A new Atlanta-based nonprofit is using crowdfunding to build homes for Haitian families, hoping to use its model to scale up to other countries and causes.
New Story provides an online platform to allow anyone to give toward the $6,000 it costs to build a home in the island nation ravaged by an earthquake in 2010 that killed more than 200,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless. Homeless Haitians have to continuously deal with the threats of poor sanitation, violence and theft.
With New Story, the online profile allows the donor to “meet” the family that will receive the benefits of their generosity. New Story sends the money to its on-the-ground partner organization, Mission of Hope, which carries out construction and followup, says Brett Hagler, the organization’s founder. Two months later, when the home is constructed, donors receive a video of the family in their new home.
Mr. Hagler, who got the idea after returning from a Christian mission trip to Haiti in 2012, says New Story wants to be “radically transparent” with donors’ funds. The entire donation goes to the field, while New Story raises separate donations for its own costs.
“We’re operating this like it is a fast-growing startup, but we’re solving a big need,” said Mr. Hagler, who worked on an e-commerce startup in San Francisco before starting New Story.
The nonprofit hopes to change communities, not just build homes. Eventually, New Story hopes its model will fund schools, orphanages and more, and Mr. Hagler foresees applying the model to other countries.
“The name of the organization has nothing to do with building homes and homebuilding. We’re called New Story because we want to go into communities and literally change the stories of their lives,” Mr. Hagler told Global Atlanta.
The organization hopes to raise money for 200 homes in 2015, and its volunteer staffers have helped provide a head start: Through the platform, they have raised enough money for four homes by forgoing Christmas gifts from relatives and friends, instead asking them to contribute to home-building campaigns.
Visit www.newstorycharity.org for more information.