As the founder of a nonprofit, I’m often asked “Why Project Giving Kids?” As someone who has been through enough management classes and a couple of start-ups to know well enough the inherent challenges, I have even asked myself that question. But the answer so far as been simple: because it’s different and it’s important – too important that not doing it hasn’t felt like an option.
Project Giving Kids occupies a unique space. We see ourselves as a technology solution to a frustrating lack of good information about ways to get kids involved in service at the earliest of stages. But we are also, by necessity, a grassroots organization, as our “technology solution” is only as good as the nonprofit base used to populate our site and the kids, families, schools, after-school groups, and others that use our resources.
When thinking about starting a nonprofit, one of the most prudent questions one can ask is, do I need to create yet another nonprofit organization or can I achieve my “mission” by aligning myself with an existing group? When I started PGK, the former seemed the most feasible option, largely because what we wanted to do was different than anything else we saw out there. And we believe we still are. Why?
1) Project Giving Kids is designed for kids and teens, only. Our platform is uniquely crafted for easy consumption by kids and we are developing solutions that meet kids where they are. While the introduction may need to be facilitated by adults, we want kids to go to our site (and soon our mobile app), self-identify with causes they care about and begin their own service journey. Our content reflects this fact because we believe that when kids are empowered, great things can happen.
2) We partner with local nonprofits that make our communities better places to live with the goal of helping advance their volunteer agendas and identify new ways to engage the powerful kid/teen/parent demographic.
3) We aim to be no more than three clicks away from an actionable idea/project that is vetted and verifiably kid-friendly, one that a kid can take and run with without having to look any further for more information.
4) We aim to transform giving back into a more consistent part of kids’ and teens’ everyday realities. We want to use data to drive engagement, incentives to prompt action, and centralized storage for easy retrieval of volunteer hours.
5) We want to be a source of inspiration as well as information. Stories of kids making the world a better place move us all. We want to share those stories. We want kids to inspire other kids to take action…and if it inspires an adult or two along the way, even better.
At PGK, we believe every child can be a changemaker… and we want to see it happen.