GETDOT's name began as something of a sly joke.
Back when Chip Ramsey and Scott Boles began plans to found a networking group, Boles suggested the name GETDOT, which initially stood for "Good Excuse to Drink on Thursday."
Ramsey and Boles said they were trying to get away from the "cheesy" and "in-your-face" networking events they had attended.
"Our intent was to get to know people and not just walk around and hand out business cards," said Ramsey, of Hilliard. "The business part will take care of itself."
Boles, an Upper Arlington resident, said it was about getting people to invest in each other.
"In a relaxed environment, you make friends," Boles said. "The culture we're trying to do is (one where you) create friends. ... An investment in the relationship goes much farther."
In 2006, the pair officially launched GETDOT, and now, the name stands for "Good Excuse to Donate on Thursday."
"That's the basis of the whole thing," Ramsey said. "It just had a nice ring to it."
Today, GETDOT has 3,000 members in the Columbus area, another 1,000 in Cincinnati and another 800 in Nashville, Tenn. The organization became an incorporated 501(c)(3) organization in 2010.
As membership grew, Boles and Ramsey decided it was time to put GETDOT to another good use.
"Now, we've got so many people, it's time to do something with a purpose," Boles said. "That's what makes it a little more worthwhile."
The organization holds 10 fundraising events each year for a number of charities in the area, including Franklin County Children Services, the Tri-Village Mentor League, Tyler's Light, Success Beyond the Classroom and more.
On July 11, at a gathering at Huntington Park during a Columbus Clippers game, GETDOT raised $2,400 for A Kid Again, a local organization devoted to providing adventures to the families of children afflicted with life-threatening illnesses.
"We want to help others before ourselves," Ramsey said.
During the holiday season, GETDOT collected about $4,000 worth of toys to donate to Franklin County Children Services.
"Myself being adopted, it was near and dear to my heart," Ramsey said. "That was a great event."
Barbara Letcher of Galloway, a GETDOT board of directors member, said Boles and Ramsey saw an opportunity to do good when all the members were brought together.
"We've gone from a group of people who get together at happy hour to people who help out," she said. "It was kind of natural."
For more information about GETDOT, visit its website at getdotnetworking.org.