Atlanta based startup, New Story, is leveraging technology for social good. Founded in September of 2014, this crowdfunding platform has already funded 2 new homes for families afflicted by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. These families, who have been living in tents and other fragile structures for over 4 years, will move into their new home in just 2 months. “Our goal is to build 200 homes by the end of 2015, and the future beyond that is limitless”, says co-founder Brett Hagler.
Hagler and co-founder Mike Arrieta volunteered in Leveque, Haiti with New Story partner Mission of Hope in 2012. They met countless families who have been without a home since 2010. “Right now, these families live in conditions exposing them to risks of illness due to poor sanitation, theft, and violence”, says Arrieta. The two friends were compelled to take action. Inspired by best practices in the technology and business communities, they put together a committed team to found New Story – a transparent crowdfunding platform with a mission to end homelessness in developing countries.
How does it work? Simple. Donors engage with a kickstarter-esque crowdfunding platform and contribute towards a goal of $6000 which builds one home. Once funded, 100% of donations get transferred to on-the-ground partner Mission of Hope who works with experienced local contractors to build the home. “We are blessed to have a local partner who is intimately connected to the community and has provided value there since 1998. They’ve even got the Clinton Foundation stamp of approval.” says Communications Coordinator, Claudeane Frank.
Why is New Story unique? “Our approach goes beyond building homes”, explains Alexandria Lafci, the Operations Lead. “When a basic need like shelter is met, struggling families can focus their attention on work and school. Families can progress socially and economically which can catalyze the upward mobility of entire communities. We are thinking long term. We are visualizing our role in ending poverty”.
What do they need? “We pride ourselves on our 100% model. Donors shouldn’t have to worry if their dollars are going to the intended destination. Every penny they contribute will go to a home for the exact family they donated to.” says UX Designer Matthew Marshall on one of his motivations to join the team. To preserve this commitment and keep the lights on, they need investors to support operational costs. Atlanta based technology solutions company, Data Blue is their first investor.
This team is laser focused on crafting an unparalleled experience for donors to crowdfund families out of homelessness. Done successfully, New Story can help write the next chapter in philanthropy – tech-powered altruism for sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.