A presidential sex scandal got their nonprofit off the ground. Now their 300,000 politically conscious members keep it going.
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This story appears in the November 2001 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine. Subscribe »

Vital Stats: Wes Boyd, 41, and Joan Blades, 45, of Berkeley, California-based MoveOn.org

Company: Online nonprofit political advocacy group started in 1998

2001 Numbers: 300,000 members

Monica, Monica, Monica: "MoveOn started in the middle of the Clinton impeachment scandal, when we were sick to death of hearing about Monica Lewinsky," says Blades.

"MoveOn started in the middle of the Clinton impeachment scandal, when we were sick to death of hearing about Monica Lewinsky."

Snowball Effect: "We decided to post a petition online, saying must censure Clinton and move on," says Blades. "We sent it to 100 of our and family, and within a week, we had 100,000 signatures. Once we had those names, we let representatives know how people felt. Since then, we've learned a lot about . We raised more than $2 million [during] the last election . . . to bring Congress back to the people."

Thinking Local: "We're looking for new ways every day to help people connect with their leadership and with the political process. And the Internet's a great tool for helping people participate," says Boyd.

Tech Roots: "In 1987, we started Berkeley Systems, which was best known for the flying toasters screensavers and a game called You Don't Know Jack," says Boyd. "We sold [Berkeley] in 1997, after we had grown it to 160 people and $30 million. Now we mostly volunteer our time. We get a lot done with not a lot of money."


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