During the 1990s, Deedre Daniel waited tables at two Applebees locations and bartended at a French restaurant, Chez Pierre, in Tallahassee, Florida. She always vowed when she “made it” she would surprise strangers working in the service industry with unusually large tips. In 2018, she faced significant crossroads in her career and perspective on life. She did some serious soul-searching and decided she wanted to build businesses that inspired creativity, positivity and connections. And she still wanted to be that philanthropist, too. The only problem: she wasn’t a multi-millionaire. She came up with a solution: Create an organization that people and companies could donate to and receive a tax write-off. She founded The Big Fat Tip, Inc., filed paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service, and pulled over $10,000 out of her retirement and savings accounts to cover the start-up costs such as legal and filing fees, website and design costs, and the first five $1,000 tips.
A few months later, the IRS approved The Big Fat Tip as a legitimate 501(c)(3)!
Deedre gave out the first five $1,000 tips in: Clearwater, FL, Columbus, OH, Washington, D.C., Norfolk, VA, and Orlando, FL. Whenever possible, she included other people with her to witness these random acts of kindness so that they could feel the tangible emotions these actions produced.
For the Big Fat Tips #6 and beyond, she asked volunteers to hand the money directly to the recipients. She will continue to enlist the help of volunteers to make these drops, because she wants people on both sides of the transaction to walk away feeling more joyful and inspired to carry the positive energy and entire movement forward.
She has big plans in store and is launching fundraising campaigns to be able to blanket American cities with larger sums of money using teams of prequalified volunteers to hand out the tips. She has an even bigger dream: To hand out a million dollars in tips in one U.S. city in 24 hours! She is determined to make it happen one day soon.
Deedre, as well as all members of the board, are volunteers and do not receive compensation from The Big Fat Tip donations. We operate on a very lean operations budget so that the money donated goes directly to people working for tips in the service industry. This is another reason why each Big Fat Tip is filmed and photographed. These “big tips” are also administered through credit or debit cards so that the funds receive an extra level of tracking and transparency for everyone to see.
The mission of The Big Fat Tip is to generate lasting feelings of joy and surprise for both the giver and the receiver of the big fat tip. These big fat tips are meant to be random acts of kindness for people working in the United States of America who rely on gratuities for compensation. A random act of kindness must be a surprise! There are no pre-qualifications and there is no application process to be a giver or a receiver of a big fat tip. The Big Fat Tip does not accept requests for big fat tips from anyone whether that person is requesting a big fat tip for themselves, a specific co-worker, employee, friend or relative. Any and all requests for big fat tips will automatically disqualify the requester and anyone named in such a request from receiving a big fat tip. Any and all recipients selected to receive a big fat tip may not be Immediate Family to or have a personal relationship with any member of The Big Fat Tip’s Board of Directors, or any person volunteering on behalf of The Big Fat Tip. The term “Immediate Family” includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws,” or by current or past marriage(s), remarriage(s), adoption, co-habitation or other family extension, and any other persons residing at the same household whether or not related. Any and all recipients selected shall not have previously received a big fat tip from The Big Fat Tip. If a recipient is disqualified for any reason, The Big Fat Tip reserves the right to determine an alternate recipient or not to give a big fat tip to that recipient, in its sole discretion.