At New Story, we believe creating change should be an open source pursuit. Those words may sound a little fancy/nerdy, but to us it just means we want to share what we’re doing (even the things that don’t work out as planned!) and learn and grow with each other.
As our donors, builders, and company stalkers (don’t worry — we like lurkers) we’re bringing you inside New Story and sharing the good, bad, and ugly of what’s happened over the last quarter.
What we did in Q1 2017:
We raised $856,000+ for homes (plus about $100k for our operations)
from about 989 donors,
enough to fund 145 homes.
Additionally, 132 homes (previously funded) were built.
For context… Our Q1 report in 2015 shows we raised $59,379 from 332 donors. The rest of the team won’t brag on that growth but I’m new so I can look at those numbers and say, “Nice work, New Story!.”
We spent $196k over the last three months. While we don’t mind sharing what those dollars were spent on, you probably don’t care since 100% of your donations went straight to the field.
We did a lot of other stuff too…
We started our year at Lake Tahoe (at one of our incredible donor’s home that was kindly shared with us!) dreaming about 2017. We thought big, broke it down, and made a plan to execute.
(We also may have created a 50' DIY Olympic-grade luge with 4' of fresh snow. Home building, luge building… same difference.)
In Tahoe, we also set our theme for the year: “better before bigger.” This is our team’s 2017 mantra as we focus on improving internally before focusing on hyper-growth.
Soon after we returned we secured a $1.2M letter of intent in partnership with an incredible community building organization. This is going to allow us to build more in Haiti as well as expand into Mexico. Expanding to Mexico will be a huge milestone and we’re excited to bring safe homes to communities in need there as well.
Allie and Emma held a Lab at SXSW with our friends at Acumen on Lean Data. Their talk was so well received they had an encore presentation later in the day! This was an incredible opportunity for our team to share the importance of data as well as how anyone can implement these practices.
It was a HUGE honor to be included as one of Fast Company’s 2017 Most Innovative Non-Profits. We’re in the company of just 9 others (including Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation).
We built a “Mobile Ops Tool” iOS app that our local partners will use to collect data, store family information, takes pictures/video, manage construction projects, and communicate with New Story’s team in SF.
And to wrap it up we spent a week with 8/9 team members in El Salvador planning for Q2 and spending time in our communities there. It was rewarding, inspiring, and humbling to spend time hearing stories from the people who our planning that week was directly impacting.
But it wasn’t all fun and games.
Not even close. What you see above are the peaks. What you don’t see is the daily climbing it takes to get there.
We also made some mistakes during the quarter.
- During Q1 we experienced various delays (land securing, construction, getting move-in videos to the US) that resulted in us disappointing donors. Delays WILL happen when working internationally, but we own not staying ahead of communication and expectations on these delays.
- Sharing the families available for funding on our site is vital to our brand experience. The current process is cumbersome and has resulted in a lag time between receiving families and getting them on the site.
- When you donate on our website you have the option to add a smaller amount to your donation to go toward operations. In Q1, we realized a mistake we had made the previous year which meant we hadn’t been charging this part of the donation. This means we lost/never charged about $16k. We reached out to those donors explaining the mistake and some donated again (we processed it that time) to help make up for it.
Making mistakes sucks. There’s no getting around it. But as a team, we’re pushing each other to fail more. We know to get to true innovation and success there are going to be bumps on the road. Feeling the bumps means we’re getting to our destination faster. And when that destination means more people are in safe homes sooner… We’re not slowing down.
If you’ve stuck to the end of this post (and you’re not the mom of anyone who works at New Story), you’re awesome (don’t worry moms, you’re awesome too). Have questions or want to know more? Drop a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org