Skip to main content

Tipping Point Founding Story

PUBLISHED: Jun 01, 2020

Daniel Lurie founded Tipping Point Community in 2005. In January 2019, Lurie stepped down as Tipping Point’s CEO and transitioned to his current role as Board Chair. In his place, Sam Cobbs, former Tipping Point President, presides as the current CEO of Tipping Point.

I saw a need in the Bay Area for an organization to get people engaged and involved in giving back. Tipping Point Community was built to fill that need.

When I worked on the Bill Bradley campaign after graduating from Duke, I was inspired by his challenge to be part of something bigger than myself and his reminder that change can be built from the ground up.

I began working at the Robin Hood Foundation, an organization dedicated to fighting poverty in New York City, a week before September 11, 2001. I was humbled by Robin Hood’s unmatched relief efforts and its ability to lift up the city once more by providing victims’ families with the best possible services and donors with an effective, tangible way to give.

Two years later, I returned home to California to go to graduate school at Cal and began adapting the Robin Hood model to fit my community, the Bay Area. I chose the name “Tipping Point Community” because I liked Malcolm Gladwell’s notion that a few passionate people with a good idea can spark change, big change.

Tipping Point was started in 2005 with just four board members and a hundred donors. Chris, Ronnie, Katie, and I envisioned a better, poverty-free Bay Area. We believed then and know now that the responsibility for making that happen belongs to all of us.

So many organizations in the philanthropic sector have their hearts in the right place, but when it comes to fighting poverty, good intentions aren’t enough. Low-income families deserve access to the most effective services that can help them break the cycle of poverty for good, and donors deserve a return on their philanthropic investments.

Last, but certainly not least, the groups we fund deserve a new and improved funding model, one that respects their expertise and meets their needs. We count on our groups to tell us what’s working and, more importantly, what isn’t working, not only at their organizations, but throughout the sector. Our community deserves new solutions to longstanding issues of poverty.

Invest, measure, improve, repeat. That’s how we do business.

We are exuberant and fiercely committed to helping those who have dedicated their lives to helping others. We are always learning. Our work has only just begun; we hope you’ll join us.

All my best,

Daniel Lurie
Founder + Board Chair

Tipping Point Stories + News

Powerful leaders, strong solutions, everyday heroes. Read stories from our community.