Saturday, June 2, 2012

Secret Millionaire John Ferber


John Ferber has accomplished quite a bit and has no plans to stop. It started in 1998, when he and brother Scott co-founded a site called Advertising.com. Yes, the company that went on to become a worldwide megaprovider of interactive marketing services. With an industry-leading advertising targeting platform, Advertising.com became the master of targeting algorithms and pioneered online price per action advertising methods. When the company was acquired by AOL Time Warner in 2004, the Ferbers received an eye-popping $495 million, which was one of the largest online advertising sector deals in history.

A very rich man at this point, John Ferber could simply have retired and lived his life on a tropical island. Instead, he turned his focus to others, making philanthropy his new project. He wanted to use the Internet to help people in need of charitable funding. The concept of crowd funding surfaced as a solution because it matched people in need with others who were interested in donating money. By 2008, Ferber rolled out MicroGiving Foundation, an online organization designed for charitable giving.

MicroGiving is based on the same concept used by peer-to-peer lenders. People create personal fundraising web pages to help them raise money online. Purposes of the fundraising range from personal projects to medical treatments and funerals. People can upload videos and photos to assist with their fundraising efforts and can distribute their page to everyone in their electronic address books. MicroGiving is currently 50,000 members strong and growing regularly.

In 2011, MicroGiving began working with aspiring film actors and musicians, helping them to fundraise for their budding careers. Connecting donors and recipients is what Ferber does so it was not a leap for him to be recruited for season two of ABC television’s Secret Millionaire. In this environment, he became the donor and the show producers connected him with recipients by temporarily placing him in the Skid Row section of Los Angeles.

Ferber says that his time in the largest L.A. homeless community opened his mind to the power wielded by hope. He witness people in extremely challenging situations who refused to give up. Even the largest obstacles were not able to prevent the positive change that resulted from their long periods of hard work. Ferber knew this to be true in business and quickly realized it was also true in daily life.

Ferber donated $100,000 of his own money and numerous supplies including toys, computers, and hundreds of sleeping bags to the Skid Row community. He would like to continue working with volunteers he encountered during his time on the show. He also plans to continue his personal philanthropic efforts.

Today, Ferber is working on his new venture, the domain company Domain Holdings Group. As co-founder of the business, he hopes to develop the company into the number one domain life-cycle management solutions provider. The industry he is working within is still in the infancy stages and with his knack for businesses on the cutting edge, Ferber has an excellent chance of transforming this sector.


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