Fred's good photoIf you don’t already know me, my name is Fred Rea. I founded Rain City Capital in 2009, and it has definitely been a long and interesting road. I lost everything in the economic downturn of 2008 – when Top Ramen with an egg counts as a lavish meal, you start thinking about your priorities and wondering if you’re on the right track. At that point in my life, an extra $100 would have been a huge help (and probably would have doubled my net worth)! Although it was a difficult time, I never let that part of my life destroy my entrepreneurial spirit. As a result, Rain City has experienced a high degree of success that I never really expected. I think about those days all the time – the lessons I learned and the hardships I faced give me a foundation for everything I do today.

Since August 2012 (which is when we started keeping track), Rain City has funded a little over 1800 transactions in the greater Puget Sound area. That stat makes me proud, because of where I was 7 years ago. During this time, I’ve also been giving a sizable amount of my personal income to individuals and organizations, because $100 represents something greater to me now than it did back then. I go through the Caffé Ladro drive-thru almost every morning. Recently, I gave $100 to the barista to see how many customers could get free coffee. It was 39 people! To date it’s one of my proudest, yet smallest, dollar investments. While this wasn’t the first time I’d given $100 to see how far it could go, this was the biggest reach I’d made yet. It made me think: If $100 can buy 39 people coffee and breakfast, what else could $100 do?

Early this year, I gave the challenge to Rain City’s staff. During our Monday morning meeting, I gave each of the employees a cash bonus, but with one caveat: the employee had to take $100 and give it to a stranger. The results have been fun to hear, because I love to imagine the good it has done. At a minimum, I hope a few people had a great day. Who knows, maybe some lives were profoundly changed, like mine would have been all those years ago. All this is background for another question I asked myself: what could $100 per transaction at Rain City accomplish in the right hands?

Rather than imagine, we’re going to make it happen: in 2016, Rain City Capital is committing to give away $100 per transaction to a local and deserving charity. We’ll be highlighting one charity per quarter – each charity needs to be a registered 501c3 non-profit, and I will be personally interviewing each operator to make sure they fit into the Rain City philosophy. We’ll be updating everyone on the cause: how much money we’ve raised, the impact the donations have on our charities, and the impact the charities have on our community.

Most importantly, I wanted to thank our clients. Our loyal client relationships make us successful, and that success allows us to give back. Twice a year, we’ll be throwing a party just for the clients who make all this possible – we’ll recognize and celebrate how many ways your $100 can make a difference.

Check out our next update for the first charity we’re highlighting in 2016! Thanks for listening to my story.