In only a few years, Edward Norton has taken his startup site Crowdrise and turned it into one of the biggest names in social fundraising.
The 44-year-old actor reveals in a new interview that since its founding in 2010, the website has raised over $135M in donations. This year, thanks in large part to major charities like the American Red Cross, the Clinton Foundation and the New York City Marathon partnering with the site, Norton expects to raise between $100M-$125M in donations.
“At this point, things start to get really exciting,” Norton tells Reuters. “Maybe someday we could say we did something at the scale of what Paul Newman has done. That would make me feel pretty good."
Norton's admiration for Newman is not surprising, considering the estimated $500M the late actor's Newman's Own products have so far raised for charity. He was also the inspiration behind actor Hugh Jackman's decision to start his own charity coffee business, Laughing Man.
"There is someone who took the silliness of being famous and turned it into something amazing,” said Norton.
Crowdrise's latest addition to its formula is the ability for people to not only fund charities, but other individuals in need of financial assistance.
As for Norton, he's planning on flexing his own considerable fundraising strengths with yet another run in an upcoming Marathon. In 2009, in a move that inspired him to launch Crowdrise, he raised more than $1.2M for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust by running the New York City Marathon.
“It was so hard and fun and inspiring,” he tells Reuters. “The 59th Street Bridge just killed me. But I would love to do it again.”
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