My name is Dillan Gibbons and I was inspired by my first experience with fundraising to help my friend Timothy make it to Tallahassee to attend my first college football game suited up as a Florida State Seminole against my former team, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to form a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation called Big Man Big Heart, Inc. When I made the decision to use my name, image and likeness to do something heartfelt and positive for my friend, I had no idea how the fundraising effort would take off, nor did I have any comprehension of how it would change my life.
“TakeTimothy toTally” went viral because I was the first NCAA college athlete in any sport to use my NIL for good. In 23 hours, I met my initial goal of raising $30,000 for Timothy with a little help from my new friends and partners at SuperCoffee who donated $15,000 to help us meet that goal. On the advice of executives from GoFundMe, who have now made me the first-ever GoFundMe sponsored athlete, I increased my goal to $75,000.00 to continue raising funds to cover Timothy’s medical expenses and elevate his quality of life. The success of this campaign exceeded my wildest dreams and taught me some integral life lessons about the value of giving back. I found it truly remarkable that I could raise over $50,000 (so far,) to help my friend and his parents by harnessing the power of my name, image and likeness to give back and do something positive. So many positive things have happened for both myself and for Timothy since I launched his GoFundMe. Timothy is about to have his day in the sun as he embarks on his road-trip to Tallahassee and his “official visit,” to the FSU- Notre Dame game. It will be a weekend that neither of us will ever forget! This experience led me to establish Big Man Big Heart, Inc., a Florida 501(3)(c) non-profit corporation (EIN 87-2111100), to expand my charitable endeavors to touch as many lives as possible.
Initially, I envisioned my non-profit as a vessel for me to carry out several planned initiatives in the Tallahassee area and around my home town in the Tampa Bay area. As my plans developed, they grew BIGGER. Ultimately, I would like to introduce other college football players to the concept that giving back pays greater dividends in the long-run than selling their name, image and likeness to the highest bidders. As CEO and founder of Big Man Big Heart, Inc., my mission is to recruit other NCAA athletes across the country to be Collegiate Ambassadors for Big Man Big Heart, Inc. I plan to do this by sponsoring their initiatives and guiding them through planning and implementing their campaigns in their college and home-town communities, or even nationwide. Fundraising for each of these initiatives will be through the GoFundMe platform. It will be promoted by the individual athlete spearheading the campaign and by all Big Man Big Heart Collegiate Ambassadors nationwide through social media. GoFundMe has committed to offering continued support to my charitable initiatives and Big Man Big Heart, Inc.
Big Man Big Heart, Inc. intends to promote NCAA college athletes’ use of their NIL to do good and promote unity, positivity, and kindness in their community and beyond. For so many years, college football fans, donors, boosters, mentors and others whose lives have been positively impacted by the players who don their team’s uniforms on Saturdays in the fall have been unable to do anything to show their support for my colleagues who work tirelessly year-round to prepare for and compete in each game. Big Man Big Heart, Inc. will give these generous folks the ability to help out by donating to their team or player’s cause with the ability to deduct the contributionas a charitable donation. With this GoFundMe initiative, I hope to raise the start-up funds necessary to have my vision take flight and to have funding for all of the future initiatives we will launch. Help me spread the unity, positivity, and kindness that we all know the world needs more of today by harnessing the power of my fellow college football players’ names, images and likenesses for GOOD. Thank you kindly for your help and support!