Secret Millionaire John Ferber_ How he did it?


In 1998, brothers John and Scott Ferber co-founded, which became one of the largest interactive marketing services companies in the world. The company built the most advanced advertising targeting platform in its industry, mastering targeting algorithms and blazing the way with price per action online advertising techniques like cost per click. In 2004, AOL Time Warner acquired the company for $495 million, one of the most lucrative deals in the online advertising sector.

By 2007, Ferber had begun focusing on philanthropy and identifying unique ways to help people in need via the Internet. He wanted to connect people who had financial resources with those who were in need, a concept referred to as crowd funding. This led him to found the Micro Giving Foundation, a company that is changing the online face of charitable giving. The organization currently has an online community of more than 50,000 people and growing.

The Microgiving website uses the same person-to-person lending concept as sites like Prosper but focuses on charitable giving to people in immediate need. People use their personal fundraising page to raise money online. Fundraisers focus on a variety of causes or hardships including funerals, medical treatments, personal projects, and school initiatives. To reach potential supporters, users upload address books, photos, and videos. In the past year, the Foundation began working with the film and music industries so aspiring artists can fundraise and promote their efforts.

Ferber developed an online community where donors and recipients directly connect. Therefore, it made sense to include him in the inaugural season of Secret Millionaire, an ABC television show dedicated to in-person giving. Ferber spent time in the largest homeless community in Los Angeles, known as Skid Row. He says the experience “completely opened” him “to the power of hope.”

During his time on the show, Ferber saw how even the most challenging circumstances are not enough to squash positive change resulting from hard work. He plans to continue working with some of the folks he met, helping them to improve their communities. He also recently branched into the domain sector as co-founder of Domain Holdings Group.

This millionaire is keeping himself busy with his new business venture. The company aspires to become the ultimate provider of management solutions throughout the domain life-cycle. In an industry that is in its infancy, Ferber just might come out a winner once again. In the meantime, Microgiving and Ferber’s personal charitable efforts continue helping those in need.

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