Gesture Awards

Gesture has been recognized for its innovative technology and outstanding team.


Inc. Magazine Unveils 36th Annual List of
America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc. 5000

Gesture Ranks No. 1423 on the 2017 Inc. 5000
with Three-Year Sales Growth of 285%


CHICAGO, August 16, 2017 – Inc. magazine today ranked Gesture, a mobile fundraising technology company, NO. 1423 on its 36th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— its independent small and midsized businesses. Companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees of the Inc. 5000.

“At Gesture, our mission is to help nonprofits of all sizes fundraise for their causes and exceed their goals to help Make Hope Happen,” said Jim Alvarez, founder and CEO of Gesture. “We are extremely proud to be named on the Inc. 5000 list for the first time, as it symbolizes our leadership in the fundraising technology industry and is a testament to the dedication and hard work our team puts in day after day, year after year.

“Since our conception in 2011, we have strived to solve the challenges fundraisers face” Alvarez added. “We are innovators striving to continually improve upon how we help nonprofits reach their revenue goals by improving their donors’ experiences.”

The 2017 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc. (available on newsstands August 16) is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year average growth of 481%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $206 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 619,500 jobs over the past three years. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at

“The Inc. 5000 is the most persuasive evidence I know that the American Dream is still alive,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “The founders and CEOs of the Inc. 5000 tell us they think determination, risk taking, and vision were the keys to their success, and I believe them.”

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring all the companies on the list will be held from October 10 through 12, 2017 at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, CA. Speakers include some of the greatest entrepreneurs of this and past generations, such as former Ford president Alan Mullaly, FUBU CEO and founder and “Shark Tank” star Daymond John, Dollar Shave Club founder Michael Dubin, researcher and #1 New York Times bestseller Brené Brown, and Gravity Payments’ founder and CEO Dan Price.

About Gesture:
Gesture’s mission is to “Make Hope Happen” for nonprofit organizations through use of their innovative mobile fundraising technology. Gesture’s platform is packed with tools that allow charity partners to fully manage fundraising campaigns. The intuitive products help nonprofits connect with donors on their mobile devices making it easy to give. Located in the Chicagoland area, Gesture employs a team of 70, each member dedicated to helping nonprofits achieve fundraising success.

For more information contact:
Brandon Stec
Gesture Marketing Director

More about Inc. and the Inc. 5000

The 2017 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2013 to 2016. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2013. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2016. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2013 is $100,000; the minimum for 2016 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at

About Inc. Media:
Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Winner of the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 18,000,000 today. For more information, visit

The Inc. 5000 is a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. Started in 1982, this prestigious list of the nation’s most successful private companies has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success. The Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony is an annual event that celebrates their remarkable achievements. The event also offers informative workshops, celebrated keynote speakers, and evening functions.

For more information on Inc. and the Inc. 5000 Conference, visit

For more information contact:
Inc. Media
Drew Kerr

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Leading Mobile Fundraising Company Gesture Wins Chicago Innovation Award, Expands Its Charity Platform

mobile fundraising

Scheduled to run a total of 264 events across 136 cities in 28 states in the fourth quarter of 2014 alone, Gesture’s expert team and its suite of event management software is set reshape the way charities and donors create positive change anywhere in the world

Gesture has been awarded the coveted Chicago Innovation Award for their revolutionary charity fundraising platform and services that continue to create positive change all over the country.

Selected from an astounding 552 nominees and 100 finalists, Gesture — America’s leading mobile fundraising event company — has been named Chicago’s most innovative new company.

By helping charities, nonprofits, schools, churches and foundations through its digital bidding technology and customized charity event solutions, organizations have maximized their revenue through their silent auctions, direct donations and live auctions. In just over three years, Gesture has helped raise over $140 million for its expanding number of charity partners.

The company’s trusted network of countrywide partners include renowned charities such as the Boys and Girls Club, American Heart Association, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the YMCA, Folds of Honor and American Red Cross .

Using its innovative Mobile Bidding technology where donors bid easily and efficiently via any mobile device, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer from anywhere in the world, Gesture’s mission to foster generosity and deliver affordable charity event solutions sets the company at the forefront of the industry.

“This award galvanizes what the Gesture team has been working towards over the past three years, being more than just a charity event service by not only facilitating positive change through our forward-thinking platforms, but also by building long lasting partnerships with our clients,” says Gesture Founder and CEO Jim Alvarez. “Through our expert event management team, and our world class mobile technology, any charity can reach their revenue goals with the least amount of work,” he adds.

