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Sam Fankuchen


Sam Fankuchen is the pioneering editor of ​Ahead of The Curve​, the Innovation and Technology section of Engage.

Fankuchen has been interested in making volunteering more approachable, meaningful and productive for his entire adult life. He became the first undergraduate student to major in Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Stanford University, where he also founded Pinwheel, his first social venture in the online volunteering space. As a graduate student in the Design School (the “d.School”), he wrote his Masters Thesis about recruiting, retaining and optimizing the lifetime value of volunteers and donors.

Fankuchen next managed corporate innovation for a global transportation services enterprise and led a management consulting firm specializing in corporate transformation around connected device data ecosystems and frontier technologies. He avidly mentors startups and social ventures through the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University, CleanTech Open, LaunchpadLA, and AmplifyLA. And he has lectured at Harvard Business School, the Marshall School of Business Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at USC, the Stanford Graduate School of Business and other institutions of higher education.

In 2015, Fankuchen founded Golden, a mobile app for volunteering, managing volunteers and visualizing volunteer program data. The app is a 2017 Webby Awards Honoree for Public Service & Activism, and has become both the most popular app for volunteering and globally-awarded software for volunteer management across sectors.