, we pride ourselves on always looking forward and never standing still. By challenging ourselves to do better and work harder we can better serve our customers and move further towards fulfilling our mission of democratizing financial services. With that said, however, I spent some time over the holidays reflecting on the past year – as I imagine many of you did as well – and wanted to offer a few thoughts and celebrate a meaningful milestone.
2017 was a challenging year around the world in many respects: unprecedented natural disasters, a divisive geo-political landscape, acts of violence, and, for many, great economic uncertainty. In times like these, it’s easy to become dispirited. And yet, there are always reasons for hope. There is always enormous good, even if you have to look a bit harder to see it. And, as Bill Gates so eloquently and brilliantly outlined in TIME
, there are always reasons to be optimistic about the future.
In his piece, Bill uses data points to show the ways in which the world is actually getting better. I’d like to add a few other indicators, ones that fill me with a sense of purpose and optimism: during the Holiday season (Nov. 27 - Dec. 31, 2017) more than $1 Billion was donated to charities and non-profits via the PayPal platform. This is the first time that we’ve ever crossed the $1 Billion threshold for holiday giving, and building on our record-breaking #GivingTuesday
results, truly shows the giving power, compassion, and global reach (people donated from more than 180 countries) of the PayPal community.
#GivingTuesday and our Holiday campaign helped to bring the total amount of money donated on the PayPal platform in 2017 to more than $8.5 Billion. And while the whole is incredibly inspiring, I am deeply motivated by the parts -- by the people all around the world giving $10, $5, maybe even less in some instances, simply because they want to help. Because they see what is happening and say, “we can do better.” As Bill notes in his piece, “Bad news arrives as drama, while good news is incremental.” $1 Billion over the Holidays and $8.5 Billion for the full year are the headlines, but the real magic is in the increments – the individuals and the individual donations of every size that drive the aggregate numbers.
To everyone who gave this past year and may plan on giving in the year ahead: Thank You. Thanks for doing good and thank you for trusting PayPal to help you do it. 2017 had its challenges, but there is goodness all around us. Here’s hoping for even more of that in 2018.