Gesture, Alvarez explains, has become a model company for fundraising events by being a hub for every organizational facet of a benefit.

The flagship service, however, is Gesture’s innovative Mobile Bidding technology where charity guests use their mobile phones to register easily with only their name and phone number, and start bidding on silent auction items instantly. Guests receive texts informing them when they are the high bidder, when they have been outbid, and when they’ve won. The software’s automated checkout service streamlines the post-auction process.

By integrating its team and software seamlessly into an event, Gesture can check in any number of guests — to allow for fast and easy registration before bidding — and run the event through its user-friendly, PCI compliant technology that automates auctions, and partners with word-class benefit auctioneers.

According to Philip Crutchfield, VP of Strategic Partnerships, this suite of services will now be complimented by Gesture’s new Integrated Ticketing Platform. This new feature allows charities complete oversight of the event-ticketing site, featuring their logo, banner, event description, contact information, and more. Additionally, the complete software integration means guests will automatically be registered to bid and donate as soon as they purchase a ticket.

“Adding to our focus on utilizing readily available technology to facilitate positive outcomes, this new feature can even provide our charities with instant stats and sales tracking reports,” Crutchfield explains.

As mobile phones become an increasingly established part of our everyday lives, companies like Gesture seek to apply new ways of utilizing this technology that looks beyond baseline profits. According to Pew Research Institute, 90% of American adults have a cell phone.

“Our Social Entrepreneurship platform solely exists to help charities become more profitable, and utilizing mobile phones to facilitate this makes it more efficient for them, and more fun and accessible for people wanting to donate — to make a change,” says Alvarez.

Scheduled to run a total of 264 events across 136 cities in 28 states in the fourth quarter of 2014 alone, Gesture’s expert team and its suite of event management software is set reshape the way charities and donors create positive change anywhere in the world.


Founded by Jim Alvarez in 2011, Gesture works with charities, nonprofits, schools, churches and community organizations nationwide to organize events that maximize revenue in silent auctions, direct donations and live auctions. From school auctions, sports fundraisers, golf outings, club fundraisers and stadium auctions to the most elegant gala, Gesture helps charities raise more money via energetic teams and unique mobile bidding technology. Gestures easy-to-use, PCI-compliant mobile auction software doesn’t require extra devices and can be used by anyone anywhere in the world.

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[Crain’s] Meet This Year’s Chicago Innovation Awards Winners

mobile bidding
The Chicago Innovation Awards were announced tonight, with honors going to 10 local companies for breakthroughs from toys and software to prescription drugs and a lining for sewer pipes. Ten startups also were named up-and-comers for promising new products or services.

The awards were presented tonight at the Harris Theater. Started 13 years ago, the awards recognize innovation by companies from a variety of industries across the Chicago area. Winners were selected from more than 550 nominations by an independent team of judges assisted by screeners from the staff of Kuczmarski Innovation.

Winners are:

Gesture, which makes mobile software for bidding at fundraising auctions.

Dough, for its new visual trading platform for DIY options trading.

Horizon Pharma’s, Duexis a pill that treats arthritis and reduces side effects.

LMK Technologies, for a liner that fixes leaking underground sewer pipes.

Mattersight, which makes predictive-behavior software that matches callers with call-center agents suited for them.

Rise Interactive’s online-marketing analytics tools, Interactive Investment Management.

Radio Flyer’s Ziggle, a new ride-on toy for kids.

Keeper Securities, for its secure digital vault for managing passwords.

Swingbyte, which makes a digital swing analyzer that transmits visual golf swing data to user’s phones.

Strata Decision Technology, which makes software for accounting, planning and forecasting that lowers costs for hospitals.

Startup winners of up-and-comer awards are:

Packback, which offers on-demand, one-day digital textbook rentals.

TempoIQ, a real-time analytics platform for Internet-connected sensors.

Options Away, which allows fliers to by options to lock in airfares.

LuminAID, an inflatable, solar-powered lantern ideal for disaster relief efforts.

640 Labs, a big data platform to enable farmers to gather and use info from their field equipment.

Shiftgig, a social media platform for employees and employers in the service industry.

Rippleshot, which detects bank card data breaches.

Pangea, a global money-transfer platform.

Kentech’s eKnowID, a personal background checking technology for job seekers.

ThinkCerca, which makes classroom software to teach reading and critical thinking.

Caremerge, whose technology is used to help coordinate nursing home care, received the Social Innovator award.

The People’s Choice award went to Chicago software maker AlligatorTek for its produce donor portal, which helps Feeding America.

