This summer I had the opportunity, made possible by the SEI Summer Fellowship Program, to work full-time as the Director of Mountains for Miracles, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded last year by HBS and KSG students. Mountains for Miracles is dedicated to supporting innovative pediatric oncology research at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the pursuit of epic mountaineering and trekking endeavors.
During my three months of full-time employment, we succeeded in fundraising close to $200k in cash and in-kind contributions as well as signing partnerships with corporate sponsors Eastern Mountain Sports and Sports Club L.A. We also completed the creation of a new and innovative participatory philanthropy fundraising model which provides public climbers with the opportunity to help fight childhood cancer through participation in mountaineering and trekking expeditions.
For 2007, the organization is presently preparing for its two group expeditions, which will include teams of private benefactors, cancer survivors, and corporate sponsors: a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in June and Pico de Orizaba in November with a cumulative goal of $500k in total annual contributions.
In addition to Mountains for Miracles’ group expeditions, the organization works with its partner guiding company, EMS, to arrange for public climbers to join worldwide EMS expeditions, receiving a significant discount in land cost in return for their fundraising assistance from within personal networks of friends and family. More information is available at: www.mountainsformiracles.org