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Ronald Pruitt is Founder of 4aGoodCause. His e-commerce fundraising software has helped nonprofits bring in millions of dollars in online donations for the past 17+ years. Last year alone they had 11.6 million raised online by 4aGoodCause nonprofits.

They have worked with the Girl Scouts, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Baltimore and many more.

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In this episode…

Since founding 4aGoodCause in 1998, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves – building websites that make a difference in the world. He’s helped build hundreds nonprofits with his ecommerce solutions raise millions of dollars online. He has more than 17 years experience helping commercial and nonprofit organizations create effective and results-driven e-commerce Web sites, sites that raise money for good causes.

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz 0:00
Have you ever walked into the game and write down 100 grand? You are listening to Inspired insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy wise. Dr. Jeremy Weiss here and founder of inspired where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders like the founders of p90x Baby Einstein, Atari and many more how they overcome big challenges in life and business today, I’m excited. We have Ronald Pruitt, he’s founder of for a good cause. His E commerce fundraising software programs have helped nonprofits, and resulted in millions of dollars raised in online donations across the US and Canada for the past 17 plus years. So we will talk about the early days of the internet. Last year alone, they had $11.6 million raised online by for good cause nonprofits. They’ve created ecommerce solutions for the Girl Scouts, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Ronald McDonald, House Charities of Baltimore, and many, many more. They help nonprofits get paid. And that’s the bottom line. Ronald, thanks for joining me.

Ronald Pruitt 1:20
I appreciate you having me on.

Jeremy Weisz 1:22
So Ronald, I always ask because it’s inspired insider, what’s been the lowest point? And then how you push through that tough time?

Ronald Pruitt 1:32
Well, I would say, a low point for me really is I wouldn’t say it’s business related. It’s probably more personal related. It has to do with our daughter. We when she was born, she was born with something called hygroma. Us and they were in her in her cheek, it’s little growth. And we didn’t even know it at the time. We shot we thought this was just a happy big cheek baby,

you know, just look like big chubby cheeks,

chubby cheek baby. And we didn’t really notice that there was an issue till I’d say she was about a year old. And she got a cold and one side of her face where most of the high ground was our swelled up. And we noticed that there was a big imbalance or not big, but it was imbalance between the sides of her face. And you just don’t know what the issue is. Oh, worst thing? Do you think the worst the first thing that comes to your mind? That’s cancer, right. And so we went through, you know, a process with doctors. And you know, that basically, we need to go in and biopsy that and get that looked at. And one of the steps that we took was, we had to we got an employment down at the Aflac Cancer Center, which is at the Children’s Hospital here in Atlanta. And sitting in the waiting room was probably the low point because you’re looking around and you think that’s this, this could be us here. You see families that are there. And, you know, this could be this, this could be what’s in store for us. And it was a hard process we got we she had to have surgery, which was fraught with danger to because they had to pull something out of her cheek, which if they they hit a certain nerve, then you’re right. You’ll never smile again. Right. But it’s it’s something that that had to be done. And luckily, you know, we had a fantastic surgeon and the biopsy came back negative. And you know, she’s had a couple of surgeries since then. And it’s we’ve had a lot of it taken out but just I think that day when we visited the cancer center was was a low point because you just you worrying about your kids, and then where do you go from there and it also to kind of tie it into the business side it informed that we were on the right path with for good cause. Because at the time that we went down there, the the Aflac Cancer Center was it was one of my clients. So we were actually raising money for the place that we were at that’s doing this amazing research on children’s cancer came full circle. It came full circle and I came home you know, and we we talked about it many times that yeah, this is this is the path that we we should be on and we’re supposed to be on that because there are so many nonprofits out there that are doing good work like these folks were to help these families that we need the websites that we build to do something to make a difference.

Jeremy Weisz 5:17
Why is that story not on your website?

