Bryan Lively: Helping Charities Change the World

I recently spoke with Project Purple Board of Directors member Bryan Lively. As he happily shared details of his work, family, volunteerism and recreational pursuits, I couldn’t help but wonder how he does it all.  “I lead a balanced life. I have a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality and I am always looking for the next big thing,” he explained. Bryan has an incredible zest for life, and he brings that to all he does professionally and in his position on the Board of Directors for Project Purple.

Crowdrise Bryan Lively Project Purple
Bryan with his wife, Karen, and daughter Alexa and Addyson

Bryan’s family comes before anything else. He lives in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan with his wife, Karen and their two daughters, Addyson, age 6, and Alexa, who is four.  For 12 years, he held management positions with Moosejaw Mountaineering. In 2014, he decided to follow a path which would bring him even closer to the values that are near and dear to him. 

Bryan Lively Project Purple Crowdrise
The family that runs together, stays together.

Bryan Lively on Crowdrise

In 2010, the founders of Moosejaw Mountaineering went on to start the premiere internet fundraising website, Crowdrise. In 2014, Bryan joined the company, where he currently works as Vice President of Sales and Customer Service, or as he calls Vice President of‘”relationship building’.

When he started working with Crowdrise, the company had 30 employees. In the brief time he has been at Crowdrise, the company has grown exponentially and now has 100 employees. As the website says, “Crowdrise is about raising money online for charity and having the most fun in the world while doing it.” Most major charities have come to realize the importance of social fundraising in today’s world. As a result, many large charitable organizations now partner with Crowdrise in their efforts to raise funds. 

Bryan Lively & Project Purple

When Bryan came to Crowdrise, one of the first people he met was Project Purple CEO and founder, Dino Verrelli. The two men instantly hit it off and became close friends. Bryan admired the creative and novel methods Dino used to grow his charity. “He was one of the first people I talked to who ran his charity like a business, as opposed to many of the big charities which are set in their ways and reluctant to try anything new,” Bryan says.

Bryan’s Crowdrise and Project Purple gear

Bryan on Running

Bryan ran as a high school student but after graduation, he says, “I did everything but run.” He picked up the sport again as a young adult. While he wasn’t interested in running competitively at the time, he found running allowed him to clear his head. “Running has been a great pastime for me. It is something I am passionate about,” he adds. Soon, however, he was registering for races. He has done a number of 5k’s, 10K’s, half-marathons  and full marathons.

In 2007, he ran his first full marathon, the Chicago Marathon, finishing the race despite record heat which forced organizers to shut down the course early. He has run with Project Purple several times now. In 2015, he completed the Boston Marathon with the Project Purple team. Though not personally affected by pancreatic cancer, he has learned a lot about the deadly disease in the last few years, through his work with Project Purple and his friendship with Dino Verrelli. 

Bryan Lively on The Next Big Thing

This year Bryan is turning 40 and he plans to celebrate by completing eight different events for eight charity organizations. One of those events will be the Detroit Half-Marathon, which he will run for Project Purple. He has run for many charities over the year and says, “Nothing has compared to Project Purple so far.” He points to the details, such as the personal letters Dino sends out to runners.

Bryan Lively Project Purple Crowdrise
Bryan is part of the Project Purple team on so many levels!
Bryan’s Role on the Project Purple Board

In addition to work, family and running, Bryan believes strongly in serving on charitable boards. He holds a position on the Board of Directors of USA Running. He joined the Project Purple board in April 2016 and serves as the Vice President on the Executive Committee. Going forward, Bryan would like to see Project Purple continue to focus on running events while expanding into other areas so the charity can broaden its donor base. “My main goal is to continue growth and awareness of this disease. I hope to grow the Patient Financial Aid Program while continuing to fund research.

Bryan is committed to serving on the Project Purple Board of Directors. “I am really passionate about the family that has been created and would love to see a cure for pancreatic cancer. I would love to fulfill Dino’s commitment to finding a cure.”

To learn more about Crowdrise, click HERE


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