CEO & Executive Director,
Pledge It & Uplifting Athletes
Scott Shirley is Executive Director of Uplifting Athletes and CEO of Pledge It. Uplifting Athletes is a national nonprofit inspiring the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport. Shirley established the organization while on the Penn State football team and started the inaugural “Lift For Life” event in 2003.
Today, Uplifting Athletes has college chapters across the country. Each chapter is run by current student-athletes, providing them with practical job skills while learning how to leverage their popularity to make a positive and lasting impact. Uplifting Athletes has had an estimated economic impact of more than $400 million on the rare disease community.
In 2014, the desire to incorporate sports with philanthropy drove Shirley to create Pledge It, an innovative performance-based fundraising application. Through this website, athletes from all levels of sport can engage their fans to support their needs or a charitable cause. Under Shirley’s leadership, Pledge It has worked with hundreds of the nations top teams and professional athletes. Through partnerships with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the American Cancer Society & CBS Sports, Pledge It has created two national programs (touchdownsagainstcancer.com and 3pointchallenge.org) to empower high school and college teams in the fight against cancer.
Shirley received his B.S. & M.Eng. from The Pennsylvania State University and went on to become an Executive Scholar in Nonprofit Management at the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.