Trust in the charitable sector is at its lowest level in 12 years. Not only do incidents like the recent Oxfam scandal in Haiti make people terrified to donate, many charities are in no way competent enough to be effective.
Founded in 2015, one startup that’s doing its very best to restore trust in this sector is Kinder. Through charity vetting, smart donation tools, and storytelling, Kinder aims to improve the sector's performance and make doing good more effective and rewarding.
The idea for a charity app came from… Tinder?
“I got the idea for Kinder while I was Tindering,” joked founder Mathys van Abbe. “I was playing around with it on my cofounder’s phone... Do you believe it? It’s a true story,” he teased.
Jokes aside, Mathys explained that Kinder was inspired by Tinder because of how easy it is to see whether or not you like something and act on it. “It’s about understanding how content and storytelling connects to people and can empower you to act,” he continued. “What Tinder is for dating, Kinder is for donating.”
While the Tinder comparison is admittedly catchy, it doesn’t really capture the elaborate problems Kinder is trying to solve.
As Mathys explained: “I’ve sponsored and worked with a lot of charitable organizations since 2010 and it slowly grew on me that the charitable sector is very messed up. It’s super expensive to raise funds, charities focus around 75 percent of their time on traditional fundraising, and trust is declining. Young people don’t trust charities because they read about scandals. And, on top of that, they don’t know how to assess whether an organization is actually efficient or effective.”
We want to fix the world’s problems faster while rewarding the more efficient—that’s the vision.
So, how exactly does Kinder do that?
Kinder Foundation is the arm of Kinder responsible for assessing charities—a non-profit foundation to guarantee objective research and advice. Inspired by the effective altruism movement, Kinder’s research team developed an in-depth vetting framework to assess charitable organizations’ performance and provide concrete suggestions on how they can improve.
Also falling under the foundation arm is the startup’s most recent endeavor, Kinder World. Their new blog not only shares inspiring stories focusing on the world's problems, but also empowers readers to be part of the solution.
The social enterprise arm of the business is responsible for developing smart donation tools. With a pilot version of their first donation widget to be released in October, and an app in the works, Kinder is well on its way to enhance the donating experience. As Mathys explained: "You'll soon be able to donate to highly-effective charities in a transparent, accountable, and rewarding way."
What does Kinder look like?
The team of 34 and growing is made up of 15 nationalities, with ages ranging from 20-71. “I think diversity and inclusivity are extremely important,” explained Mathys. “We try to make doing good fun, easy, and powerful, and connect people. We have very smart people and try to be open to everybody's ideas.”
So, while restoring trust in the charitable sector is still a long way off, Kinder's all-round approach is undoubtedly a great start. Not only does Kinder help charities to improve their performance, but it also has the potential to empower people to make real, impactful change. It's got my support!
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