When Thomas Detillion, 23, graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in engineering management in spring 2020, he knew his career would most likely take him away from his hometown. He also knew it might take time to find his dream job.
Not one to sit idle, Detillion decided to launch a nonprofit that he hopes will continue long after he’s left Spokane.
“My mom works for the YMCA downtown,” he said. “She was telling me how the YMCA is really struggling with donations down. I wondered what I could do to help struggling nonprofits.”
Detillion said he’s always been entrepreneurial and had launched a lawn care business to help with college costs.
“I’m a worker bee,” he said. “I like to work.”
So, he found a way to combine his love of work with his desire to help local nonprofits.
“I thought, what if I go work for people, and instead of paying me, they donate to a nonprofit? I won’t make money, but I’ll get to meet cool people and feel good about myself.”
In November, he launched gigs4good.
A jack-of-all-trades, his skill set includes; drywall, painting and yard work along with technical skills like website building, device help and internet assistance.
“It’s fundraising with service,” Detillion explained. “I provide volunteer assistance with professional, technical, handyman-household projects, and in return, sponsors donate to gigs4good. The funds are then transferred in the full amount to a Spokane-based charitable organization of their choice.”
For example, he recently did a home repair project and a couple of computer tech assistance gigs. In each case Detillion determines the amount of time the project will take and sets a price. Those retaining his assistance designate a charity to receive his donated fee.
Sponsors’ donations are tax-deductible, and receipts are provided. So far, gigs4good has raised funds for Second Harvest, Women’s Hearth and YMCA.
“My hope is that in a few months I’m able to raise a sizeable amount for nonprofits in need,” he said.
Detillion is also hoping to attract likeminded volunteers to the cause. Those volunteers will be crucial for the longevity of the nonprofit, because Detillion landed a job with a large corporation. He started working remotely in February, and will be moving to Pittsburgh in the spring. The full-time job means, he can only do his volunteer work on evenings and weekends. But if he has enough help, he’d like to be able to run gigs4good after he moves, and perhaps continue to do the scheduling.
“My vision is to go beyond just me,” he said. “I hope to connect with others who are passionate about this, so gigs4good can continue.”
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