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Q&A With Stacey Duran, Founder and CEO, Portfolios with Purpose

AlphaWeek’s Greg Winterton spoke with Stacey Duran, Founder and CEO of Portfolios with Purpose (PwP), a NYC-based non-profit which hosts fantasy stock-picking contests where players can raise money for their favourite charities. Stacey discussed the organisations’ history, fundraising and impact, and expansion plans for 2018 and beyond.

GW: Stacey, thanks for taking the time. To begin, for those readers who might not be familiar with PwP, tell us about the inspiration behind PwP, how you came to launch the organisation.

SD: For me, it all began in Africa. I was volunteering for an organization called Light in Africa that runs a children’s home in Tanzania. They needed money to keep going, just a few hundred dollars a month. On my flight home, it clicked. I’d turn giving into a game that appeals to the highly competitive nature of my friends in finance and I asked each person to play on behalf of their own causes. Most importantly, I’d make it scalable, something that will continue to grow and multiply.

Light in Africa was the charity that inspired PwP and the organization is still running and fully funded today thanks to the 100 inaugural players of this first contest. PwP’s mission is to inspire and empower charitable giving by providing a donation platform that multiplies money for great causes.

GW: PwP runs a variety of fantasy stock-picking contests which it uses to raise funds for charities. Why did you choose this as your fund-raising model?   

SD: I wanted to create a fun contest that merges the thrill of investing with the joy of giving. Our platform unites a global community of philanthropists who compete to win big money for the charities of their choosing. We host contests year round, and players are invited to join more than one. We also host custom contests, where individuals and organizations can form a group to run their own challenge for any length of time.

GW: 100% of the funds raised are distributed directly to the contest’s top 3 performers nominated charities. How important are donors and sponsors to the organisation?

SD: PwP is committed to raising awareness for global causes, encouraging philanthropy, and inspiring giving. We are proud to have 100% of all entry fees go directly to charity. To this end, we must continually raise money from sponsors to maintain and improve our technology platform. Thanks to our supporters, we have extended our contest platform to thousands of players across 32 countries and directed more than $2.1 million to causes represented by winners.

GW: What are the organisations’ goals for 2018 and is there a medium-long term strategic plan for PwP to expand?

SD: Our goal is to continue to expand beyond the US. Players can participate anywhere, provided their designated charity is a 501(c)3. We have also created a Student Challenge contest in partnership with CITI that encourages financial literacy and philanthropic giving. We started with only ten schools and today we have more than 75 colleges and high schools participate with more than 1,200 students enrolled.

GW: Finally, Stacey, tell us how to get involved with PwP in 2018 and beyond.

SD: The Classic contest is now open for registration. The deadline to register is January 29th and anyone can enrol by visiting portfolioswithpurpose.org.