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How DetermiNation got an employee of theSkimm hooked on ACS

​Last month, the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge Program received some exciting visibility: a write-up in the Daily Skimm!

The Daily Skimm is a current events and pop culture e-newsletter that is distributed to more than 7 million subscribers each day. Hope Lodge was featured in the “Skimm Picks” section of the newsletter. The placement included a trackable donation link and a mention that “one Skimm HQer” volunteers for the program. That HQer is Jordan Gillman.

Jordan works in media sales for theSkimm, and first got involved with ACS about seven years ago when he worked for AOL. He decided he wanted to run the New York City Marathon and knew he wanted to participate with a charity – but he didn’t know which one. “Cancer resonates with everyone,” he says, “so I looked into ACS and ultimately signed up with DetermiNation. It was kind of dumb luck that we connected.”

Jordan was ultimately so impressed with DetermiNation and inspired by the work of the American Cancer Society, he decided to get others involved. In 2013, he formed a team made up of AOL colleagues to train with DetermiNation.

The team was enormously successful, and they continue to fundraise and run the New York City Marathon with DetermiNation to this day. They raise between $100,000 and $150,000 every year!

Jordan also continued to get more personally involved with the American Cancer Society and, specifically, Hope Lodge. He had learned about Hope Lodge during marathon training – the Determination team often uses Hope Lodge in Manhattan as its meeting place for training runs.

Jordan started hosting Mission Give Back events at Hope Lodge, preparing dinner and game nights for the guests. He also started bringing his clients to Hope Lodge. Part of his job was often to network with advertising clients – so instead of taking them out for a happy hour, he’d bring them to Hope Lodge for a tour or to prepare a dinner. 

“It was a unique experience, and way more impactful than just bringing them out for a cocktail,” he said. “You can ask people for money – and it’s like, sure, whatever – but you don’t get them to really care until you get them to Hope Lodge."

Jordan estimates that he’s hosted between 20-25 events at Hope Lodge over the past seven years.

Since leaving AOL and joining theSkimm, Jordan has started working with a larger ACS team – which still includes Hope Lodge and DetermiNation, but also corporate development and communications – to identify new awareness and fundraising opportunities. 

theSkimm recently turned six years old and, to celebrate, they allocated space in the newsletter to highlight the work of individual Skimm team members who are making a difference in the community. 

When asked about his longevity with the organization, he says, “The American Cancer Society’s work became more relevant to me as friends and family were impacted by cancer throughout my time at the organization. I stayed a loyalist because there was always a room with a view to the mission.”

In November, Jordan will run the TCS New York City Marathon with DetermiNation. It will be his eighth marathon.

PHOTOS: In the top photo, Jordan is pictured, third from right, with colleagues at our Hope Lodge in Manhattan. In the smaller image you can see him running in the New York City Marathon as a DetermiNation participant.

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