About Gear the World

Our Mission


GEAR the World distributes goods to provide relief to those in need in the United States and developing nations through charity and micro-enterprise operations.

GEAR the World accepts donations of cash, household goods, tools, shoes, clothing, clothing accessories, food, sports equipment and other items for its Give and Enterprise divisions.

About GEAR the World

GEAR the World is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit and social enterprise. GEAR was founded with the clear vision of creating strategic links between charity, philanthropy and business.

As a nonprofit and social enterprise, GEAR is an organization that utilizes commercial strategies to maximize on improvements in human well-being, rather than profits for external shareholders. GEAR’s aim is to offer social benefits to donors in support of social and environmental goals.

GEAR was designed to tackle social challenges and improve communities, life chances and the environment. GEAR provides charity with product donation in the United States. However, GEAR also works philanthropically by addressing one of the root causes of poverty – lack of work opportunity – in developing nations so families can create their own economic paths through our micro-enterprise work.

GEAR Fundraising Philosophy

There are similar charities with more connections, larger staffs and longer histories working just as hard as GEAR the World to acquire product donations. But, GEAR the World stands apart from all of them. We make a concerted effort to support corporate and foundation donors, in particular, in a number of critical ways.

Service

GEAR the World provides services that the other product charities aren’t providing. While the other organizations are picking up product and providing tax receipts, GEAR stands out as a strategic partner with business donors and others. In other words, GEAR seeks to make every relationship a win/win through its service to donors.

Innovation

GEAR the World is nimble and creative. These are important elements necessary to operate successfully in today’s world. Bureaucracy hinders progress. To innovate, GEAR seeks to cut through layers and maintain flexibility to ensure social impact, transparency and innovation.

Relationships

GEAR is committed to building relationships. That means GEAR listens and nurtures its partnerships. GEAR understands that a strategic alliance is based on trust, transparency and an excellent rapport.

Testing

Some ideas work and others don’t. GEAR the World is open to try and test new things. We want our partners to create new opportunities. We work incrementally, learn from trial runs and improve on our goals and objectives.

C.M. Blake

Executive Director


Chris “C.M.” Blake has been connecting nonprofits to corporations, and allowing people to leverage their passion and make a better world for over 25 years. His results-focused and entrepreneurial style has been proven to generate exponential growth and revenue. This dynamic and driven approach has also helped him to increase brand exposure for the nation’s largest retailers and manufacturers while at the same time benefiting over 3,000 charities around the world. While president of KIDS, Chris helped the charity reach the Forbes Top 200 Largest U.S. Charities list and distributed over $1 billion worth of donated goods. As executive vice president of development at Goods360, Chris helped the team win the Verizon Powerful Answers Award of 2013. The award is a prominent honor given to entrepreneurs, companies and innovators worldwide to provide inventive solutions. He has held business seminars in 53 countries, and has overseen disaster relief operations in Guatemala, Haiti and Indonesia. He is also a 7-time marathon runner and triathlete.

Wayne Elsey

Chairman of the Board and Volunteer


Wayne Elsey has changed millions of lives around the world. It began when he was the president of an international footwear company and the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami occurred in Asia. He volunteered and marshaled all his resources to deliver hundreds of thousands of shoes to people who were left with nothing. Today, his company, Elsey Enterprises, offers consulting, fundraising and business services for nonprofits, social enterprises and for-profits looking to make the biggest social impact possible through several independent brands: str@tegic, Not Your Father’s Charity, Funds2Orgs, Sneakers4Funds, Shoes With Heart and SocialGoodU. Wayne is also the author of the best seller Almost Isn’t Good Enough, the motivational book Get Off the Couch: Grip & Rip and Break the Barriers Holding You Back in Life and the Not Your Father’s Charity book series. He has continued his volunteer and philanthropic work as the founder of GEAR the World, and serves as chairman. He is also the founder and former CEO of Soles4Souls, a nonprofit that helped put over 20 million pairs of shoes on the feet of those in need in response to some of the world’s largest natural disasters. Wayne grew this organization from zero to over $70 million in fewer than 5 years.

Courtney Eaton

Operations


Courtney Eaton has had a diverse career. She is the chief executive officer at Elsey Enterprises. She is also the executive vice president of logistics at Funds2Orgs, which is a brand of Elsey Enterprises and the leading shoe drive social enterprise in North America. Prior to joining Elsey Enterprises, Courtney was the owner of Eaton Web Design, Inc., which served clients such as Related Rentals, one of the premier real estate companies in New York City, for 18 years. Courtney has extensive experience in web design, search engine optimization, and web solutions. Courtney serves as an elder and clerk of session at her church. She has also served as a board member for Fins Up! Foundation and currently supports charities for veterans and for teenage and female survivors of abuse and violence. Prior to her career in technology, Courtney served as a member of the United States Marine Corp.

Angela Foglesong

Marketing


Angela Foglesong is the owner of GrafixDesign Studio out of Nashville, Tennessee. This award winning agency specializes in developing, designing and managing brand logos and all marketing content. Grafix Design also prides itself on superior service and creativity. Her agency has won the prestigious MarCom Gold Award. Angela and her team have worked with clients such as Dog’s Naturally Magazine, Kodiak Footwear and Ray Stevens Music. Angela also offers pro bono services to local community organizations such as the Rotary. She is an expert in Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Dreamweaver and Wordpress, although she makes it a point to keep up to date on new digital marketing, social media and technology platforms. Angela is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and is an avid out-doors enthusiast. She is also a current supporter of the ASPCA and Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue.

Yvonne Keller

Executive Assistant


Yvonne Keller is the executive assistant and VP of Operations for Elsey Enterprises. In this role she provides support to the CEO, oversees all office management for this fast-evolving company and its independent brands. In addition, she is also responsible for human resources. Prior to her present responsibilities, Yvonne was self-employed and worked as an independent consultant with a national weight loss/fitness company and a skin care company where she oversaw sales, customer service and team development. Earlier in her career, Yvonne was a probation officer and community corrections supervisor for a non-profit organization in Montana where she was responsible for policy, quality control, mediations and staff coaching and training.

Linda Spencer

Content Development


Linda Spencer has extensive experience in such areas as non-profit strategy, corporate social responsibility, board development, capital campaigns, individual/major giving, institutional support, development audits and reviews, campaigns and digital fundraising. She has consulted with organizations including New York City Center for Charter School Education, Allan Houston Foundation, New Leaders for New Schools, Harlem Educational Activities Fund, and NYC2012: New York Olympic Bid. Prior to being an independent consultant, Linda was the senior vice president for development at Covenant House International. Earlier, she was the executive director of Inner-City Scholarship Fund. She is a graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University and St. John’s University and currently lives in Spain. Linda has done volunteer work and supported causes throughout the years. She is currently volunteering for Doctors of the World, Greece and Open Your World Foundation in Spain, which is working to establish project based learning sister schools in Barcelona and New York.
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