Rhoden Monrose moved to the states from St. Lucia when he was 12 years old. Planting in Harlem, he was heavily involved in after-school and nonprofit programs, benefiting from the services they provided. When deciding to create a company, these memories propelled Monrose forward.
In 2014, Monrose was working at Citigroup as a derivatives trader and decided it was time to try something different. He left and founded CariClub, a membership company that makes it easy to discover associate board positions with hundreds of inspiring and effective nonprofit organizations. The company officially launched in 2015 in NYC and San Francisco and already has over 1,500 millennial members. Clients include Citigroup and Deloitte, span financial services, consulting, legal, and technology sectors with a network of over 1,000 nonprofit organizations.
Black Enterprise caught up with Monrose to find out more details on why he decided to start the company, why he chose to specifically focus on nonprofits and young professionals.
“72% of Millennials are Interested in Participating in a Nonprofit Young Professionals Group”
Black Enterprise: Why did you start CariClub?
Rhoden Monrose: I learned how rewarding it was to help nonprofits while I worked at Citigroup as a derivatives trader. In 2014, I left Citigroup and founded CariClub after seeing firsthand that there was a strong desire from young professionals to engage nonprofits at the board level and yet there was no easy way for them to do so.
CariClub is the world’s only social-impact networking platform to connect young professionals to leadership opportunities on nonprofit boards. Offered as an employee benefit paid for by employers, our platform offers members a database of 1,000+ nonprofits to choose from, while our matching algorithm provides carefully curated nonprofit matches based on member information and demonstrated interests.
CariClub was created because the young professionals of today want more than just a paycheck—they want to live with purpose and to “do good while doing well.” CariClub believes that those things aren’t mutually exclusive and that we can both enjoy successful careers while leaving a positive impact on the world around us. We have democratized access to nonprofit engagement while working with industry leaders in a host of verticals that demonstrate the scope of CariClub’s appeal. Our clients include firms like Citigroup, Deloitte, Davis Polk, KKR, and Unilever, to name just a few. Our network of nonprofits currently consists of over a thousand qualified organizations in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston.
Most importantly, our members are providing skills, energy, and time to nonprofits that focus on thousands of causes (from education to health to the environment and community aid). Their direct impact on organizations has been emphasized by every nonprofit leader with whom we have engaged. CariClub is bringing together and training the next generation of leaders while setting the bar for the future of corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Why did you focus specifically on non-profits?
According to a survey, Millennial Impact Report, 72% of millennials are interested in participating in a nonprofit young professionals group but don’t know how to seek out these opportunities. CariClub helps connect millennials who want to give back and make an impact with causes that they care about. With over 1,000 nonprofit opportunities on the platform and a recommendation assistant powered by our proprietary AI, CariClub members can quickly find opportunities to get involved in causes they feel passionate about on a personal level. In the end, everyone wins: employees benefit from the networking and by developing a sense of fulfillment; companies benefit from the boost in employee engagement and professional development that comes from joining an associate board; nonprofits benefit because they are given access to a highly motivated pool of volunteers and donors.
CariClub unlocks the potential within each individual to become a driving force for good. The vision for CariClub is to create a global hub for all things philanthropy. From governing board matching to internal board management and fundraising tools, our aim is to make philanthropy accessible, transparent, measurable, and easy for all.
How important is it for young professionals to join an associate board?
Becoming an associate board member is a personally rewarding experience. You join forces with a group of like-minded peers to use your skills and experiences to have an impact on a cause you care about. Through this opportunity, you network with industry leaders, acquire new skills and gain a wider perspective of the world. There’s no better way to develop a deep sense of fulfillment than through philanthropy. And as I think about my millennial peers, I know for a fact this is one of the most effective ways for companies to drive authentic employee engagement and loyalty.
What has been the success rate so far with matching young professionals to boards?
CariClub has already had a measured impact on the world. Over a thousand young professionals in New York and San Francisco now have access to the platform. We are serious about connecting quality people with quality opportunities, and CariClub members see about a 95% acceptance rate on various nonprofit boards to which they apply. Furthermore, every month we inform CariClub members about dozens of philanthropic and nonprofit events in their specific locale. This encourages them to grow their impact and network with other CariClub members with similar interests.
What has been the fundraising outcome of the boards who have participated?
Millions of dollars raised along with the immeasurable increased exposure and engagement for these very worthy organizations.