Ronald Pruitt 5:21
Like it took me a long time to put my photo up there. I’ve never tried to make any about you about us. But

Jeremy Weisz 5:29
that should be on your About About section to me,

Ronald Pruitt 5:33
maybe we had a hard time having her too we we Oui, it took us a long time to have kids. So we had to get some professional help. And that when that manner. And it taught me a lot about just overcoming things. You know, when you’re going through something reach out for help. We reached out to there’s a nonprofit called resolve. That kind of educates, educates families that are having trouble having kids educates them on fertility adoption and a whole bunch of other things, because that’s really common. Yeah, it really is. And, but we didn’t, we didn’t know it was common. And you think you’re, you’re the only one think you’re the only one we came across so many people that we knew there was a time when we knew 15 people who were having kids, 15 families, and it was just all around us. And we went to a meeting there. And it just was

Jeremy Weisz 6:38
like, ah, opens your eyes.

Ronald Pruitt 6:40
Yeah, we’re not alone. And we can get through anything. You know, nowadays, even with my business, you know, you’re never too old to, to get the advice and kind of sit down with people. I’m a regular, I have regular meetings with score, the retired executives group says, you know, you need to kind of sit down with, with, with people that you can bounce things off of, and know that whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone. So,

Jeremy Weisz 7:11
so Ronald, who are some of your mentors?

Ronald Pruitt 7:15
Ah, you know, I don’t think that I had a lot of real kind of business mentors, certainly, like I said, family, you know, one person that might stand out, and that I worked retail for many, many years. I mentioned that I had, you know, bad bosses along the way. But I had one really fantastic boss. His name was Joe Braxton. And he was the manager above me in the men’s department at a small department store, and Auburn, Alabama. And he was just incredibly kind patient, he wouldn’t, he would instruct you on what he needs you to do. But he did it with just Extreme class. And I remember that, you know, wherever I was going to work, I was going to be like, Joe, I will kind of conduct myself with the same thing. He would be flexible with you. He you know, whenever I got my college classes for that semester, we’d sit down he to tell me your schedule, we’re going to work around it. I mean, I used to come in to work from eight to 12. In the morning, I’ll go to class from one to five or one to four. And then we’ll come back and work five to nine. So I was working full time, but he would work it out. As long as you’re coming in, you’re getting your work done. As long as you’re producing the results. That’s what was going to matter. And so you know, you’re going to be like Joe, you were doing you were doing pretty well. Always a kind voice you sit down and explain what he wanted you to do, why he wanted you to do it, not just go do it. And but this is how it was going to help the business. Yeah. So I learned a lot about sales. I learned a lot about just retail. And you know why one product moves versus another why, you know, you know, I was in charge of doing all markdowns all the little things he do and he was there as just teaching me along the way.

Jeremy Weisz 9:21
So well, what was one of those hard times in business that you had to push through?

Ronald Pruitt 9:27
Well, I think it’s hard time. Probably for us. It actually was it was great personally, what it was hard on the business was after my daughter was born. We made a decision as a family and my my wife is a teacher. We made a decision that you know, since I was running and still do run a home base. Did you work from home? Yeah, yeah. That the kids were going to be with me. We weren’t going to have a nanny. We weren’t going to feel like getting

Jeremy Weisz 9:59
in He worked on

Ronald Pruitt 10:01
gonna have, we’re gonna put him in daycare that and I wanted to do it, I wanted to be there with him all the time. So we kind of kind of scaled back the business in a lot of ways. You know, we stopped all the advertising, we lead, we do like just word of mouth, bring new clients to us, and we had enough to keep ourselves going. But you’re right, it was hard to get things done, it was hard to kind of be there at that instant when a client would call or when you need to do sales presentation.

Jeremy Weisz 10:38
Dirty Diaper over here, I got an

Ronald Pruitt 10:40
idea, I changed a lot of diapers. It was great personally, it was a joy. They were amazing. And on the business side, one very positive thing is it actually helped me identify who were going to be great clients. Because the

Jeremy Weisz 10:57
cut out everyone else, you only can keep the best ones is that why?

