Built in Austin // November 6, 2015

Hotness, humor and heart: How theCHIVE built a $6 million charity

By Colin Morris - Built In Austin

Melissa Smith survived Hodgkins Lymphoma twice, only to be diagnosed with a rare disorder called Transverse Myelitis that put her in a wheelchair. Chive Charities raised $450,000 to renovate Melissa's home to make it accessible, then surprised her at her favorite restaurant with beer, a cake and a check. Photo courtesy of Chive Charities.

The first time you visit theCHIVE.com, it’s pretty easy to get distracted. The Austin-based website puts a heavy emphasis on the first two parts of its unofficial motto, “hotness, humor and heart,” with an endless feed of funny slideshows and sexy selfies on its homepage.

But you’d be amazed what they do with heart. To date, Chive Charities has raised $6.5 million for individuals and organizations battling everything from PTSD in war veterans to funding cuts for fire brigades.

Executive Director Brian Mercedes says the altruism is driven by the site’s user base, which accounts for 1.3 million unique visits per day.

“Part of Chive Charities' mission is to inspire a new generation to make a difference in the world and make it a better place, even just 10 percent happier if we can,” he said. “[Chive Nation] puts worthy recipients on our radar. They are the ones that help us with many of our charitable campaigns when we need a presence on the ground.”....

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