We believe in mutual aid
There are times when we have something to give. And there are times when we are in need. We’re learning that most of the time, both are true. For all of us.
Benefit for all
NeedsList is a mission-driven business. Our innovative model of humanitarian aid connects grassroots innovators with donors across the world. This mission informs everything from our marketing campaigns to our long-term product road map and is equally important to our financial bottom line.
We are a Public Benefit Corporation, which means that we focus on both profits and benefits for society. We incorporated as a PBC so our shareholders can make decisions based on social value as well as financial returns.
We are also developing a revenue-sharing strategy in collaboration with our partners to ensure that refugees and the organizations that support them benefit from NeedsList as we profit financially. Our company co-founders, Natasha Freidus and Amanda Levinson, have pledged to donate a minimum of 51% of any profits generated through the company back to our NGO partners.
Prosper, not profit
Why not just be a non-profit? We know we have a sustainable business model. Since non-profit status limits how you generate revenue, that made no sense to us. We don’t want to be beholden to the administrative red-tape non-profit status requires, and we don’t want to compete with the NGOs on our platform for donation funding. The PBC structure allows us to stay lean, flexible, and scale rapidly to tackle an enormous problem. As a socially driven startup, we join a growing movement of innovators who believe that collective prosperity is more important than individual profit. (Check out this great piece on this topic). Learn more about our business model by reading our Terms and Conditions.
We are co-creators
We created NeedsList so donors could have an easier way to give, so refugees could receive the goods and services they need, and so grassroots aid organizations could work together more efficiently and effectively. We are designing the website in collaboration with intended users. This doesn't mean that we just have a feedback link on our website. It means that we go to Greece, visit refugee camps, conduct workshops, show our partners and users our ideas, and then restructure our goals to meet the real demands.
Our team’s approach is evolving as we learn from our clients – those who need and those who give. But what will never change is our commitment to human rights and dignity for refugees and other displaced peoples.
We are open source
Our company strives to be transparent, accountable, open source, and democratic. We expect the same from all our stakeholders, including investors, employees, NGO partners, refugees who benefit from NeedsList and donors who contribute through our platform. Rather than embracing the traditional startup model, we approach competitors as potential partners. We don’t act as gatekeepers to make introductions. We have created a database of grassroots organizations working on refugee issues and have licensed it under an open data license. Our code will be on Github and we look forward to collaborating with other people and organizations working in this paradigm.
We adhere to “Design for Digital Development” principles
We are building NeedsList based on the guidelines outlined in the “Design for Digital Development” principles