Ronald Pruitt 11:00
Well, when when potential clients would call, and they were inquiring about our company, I would have to preface the fact that there are two toddlers. right with me right beside me, I might have a baby carrier right next to the desk. You know, I might have a three year old running around the desk. So I would in my welcome speech, I would let them know that, that my two little vice presidents, you may hear them in the back residence you in the background. And that also was letting people know kind of you know, we were a family company that was going to be the priority, that kind of stuff. And I had some potential clients that I could tell right away that that was we were done. We were done. They they just could not handle that I would have my kids with me when I needed to help them. And then I had other clients who turned out to be clients, so stay with me for a decade who said that is fabulous. I did, they said I did that, that I work home and I had my kids and it was wonderful. It turned out to be this great.

Jeremy Weisz 12:10
Not a business, just a business fit but a personal, personal fit to

Ronald Pruitt 12:14
and you need that in business. You know, you need the client has to fit with you personally. You know, I think most hope most of the clients that we have now I consider them friends. Right? If so,

Jeremy Weisz 12:29
Ronald, so what’s been one of the proudest moments in the business for you?

Ronald Pruitt 12:35
Well, I think when we hit 10 million per year for the for our clients, that we that we hit an achievement where they had raised $10 million in one year. Yeah, that was that was huge. It really sat back and big numbers, no big number we made it we were making a huge impact. That was that was big. Certainly in the early days becoming profitable. To know that, gosh, we can actually do I can actually do this, that this can be a viable business that you can actually do do good. And do well. At the same time. We can make this work, that this can be something that I hope to do this till I retire. I hope that I hope

Jeremy Weisz 13:24
or you just won’t retire.

Ronald Pruitt 13:26
Well, maybe I’m teaching my kids to to program currently. Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. teaching, teaching them. The Python language and

Jeremy Weisz 13:37
grammar. How do you do it? Do you do with a special program like online? Or do you just how do you actually teach them like other people want to be like, oh, I want to teach my kids to

Ronald Pruitt 13:46
there’s a book that we found how to teach your kids to code and the language is Pythonic if I Google it and find it, but it’s little step by steps. So we started this summer, and in between all the baseball games and everything else that we do, we found some nights to sit down and, and just kind of go through the book and less little lessons step by step. And, you know, maybe when they’re teenagers, I can give them a job. You never know

Jeremy Weisz 14:12
how old you think the kids have to be for you to start. Or when did you start? How old are they?

Ronald Pruitt 14:18
Well, they’re nine and 10. Nine and 11. Now, so that’s we’ve just started doing my son, who’s nine expressed an interest in it. So yeah, let’s let’s try it.

Jeremy Weisz 14:30
That’s fantastic. Yeah, Rhonda, I really appreciate your time. This has been amazing. And I have one last question for you. But before I ask it, just tell people where they can go to find out more and where they should check you out.

Ronald Pruitt 14:45
I just check us out at for good That’s the number for a good and invite them to read our blog and check out our social feeds and learn more about being good fundraisers.

Jeremy Weisz 15:00
Yeah, and from you know business from a business perspective, just to look and see the layout and design, it’s really well laid out and you can tell you took the time to think through each part of the of the site. So what’s the best thing about having your own business working from home?

Ronald Pruitt 15:24
Never having to wear that Suit Tie. I’d say one thing that I just really love. And this is kind of part of my daily routine, or I try to make it part of my daily routine is every day before lunch, outside this window is driveway. And I have a basketball goal there. And I will spend a half an hour just shooting the basketball. It clears my mind. Just to be happy, it just clears my mind. Yeah, it’s great work from home. It really is. And in my work, you know, you can build a virtual team. You know, it’s like any other business. I just enjoy it. It’s nice. During the summer. Of course my wife is off the kids are home everybody’s home. Yeah, come down. It’s very enticing. Yeah, it’s very nice.

Jeremy Weisz 16:19
Yeah, well, if you’re ever in Chicago, we’ll play a game of horse or if I’m ever by you are down by you. But thank you so much Ronald. Everyone should check out for good

Ronald Pruitt 16:31
I appreciate it very much. Thank you for having me on. Yeah. You came out. Grant