In October, I and my co-founders of the Cancer Survivorship Coaching Coalition attended the Harvard Medical/Livestrong/Dana Farber Cancer Survivorship Conference in Boston. It was an extraordinary couple of days at the Omni Parker House hotel all put together by an amazing organization called Hotels for Hope. I was so impressed with the energy of the team there, I asked their founder, Neil Goldman if he would share more in a blog interview.
Neil, you were on the ground there coordinating the event facilities for the conference. You and your team did an incredible job taking care of the participants with regard to all our needs at the hotel. Can you please tell us about Hotels for Hope and how it works?
Thanks Tambre! Yes, Hotels for Hope is a social enterprise in which we are able to parlay people’s hotel needs with their desire to be of service. Our entire team is made up of industry professionals who have worked in dozens of hotels. We align with socially conscious groups that need help brokering and identifying the right hotel(s) for an event, conference, meeting, etc.
From a business standpoint, we are about creating a cost savings: historically, we have saved clients 26.9% off best available rates. Additionally, for every room night booked we ask hotels to donate $1 and we match this dollar, creating a $2 donation. Hotels for Hope defines the mission: benefiting children and our clients define their cause. In a short period of time, Hotels for Hope has raised over $50,000 for our partner charities – it’s pretty exciting!
What inspired you to create this venture?
I’m a born entrepreneur. My father ran his own company and I always aligned with making my own choices and taking risks. I had already initiated my first endeavor, Austin Hospitality, when I made the choice to switch to a social enterprise after meeting Blake Mysoskie (founder of TOMS Shoes) and becoming a Silver Sponsor for the Special Olympics Texas Fall Classic. I love the idea that companies can grow a profitable company while making a social difference.
How did you get started?
Funny story! After meeting Blake, the next day I was in the shower and came up with the idea…most of my ideas occur during random moments like this! On Monday morning, I rushed into our office and told the team. I was excited as everyone embraced the idea and was dedicated to seeing it grow. We took six months to build the model, identify charities and plan, then went through a year long Beta testing the marketplace.
Check back in on Friday, December 2nd for Part 2 to hear about Neil’s formula for success.