,200 values-driven, determined, and community-oriented leaders. In 2020, we’re returning to our core three Institutes in LA, NYC and RDU and we planned to launch our first Institute outside of the US in over 12 years: StartingBloc South Africa. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus and with our community’s health and well-being at the forefront, we made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s StartingBloc South Africa on March 9. 

With the cancellation, StartingBloc needs to raise $40,000 in the next 30 days so that we can continue our operations and issue refunds, as needed. 

We need to raise this money in the next 30 days so that:

  • We can pay our South Africa Institute fixed costs and issue refunds to the 40+ confirmed Fellows, as needed. 
  • We can host a half-day online digital gathering for South Africa confirmed Fellows. 
  • All active StartingBloc Regions can continue to receive support from the StartingBloc team.
  • We can keep StartingBloc’s operations running smoothly - including paying for the Bloc, paying our team and contract laborers on time, and continuing to plan for the NY2020 Institute in August, including sourcing new sponsors and donors to support our work over the long haul. 

COVID-19 has exposed a core challenge of StartingBloc's event-based operating model. StartingBloc’s financial model has historically been supported by tuition paid for Institutes and other programming. To truly ensure operational sustainability, we may need to shift our model to one of greater balance between event-based sales and strong, multi-year partnerships with funders, donors, and sponsors. This type of financial model ensures that leaders across the globe can continue accessing our programming and community, despite unpredictable global challenges, and we need resources to make that happen.

So for today: this is both an urgent fundraising campaign AND a call to shift how we think about resourcing and building our shared community.

If you believe in the transformative power of the StartingBloc Fellowship or if your life has been impacted by a relationship that you made with a StartingBloc Fellow, there are a few ways we are asking you to support us right now:

  1. Donate $17, $70, or $200 today - or sign up to automatically give $17 monthly in honor of StartingBloc's 17th year as an organization
  2. Then, introduce our team to a potential donor or sponsor
  3. After donating, share your story about the ways StartingBloc has helped you and encourage others to match your donation
  4. Spread the word about our campaign with other Fellows you’re in touch with, family members or coworkers who have seen the impact of our work on your life, or with friends who you think would match your contribution


We’re continuously evolving our vision of the future of StartingBloc. If we were able to bring in $500,000 from donors and sponsors in the next few years, we’d be able to offer:

  • Free or pay-what-you-can Learning Circles (cohort-based virtual learning and gathering) for all StartingBloc Fellows
  • Open access to the All-Fellows Summit to any Fellow who can get there or who wants to access it online
  • An expanded Creative Projects role to better tell the stories of our Fellows and pitch their work out to national outlets
  • The most beautiful, spacious, and nourishing venues for our Institutes where the speakers are dope, inspiring, and well-paid 
  • 50 pro-bono coaching awards for our Fellows each year
  • Regional Leadership Teams resourced with healthy budgets and StartingBloc team support to invest in localized programming or Fellow-led initiatives
  • Travel fund for Institute mentors and Lead Volunteers

It's possible. It'll take resources. We need to get through the next 30 days to make it there. We need your help. Please contribute generously today. 

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