“I want to create the largest golf philanthropic platform in history…whatever that means.”
Founder, Member for a Day
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Eric Sedransk serves as the Founder and Charity Golf Officer of Member for a Day, an organization that helps nonprofits to raise funds by auctioning off “once-in-a-lifetime golf experiences.”
So here’s this young guy, Eric Sedransk. straight out of central casting, with an MBA and a 5 handicap, who started a golf-related charity during the height of the pandemic to raise money for healthcare workers, with an expressed goal to “change the world.” I thought to myself…this guy has got to be a snake oil salesman looking to make a quick buck during a global health crisis.
Now, almost two years after Eric established his altruistic venture, he’s still plugging away…having raised nearly $3 million dollars for a long list of worthy charities, and according to him, he’s just getting started.
Although I don’t like to admit it when I’m wrong…I was dead wrong about Eric. He’s the real deal. And the reason I like him is because he lives up to one of my personal mantras…which is to “think globally, and act locally.” Eric’s found a way to make the world a better place through the game of golf.
I’m not going to tell Eric’s story in this introduction, because it’s more interesting when he tells it. But my interview digs a little deeper into the REAL Eric Sedransk…to find out what shaped his world view, what makes him tick. and the future plans he has for his fast growing organization.
- Why his last name does not end in an “i” or “y” and how to correctly pronounce it.
- His experience managing risk for treasury traders at Bear Stearns, right before the company crashed and burned during the financial collapse.
- How and why he was laid off from so many early stage technology companies during the internet boom.
- The catalyst that turned his initial fundraising project into a sustained enterprise.
- How his father’s battle with ALS profoundly shaped his world view.
- The logistics involved in running multiple charity auctions simultaneously.
- The backstory on his Hertz-sponsored “Golf for a Cause” video series.
- Eric’s future plans for growing his philanthropic platform, including outside of golf.
On early influences: “My parents always encouraged me to dream big, and not to focus just on making money.”
On his initial career aspirations: “I went to Wall Street, and thought that I was going to be Bud Fox and eventually Gordon Gekko, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me.”
On how the pandemic changed his life: “It was guilt that led me to do more than just look for another job. I wanted to do something positive in this world. And that was it. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I just wanted to help people.”
On how ‘Member for a Day’ took off: “I didn’t know there was an opportunity. The opportunity came to me. I was trained as an entrepreneur, but this was accidental entrepreneurship…which is the most beautiful part of the story.”
On his decision to start the venture: “After coming back from a bike ride, I came home and told my mother, ‘I’m not going to look for another job. I’m just going to do what makes me happy and help people.’ ”
On initial career aspirations: “I wanted to go to Wall Street, make a ton of money, retire early, and become a politician.”
On revised career aspirations: “This is not a rehearsal. We only get one shot at this life. So I’m not going to work at a job that makes me unhappy, just to have a paycheck.”
On Advice for recent graduates: “It’s silly to delay happiness…Why waste your time at age 27, hoping to be rich at age 65?”
Link to Eric’s Member for a Day auction site: