5 is here to celebrate and connect people and organisations who are having a positive impact on the world. Our High 5 series gives the stage to these inspiring people – and asks them to pass the High 5 on to someone who has inspired them. In this edition, we meet Mathys van Abbe, founder of Kinder.
Kinder is a platform that evaluates charities to help you decide where your money can have the most impact. With so many problems to solve and charities to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start.
Instead of opting for a single charity, you can also choose a cause via their Appeals function, with your money going to multiple organisations in a specific field. These include ocean conservation, human rights and global health.
Mathys reveals what inspired him to transform the world of charity and fundraising, why you need a theory of change, and who he’d like to give a High 5 to.
Kinder provides concerned global citizens with the insights, data, and tools they need to donate to the organisations addressing some of the world’s most urgent problems. The platform also allows you to share stories, set up your own fundraisers and connect with like-minded people.
What inspired you to do what you do?
Experiencing first hand that so much money and other resources go to waste on fundraising. Because each organisation sees other charitable projects as competition, they have very closed, siloed operations. The major side effects of this are slow learning, little collaboration, and having to figure things out for themselves. They could get to where they want to be so much faster if they compared notes.
Something has to be done. Inefficient organisations may have good intentions, but trust is seeping away. Kinder is here to regain that trust and to do the work that you, as a potential donor, shouldn’t have to do. It’s so difficult to assess what’s going well and what needs more funding. We want to be that bridge looking out for the impact that your money can make.
What’s the impact you hope to make in the world?
When it comes to companies and governments, there is a formal understanding of the link between money and impact. Civil society isn’t regulated. Everything is based on individual donations to solve problems that markets or governments can’t or don’t want to fix.
Kinder wants to bring accountability into that space: creating a clear and transparent relationship between the donations and the impact that these donations are able to create.
When we assess an organisation, we’re not simply scoring them to help donors be better informed, but we also invite them to look at their results and advise them on how to improve each of the elements that we score them on.
Our goal is to create incentives for organisations that generate the biggest impact by giving them trust, with the right feedback loops and monitoring structures in place to make supporting those charities as easy and seamless as possible.
Often, organisations don’t give you updates on the projects you’ve donated to. So in a year’s time you end up feeling disconnected. It’s important to communicate in a better way. If you can show real progress, then it’ll be easier to get funds and convince donors to stay on board.
What advice would you give to inspire others who want to make a positive impact?
Start with a problem you are really passionate about. Create a ‘theory of change’. Our model describes how your efforts yield the biggest impact. Then prioritise the steps you have to take to get there. Remember, ‘first things first.’ And finally, dedicate all your energy to solving your problem – and inspire as many stakeholders as you can along the way. For big change there are no shortcuts.
What makes you most proud?
That on a daily basis, we have volunteers signing up from all around the world, believing in our vision and ambitions. They sacrifice their spare time to help vet charitable organisations (do the research) or write articles (create awareness around important world problems) for Kinder.World.
What challenges have you faced and what helped you overcome them?
We strive to provide value for both ends of the spectrum — organisations and donors. This made the solution quite the puzzle, it took us a while to get to where we are today with enough critical mass to add value. Developing our Vetting Framework (the topics and questions we use to assess the impact and skills of the organisations) has taken us a significant amount of time. Fortunately, experts from universities from all around the globe are helping us with specific improvements.
Who do you want to pass a High 5 on to and why?
Any social entrepreneur who is trying to solve a real-world problem. Fortunately, there are more and more people focusing on doing good.
Like Marnix Geus, who founded The Present, an organisation connecting companies and entrepreneurs to newcomers and projects for the homeless.
Or Theye Veen, who founded SkyNRG, helping the aviation industry transition to sustainable energy.