Mission & Overview
Our Team
Our Story
The Three C’s

Our Mission: PEAKS provides easy and affordable crowdfunding resources and services to help changemakers fund the change they wish to see in the world.

What is a Changemaker? A Changemaker is a person who wants to bring a Cause to life through a non-profit, a business, a new project, or a program within a larger organization. (How it works)

What is a Champion? A Champion is an individual, team, or group that joins a Campaign to help raise money and spread awareness through their personal networks. (How it works)

Overview: The three biggest barriers to growing a Cause and having an impact are capital (money), community (connections) and capacity (knowledge). PEAKS provides these three pillars for success through a simple, user-friendly website, where Changemakers can launch a fund and friend-raising campaign to test, promote and grow their Cause.

In partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, PEAKS supports Changemakers working in the following areas:

Agriculture, Food & Nutrition
Consumer and Financial Management
Environment & Energy
Strengthening Family & Community
Youth Development

Read more about how and why we got started.

The Three C’s


Launching a campaign: Changemakers launch a fundraising and friend-raising activity, like a walk-a-thon, to recruit individuals or teams to Champion their Cause. Champions help raise money by collecting small donations from people in their networks and communities, and spread the word by sharing their own activities through their PEAKS website and social media like Facebook and Twitter. Over 20 successful Campaigns have been launched on the PEAKS platform.

Ability to create Campaigns on the fly with a high return-on-investment: Minimal time is required to start a high impact fundraising and friend-raising Campaign.

A new generation of donors: Did you know that online givers are young, with men and women giving in equal numbers. The median age of donors at Network for Good is 38, with the average between 39 amd 40. This is significantly younger than offline donors, who tend to be 60+ according to most studies (Source: Craver, Mathews, Smith & Company)

Donor relationships: Opportunities for community members to make direct financial connections with projects they identify as worthwhile.


Personal appeals: PEAKS enables Changemakers to build a community by reaching more people through personal solicitations from individuals and teams who join their Campaign

Use of distributed networks: Campaign pages are interlinked with social media, making it easy for Changemakers  to coordinate large numbers of people across on and offline communities.

Greater visibility: In addition to accessing distributed networks, users have the opportunity to be featured in PEAKS’ promotional channels, including our homepage Campaign Spotlight, Facebook, Twitter, E-Newsletter, and other mediums.

Storytelling: PEAKS is designed around the ability to tell stories to compel people to act in short, funny and meaningful ways. This is an essential element of spreading the word and building a following.

Global impact: PEAKS links like-minded Changemakers with each other across the country and the world.

Volunteer connections: Provides opportunities for community members to volunteer to help Causes they identify as worthwhile.

Capacity (Coming Soon)

Coming soon: Unlike any other crowd-sourced fundraising and friend-raising site, PEAKS strengthens these activities by helping Changemakers get their Cause off the ground in the early stages of development. In addition to raising funds and friends, Changemakers will be able to access an online networking forum to help establish and grow their Cause by exchanging knowledge and learning experiences, and professional and peer-developed resources and tools with other Changemakers.

Our Story

Watch how PEAKS got started:

PEAKS started, quite literally, with the idea of reaching new heights and overcoming major obstacles. While on a hiking trip, Steve, Chris and Emma saw a unique opportunity to raise money for EkoRural, a small non-profit they worked with in Ecuador’s Andes. On limited funding, EkoRural was struggling to help indigenous farmers overcome the devastating effects of climate change and industrial agriculture on their own farming and food distribution systems. Meanwhile, thousands of adventure tourists were pouring into the Andes, with little awareness that the trails they hiked on where, in fact, farmers’ footpaths. We found a way to bridge these two worlds by asking mountain tourists to support local farming communities by raising $1 for every foot they hiked.

Emma, with her friend Matt O'Connell, raise money for EkoRural by climbing to the summit of Volcano Cotopaxi (19,444 ft.) in Ecuador.

In September of 2010, Peaks Over Poverty was officially launched. We turned our passions into a vehicle for change. We climbed volcanoes and ran marathons, collectively raising over $10,000 to support EkoRural. Our efforts were so successful and inspiring that soon, other people and organizations began asking how they could use PEAKS’ platform for their own Cause or idea.

In 2011, PEAKS joined Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County to provide the burst of rising Changemakers in New York State with the opportunity to take their Cause to new heights!


    In partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension, PEAKS supports changemakers working in five program areas.