"A Tech Startup in Philanthropy Is A Bad Idea"
Updated: Jun 10, 2022
It's NEDDIE’s 2nd anniversary. I wrote this blog more for me than for others. I wanted to remind myself why I started this business in the first place. It has been a bumpy road filled of doubt, borderline failure, and resurrections. I guess that’s the life cycle of a startup.
In 2017 - I lived through the experience of seeing thousands of Puerto Ricans living in the US trying to send help to Puerto Rico during a hurricane and failing to find how or where to help. In the desperation, along with a group of Puerto Ricans in Seattle, we created a nonprofit. I saw there was a big problem to connect people to the right philanthropic avenues.
Presenting at the Amazon Women In Tech Event in May 2018.
In 2018- While working at Amazon, I started designing a product for Amazon to help nonprofits with effective exposure to donors. I remember talking to over 15 different departments at Amazon showing them my solution. In the end, it didn’t match their business. I completely understand now, back then I didn’t, but those failed attempts brought me to take the risk of a lifetime.
In 2019- I left my job to build a solution that would prevent problems like the one we had in Puerto Rico in 2017. For months I brainstormed with colleagues, sat down with nonprofits and donors to understand what they needed, and drafted the design that would become the platform. After months of struggle, self-doubt and more work than I've ever worked before, on October 11, 2019, I registered NEDDIE as a business in WA State.
In 2020- Along with an incredible team we launched the platform in October 2020, amidst a pandemic and an economic collapse. I’m forever grateful to those first nonprofits that believed in us knowing that we were a startup, and it would take time to see results.
In 2021- NEDDIE finally reached Puerto Rico, the reason I created NEDDIE in the first place. Now we have over 40 nonprofits in WA, NY, CA and Puerto Rico and we continue growing. The nonprofits on our platform are not our customers, they are our partners, and we are working together to create a powerful shift in the industry. NEDDIE was built by a wonderful team. People that have come and gone but have left their mark in what they believe will accelerate philanthropy and drive real change. Without their love and dedication NEDDIE wouldn't exist.
Building NEDDIE has not been easy. It has taken time, tears, dedication, risk, heartbreaks, passion and love to create something for a business that many said “are you sure? The nonprofit sector is difficult. A tech startup in philanthropy is a bad idea”. But my motivation comes from the love I have for helping others. People should be able to provide and receive help when they need it and not go through hurdles. I want people to have a place where they can create real meaningful connections.
Microsoft started in a garage, I joke that NEDDIE started in a small 1 bedroom apartment.
We have advanced in social technology- social media, viral videos, virtual events. One would think that there would be progress in social impact as well. Now there is. NEDDIE is a way to connect with others with a real purpose, to have more options to give, and to strive to help people and drive change. It has been 4 years since we had to create a nonprofit out of necessity and now, we finally have a platform where people can find where to help. There’s still a long road ahead, and I know it will be hard and filled with heartaches, but our purpose is the engine that will continue pushing us forward.
I’m proud to be part of the progress in philanthropy. I’m very proud of NEDDIE. I can't wait to give to our nonprofits all that they deserve for their hardwork and dedication.
Working with nonprofits, helping people and taking the risk to create a tech startup in philanthropy is the best decision I've ever made.