90% of people say they want to volunteer, but only around one in four of us does it. Likewise, over 90% of parents say that one of their top priorities is that their children take care, but almost all of them struggle to find ways for their children to volunteer and give back.
Jessica Jackley has a simple solution. The mother of four, entrepreneur, investor, business school teacher and speaker has dedicated her career to social justice, notably as a co-founder Kiva. His new business Alltruists sells kid-friendly home volunteer and donation projects, presented in eco-friendly boxes. Each thematic activity box inspires families with meaningful ways to develop empathy and make a real impact on the world through play and creativity. For example, Alltruists offers a roaming box and a bee box. The company offers both a monthly subscription service for new projects and a showcase featuring all previous monthly kits.
Jackley’s career began when she founded Kiva, the world’s first crowdfunding site for microenterprises. Kiva allows users to lend as little as $ 25 to individual entrepreneurs, providing borrowers with affordable capital to start or grow their business. Since its inception in October 2005, Kiva has facilitated more than $ 1.6 billion in loans worldwide.
She always knew she wanted to help people, says Jackley, she just didn’t know who or how to do it. When she first discovered microfinance, she quit her job and moved to East Africa to do an unpaid internship. This internship changed his life.
“It was while working in Africa that I heard testimonies from people who ran micro-businesses – goatherds, seamstresses, farmers, carpenters, etc. Jackley said. “They had great potential but no access to capital. I saw how a tiny bit of money, even just $ 100, could make a difference for these entrepreneurs.
What started as a side project, just to help a few friends in Uganda raise a few hundred dollars to grow their businesses, has grown. And grew a little more. “Kiva taught me that I can build real things in the world that can grow – really grow, to reach millions of people. It gave me the confidence and legitimacy to keep building, which I have. kept doing it, ”Jackley said.
Following an entrepreneurial path is exhausting but rewarding, notes Jackley. “I can live my values by choosing what to build and how to tell the story of each company. All of this helps me feel good about how I present myself in the world and how I spend my days.
Since the start of the Covid pandemic, Jackley has seen herself and others consume endlessly. She has always struggled to recapture the traditional in-person volunteering activities to do with children, which often just aren’t allowed. It was in this frustration that she launched Alltruists – so families can opt for home-based and child-friendly volunteering experiences, with a focus on different issues, from homelessness to hunger to clean water.
Each Alltruist box includes educational content and a real-life volunteer project with real impact, which the company designs in collaboration with its nonprofit partners. For example, kids can customize a welcome kit for a newly arrived refugee child, build a pollinator hotel for solitary bees, or craft a card and keychain that will be given to Mexican families who move into their very first home.
Jackley offers this advice to aspiring change makers. “Don’t wait for the perfect job, the perfect strategy, everything perfect. Go ahead and start learning.