Charitable Giving & Linkedin Meet For Lunch:

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Source: How one Houston startup is changing professional networking and giving back to the community


Meet for a purpose

Likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has donated more than $10 million to charity. Although not nearly as wealthy, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, gave $80,000 to charity between 2007 and 2010. Charitable giving among affluent and successful individuals is nothing new. However, one Houston based startup has found a way to link charitable giving with networking.

Social Meter provides an online platform that enables executives and other professionals to meet with one another by making charitable contributions to a non-profit of the executive’s choice.

Malcolm Sykes, founder of, says the site allows an individual to use his or her success for a good cause. As he puts it, “the website was created to meet two simultaneous objectives: help professionals build relationships, while giving back to the community.”

Social Meter establishes those connections by allowing corporate and entrepreneurial rising stars to bid for access to executives by donating to their supported non-profit organizations. Bids that exceed a designated minimum are placed through the website and meetings with the executives are awarded based on availability. Profiles of the bidders and the executives are provided via LinkedIn.

Social Meter also facilitates promoted charity lunches every quarter, offering entrepreneurs and business professionals a chance to have a power lunch with an influential executive. This quarter features Tony Chase, the Chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) and is hosted at one of Houston’s premiere restaurants.

Chase selected the Houston Museum of African American Culture as his charity of choice. The Museum, located downtown on Caroline Street, was established to preserve the history of African-American culture in Houston. Bids for a meeting with Chase ends April 15, 2012.

For more information about or to submit a bid to lunch with Tony Chase, contact Malcolm Sykes at (888) 280-8020 or malcolm(at)socialmeter(dot)org.

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