With the hedge fund industry shrinking and hedge fund clients disappearing, working in hedge fund sales can be a hard ask. One former Goldman Sachs hedge fund salesman has come up with an interesting alternative.
Until October last year, 28 year-old Matt Amalfitano was a VP in a cross asset sales team at Goldman Sachs who specialized in working with hedge funds. Now, Amalfitano runs RaisedBy.Us, a workplace social good program that connects small and medium-sized companies with the technology and infrastructure that enables their employees to give back to charities of their choice without all the pain points.
Amalfitano didn't found RaisedbyUS, but he was the charity's first non-volunteer hire, and he came in as CEO. He's supported by three big-name board members: VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk, Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn and Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer.
The concept is simple: making it easier for employees at small companies to give. "The vast majority of Americans want to give back to charity but often stop short of fulfilling their initial commitment. You have to make is easy,” says Amalfitano. RaisedBy.Us facilitates the process by allowing employees to donate directly to more than 1 million charities through its platform. Funds can be deducted from an employee’s paycheck or donors can use a credit card or PayPal.
After a donation's been made, employees are kept informed of the impact of their contribution by "employee ambassadors" who talk about the impact the campaign has had on them personally. The company currently works with startups including Foursquare, Birchbox and Squarespace, among others.
Amalfitano's interesting idea has been to use the network of hedge fund clients he developed at Goldman Sachs to help develop his new role. His target market is now hedge funds and small asset managers, which are often interested in philanthropy and may have deeper pockets and be better able to match employee donations than startups outside the finance sector.
"I loved my time at GS," says Amalfitano. "I credit GS with giving me the tools to think critically about systems and understand customer needs. I left because RaisedBy.Us also required these tools but at the same time gave me a platform to take a big issue — philanthropy — head-on."
Within five years, Amalfitano believes his new employer can help deliver $100 million to charities. RaisedBy.Us helped raise around $725k for charity in 2017. His experience at his former employer is helping him along the way: "I’ve been incredibly touched with the number of colleagues at Goldman who have volunteered their time, money, and have made introductions since I left,” he says.