Our team and advisory panel is multinational and multidisciplinary, each having devoted a minimum of 7-12 years working on diverse issues in the fields of health, education, human rights, development policy and humanitarian aid. We have worked in a wide variety of countries around the world, including post-conflict environments such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Angola, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and East Timor.
While the contexts were diverse, the challenges we faced were often recurring and similar in their nature. Constrained by limited resources and inflexible funding parameters, it was innovative problem solving and mobilizing support from diverse sources that often made the difference between success and failure. Anybody working in the charity world knows how often these situations come about. Yet there is no platform that is designed specifically to facilitate and drive this process of matching unmet needs with available resources. This is what sparked the idea for Greenzones.
We feel that the charitable world is impeded by the often rigid, detached and one-dimensional relationship that exists between donors and charities. The system leaves little room for creativity or innovation. The same can often be said for the relationship between the public and charities. When the people donate to a cause, it’s mostly an anonymous process. There is seldom an exchange, rarely a sense of ownership. As a result, both as donors and as charities, we are falling far short of our potential.
It’s time to break loose from business-as-usual. It’s time to change the rules of the game.
Greenzones is a new way of giving
It is designed specifically to enable charities to tap into the enormous power of ‘being connected’. Charities can build up a support network of people and companies with diverse skills and resources, passionate about the same cause and willing to add value in whatever way they can. For charities it is about building up partnerships that will help them increase their impact. For the public it’s about being part of a community and knowing what you can do to make a difference.
Greenzones offers charities a new alternative; one that is needs driven, flexible and effective. Greenzones itself operates this way. Our partners are commercial firms working in information technology, infrastructure, logistics, marketing and personnel management. They share our vision and they are an integral part of Greenzones by donating their expertise and services. At the same time, they are able to honor their corporate social responsibility commitments in targeted, effective and meaningful ways. In this way Greenzones helps bridge the divide between the private sector and the charitable world.
Here’s how it works for charities
To build up a network on Greenzones a charity needs to get ‘endorsements’ from the public and make ‘connections’ to professionals and companies. A ‘professional’ is anyone who is providing expertise or a service in a personal capacity. Every charity needs to get a minimum number of endorsements (25) and connections (3 professional and 1 company) to go ‘public’ on the site.
As a charity’s network grows, it receives different colored stamps. Reaching each color level unlocks new benefits. Greenzones suggests the charity’s profile to users who have similar interests and who may be valuable to connect to. With each level reached the charity gains access to more media options on its profile, including live streams to social media accounts, or the option to upload promotional videos. We have designed this system because it rewards a charity’s credibility and encourages smart networking.
The goal for every charity should be to reach the Green level. We consider this to be a level of connectedness that provides a fertile earth for charities to make the most of the opportunities Greenzones offers, and to keep growing from there. When Green, a charity has full access to all functions, can trend based on the positive feedback it receives in different categories, and is exposed to more professionals and companies who can offer their skills, expertise, connections, services or other in-kind gifts.
By harnessing the power of a purpose-built network on Greenzones and taking advantage of the new alternatives that result from it, we believe that a charity can grow more independent from a limited number of 'traditional' donors, become more resistant to shocks, and more flexible in responding to new developments. Ultimately, we believe that through Greenzones, a charity can increase the impact it has.