charity miles

How We Earned $2.5M For Charity With Zero Users

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Today is Charity Miles’ 5th Birthday. A lot has happened in five years. Perhaps the most exciting is that thanks to you, we've earned over $2.5M for charity!

5 years ago today, I stood in Central Park, handing out postcards and T-Shirts, trying to get people (like Mary Wittenberg) to download the first version of Charity Miles.

The best part is that we've accomplished this without any users

How is that possible? Because you, the amazing people who have joined this movement are not users.

Not a day goes by that someone doesn't ask me, “How many users do you have?” It's common parlance in the biz. The yardstick by which people judge an app's success.

Whenever I hear this word, though, I think of a drug user. Indeed, every app developer is working 24/7 to addict us like drug users– mindlessly scrolling and tapping. So the word “users” there is apt.

But not here. Here we are not users. Charity Miles is not a spectator sport.

When we move with Charity Miles, we’re taking action, with purpose, to make an impact—for others and ourselves. Here we are activists, citizens, and heroes.

So thank you for being our heroes. You fire us up every day. Happy 5th birthday to you!


P.S. Here are some of the other cool things that have happened in the last five years:

  • We’ve grown from ten to 42 amazing charity partners.
  • We’ve grown from having no sponsors to partnering with some of the best companies in the world.
  • We’ve won some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including a Webby and the SXSW People’s Choice Award.
  • We’re regularly featured in major magazines and websites as one of the top health and fitness apps.
  • Apple and Google have featured us several times as one of their favorite health and fitness apps.
  • Google has recognized us twice at their I/O festival.
  • 4 people have run across the United States with Charity Miles.
  • A fifth and sixth person (an eleven-year-old boy and his dad!) are walking across the country with Charity Miles right now.
  • We’ve made a lot of great friends.  (The best part!)

P.P.S. “Ten miles behind me. And ten thousand more to go…” — James Taylor.

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