Howard Gottlieb has been a serial entrepreneur for more than 35 years. His latest venture, Read-a-thon, is a novel school fundraising concept that truly shifts the paradigm when it matters most. Read-a-thon replaces in-person bake sales, magazine drives and the like with a contactless method of raising much needed cash, one that can be used both in real classrooms and virtual learning spaces. The real bonus? It promotes literacy and gets kids excited about picking up a book.
Gottlieb has made Read-a-thon the fastest growing school fundraising platform in the country. It provides a no-upfront-cost way for schools to monetize a two-week reading push. To date, schools have collectively raised more than $100 million dollars, and kids, who get to choose their own reading material, have logged two billion reading minutes and counting through the program.
Prior to establishing Read-a-thon, Gottlieb was President and Founder of Easy Fundraising Ideas, which he established in 2002 during the early years of the web. During his time there, he developed strong skillsets in search engine and conversion optimization, and EFI became the busiest product fundraising site in the U.S. In addition, Gottlieb was always searching for innovative ways to impact the fundraising industry. He acquired the Read-a-thon domain and spent two years developing the idea before launching it six seasons ago. The concept got so much traction that he decided to sell Easy Fundraising and devote all his energy to Read-a-thon.
Before his deep dive into the fundraising industry, Gottlieb started, grew and/or revived a number of companies. He took Athletic Attic from three stores to fifteen, making it the largest independent athletic footwear retailer in Texas. He also turned around Adair Manufacturing, a virtually bankrupt fabricator of restaurant and kitchen equipment, bringing in Chili’s and Applebee’s as new customers. Under Gottlieb, the Spacer Company became the largest manufacturer of close tolerance spacers and bushings.
Gottlieb is a native of New York City who grew up in New Jersey and attended Stockton State College near Atlantic City. There, he also worked as a copy boy and sports reporter for the Atlantic City Press. He later moved to Arlington, TX and completed his degree at Stockton State College. His first job in business was as an assistant corporate sales manager with Classic Chemical.
Gottlieb now resides in Arlington, Texas where he founded BAGS ministry, a charitable organization that distributes essential items such as toiletries and healthy snacks to the area’s homeless population. He also serves as deacon at Christ Chapel Bible Church.
Gottlieb plays competitive racquetball and walks four to six miles to work everyday. Most of all, he enjoys spending time with his wife, adopted daughter, two grown sons and six grandchildren.