In addition, special awards were presented.

Collaboration awards went to Beltone for its partnership with Apple Inc. on Beltone First, the first hearing instrument to receive wireless audio streaming directly from an iPhone or iPad, and to Molex Inc. for its work with Dow Chemical Co. on a solar-roofing shingle.

Sam Yagan, CEO of Match Group and co-founder of Techstars Chicago, won the Visionary award; Joffrey Ballet won the Spirit of Innovation award; and performance painter David Garibaldi won the Seeing Things Differently award.

Follow John on Twitter at @JohnPletz.

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Gesture Named A Chicago Startup Destined to Breakout in 2014

Tech Cocktail reached out to a handful of those fully entrenched in the Chicago startup scene to nominate a startup who was destined to breakout. Guy Turner, Managing Director at Hyde Park Ventures, had this to say about why Gesture was his pick:

“Jim Alvarez is an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. He is in the trenches with his fast growing team and works many of the events that Gesture serves to ensure quality and to get quick feedback from his customers. The market is also ripe with attendees at charity events – regardless of age – now with a smartphone in their hand. Paper auctions are a thing of the past, and Jim and Gesture are poised to accelerate into this opportunity.”

Read the full article on Tech Cocktail.

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Gesture is Named a Finalist for the 12th Annual Chicago Innovation Awards

innovationbadgeOut of a record-breaking 562 nominees, Gesture of Chicago IL has been selected as one of the Top 100 Finalists still in the running for the 12th annual Chicago Innovation Awards.  The awards celebrate the most innovative new products and services in the Chicago region across all organization sizes, sectors and industries.  1500 business and civic leaders will come together to honor the winners when they are announced on October 30th at Chicago’s Harris Theater.

The innovation nominated was founded in 2011 to help non-profits improve fundraising efforts by harnessing the power of technology. The company’s technology platform is responsible for helping to raise over $52 million at hundreds of events annually for organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, American Red Cross, Make a Wish, American Heart Association, Boys & Girls Clubs, universities such as Notre Dame, Purdue and DePaul, and Chicago-area hospitals including Rush Hospital, Children’s Hospital and Wheaton Franciscan.

“Chicago is in the midst of a monumental upsurge in innovation,” said Tom Kuczmarski, co-founder with Chicago journalist Dan Miller of the awards.  “It’s inspiring to see the range of vision and the depth of talent among organizations in the Chicago area.  Companies are investing in innovation and taking more risks to launch new ventures and uncover new value.”

As one of the Top 100 Finalists, Gesture will receive a $2,500 scholarship to attend The Practical Innovator, a day-long executive education course on September 27th led by top faculty who teach innovation at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

Each of the Top 100 Finalists is also in the running for the annual “People’s Choice Award,” selected through online balloting at

Out of the Top 100 Finalists, the judges will select 10 winners of the Chicago Innovation Awards, as well as winners of the Up-and-Comer Awards representing innovation in the start-up community, the Social Innovator Award and the Collaboration Award.  The winners will be invited to ring the NASDAQ Bell in New York City, invited to separate meetings with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Quinn to discuss their innovation and profiled in Crain’s Chicago Business.

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Alvarez wins Tyree award for startups

Crain’s Chicago Business
Jim Alvarez, CEO of Gesture, won the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s second James Tyree award for emerging business leadership.

Mr. Alvarez, a former trader, launched a company two years ago that allows bidders at charity auctions to participate by using their cellphones. It now has 34 staffers and expects $3.5 million in revenue this year. You can read more about Gesture here.

Gesture won the award for high-growth, small companies that’s named for the former CEO of Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc., James Tyree, who died two years ago. The award was announced Tuesday at the chamber’s annual meeting.

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Gesture Makes The IT LIST

The IT LIST: Local Tech Startups

Chicago Sun Times – April 27, 2013

The future of philanthropy, Gesture facilitates silent auctions via text message or smartphone. Since 2011, CEO Jim Alvarez and his team have helped more than 250 charities raise $20 million.

View the article on

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Gesture Products

Make Hope Happen
is more than just a motto.

People want to act on what’s important to them, to contribute to the success of something that matters. But often the business of charity interferes with the experience of giving. Since 2011, we’ve partnered with organizations to capture each helping hand, each friendly smile, and each round of applause by turning inspiration into action.

Meet Our People

1,000+ Organizations have trusted Gesture nationwide

Read What Our Partners Say
Gesture partners with many different nonprofit and charity groups all across the country

Reach Out

Let’s make hope happen!