stories of our community at work

A sacrifical investor-investee partnership led to big impact.


Rob Peabody & Donna Harris

2019 Business Accelerator

Rob Peabody and Donna Harris met in 2018 as Fellow and Mentor on the scenic porch of Minnewaska Lodge in upstate New York. They immediately connected over their desire to foster deeper engagement in local communities.

Fast forward 18 months—Donna had joined the board at VOMO after Builders + Backers made an investment in the organization—when the pandemic took hold of the country. Rob and Donna jumped on an evening call in March to contemplate what they could offer local communities in crisis. They turned to a campaign that VOMO led just a few months earlier. The “Be a Neighbor” campaign was a one-day service event in partnership with the movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

For two weeks straight, the VOMO team and the Builders + Backers team worked around the clock to redesign and launch the platform to connect those in need with volunteers. Rob chose to provide VOMO for free “for such a time as this because it was the right thing to do.” At the same time, Donna and her team “rolled up their sleeves with Christ-like yieldedness and exemplified sacrificial leadership” to support VOMO every step of the way, even stopping all other projects to give full attention to the campaign during March and April.

As a result, they received 20 million “Be A Neighbor” views, which translated to 300,000 volunteer hours on 250,000 volunteer projects in 30 countries, creating an economic impact of $9.8M! Rob and Donna hope VOMO can continue to mobilize even more people to become neighbors who serve and make a meaningful impact in their communities.

Stories of our Community at Work