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William Lobdell | Photo: John Gilhooley | October 28, 2013
The Sevenly founder is fostering a cause-related company culture—and he wants to share it with the nation.
CEO Dale Partridge measures the bottom line of his company a different way than most. In the two years since he and Aaron Chavez launched Costa Mesa-based Sevenly (sevenly.org), their business has generated nearly $3 million in donations to more than 100 charities—$7 at a time. Past partners include Invisible Children (helping the youth in war-torn Uganda), Free Wheelchair Mission (providing plastic wheelchairs to impoverished disabled people worldwide) and the Jessie Rees Foundation (encouraging children with cancer to “never give up”).
Today, the company processes more than 40 applications a week, and Partridge is shopping around a reality TV show-he calls it Seven Days of Change-that invites a camera crew to accompany him and his team as they spend a week helping a nonprofit.
Like many ingenious ideas, the concept for Sevenly was simple: Use the power of social media to team up with a different nonprofit each week, sell cause-related T-shirts and give $7 of each sale to the organization.
“I wanted to figure out how to blend profit with purpose and was tired of solely putting money in my pocket,” says Partridge, a 28-year-old Corona del Mar resident. “I wanted to do something to change the world.”
Sevenly is a play on “heavenly,” which in Hebrew means “a world without need.” It’s the sixth company the serial entrepreneur has launched since the age of 17. He started the business with $20,000 and three employees. Now 45 people work for Sevenly.
Partridge—who is married and expecting his first child in January—attributes Sevenly’s success to “the willingness of our customers to tell our story to the people around them and [share] what a cause-focused mission can do to a company’s culture.”
“I think people intrinsically desire to do good,” he notes. “They just need a convenient way to do it, and we help provide that.”
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