Nonprofit Knowledge Network (NKN)

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Nonprofit Knowledge Network (NKN)

United States
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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About You
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24 Shearer Drive

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Your idea
Will you launch your idea as a business or non-profit?


What is your idea? What makes it innovative? Why is it important?

"We make it Simple to be Smart about Donating"

Have you ever wanted to make a donation but been unsure of which nonprofit will make the most of your dollars? NKN is your solution.

Problem: Forty million Individuals in the U.S. donated $0.25 trillion to charitable organizations in 2007 . Online donations increased from $250 million in 2000 to $6.9 billion in 2006 , a 74% cumulative average growth rate. Donors are increasingly demanding more and better information about nonprofits when making donation decisions, yet few tools enable donors to be more strategic with their philanthropy.

Nonprofit Knowledge Network’s (NKN) Value Proposition: NKN’s value proposition is to Make it Simple to be Smart about Donating and Experience More Joy from Giving. By connecting donors with the knowledge of experts in the nonprofit sector, NKN aspires to be the hub for all nonprofit donation transactions and information exchange.

Product/service Concept: NKN is a web-based product where users are able to select the social causes they care about, view which nonprofits in each social cause are most consistently recommended by experts as top-performing nonprofits for that social cause, review proprietary research about each expert-recommended nonprofit, donate to as many of the nonprofits as they want with a single online transaction, receive regular updates about the impact of the user’s donation, and have all tax receipts consolidated in a single place.

What will be the impact of your idea?

NKN’s Mission: Enable every donor to become a more effective philanthropists and experience more joy from giving by connecting individuals with the knowledge of experts in the nonprofit sector, making it easy to give to multiple nonprofits and understand the impact of donations, and tracking the progress of the nonprofits donors support.

People donate more when they are confident that their donations are being put to good use and when they experience joy from giving. In turn, NKN helps the best nonprofits receive more funding and increases the pace of social change.

NKN’s Goal: Provide online tools that enable 2% of annual donations by individuals -- $5 billion per year -- to flow towards some of the top performing nonprofits in the social causes of the donors’ choice.

People: We are looking for ideas from people who can make them happen.

NKN has already created a web prototype via outsourced support, and we are actively recruiting a web programmer to join the team.

We have also made significant progress on the first social cause we will provide access to on our website: U.S. Education. Specifically, we have built a network of experts of almost 50 professional at foundations involved with U.S. Education, and we have begun to develop propriotary content to help individual donors make better donations decisions. All of our information will be available online, free of charge.

Our team consists of four Stanford students: Erinn is completing her Masters of Education, Dawn is completing her undergraduate degree in International Relations, Deyan is completing his Masters of Business Administration, and Howard has one additional year left in the joint Masters of Business Administration/Masters of Public Policy degree. Howard and Deyan are co-founders of the team, and Erinn and Dawn have recently joined.

How much will it cost to launch your idea?

NKN is a self-sustainig hybrid forprofit/non-profit model. To fully launch, NKN requires up to $400,000 in funding; however, given proper programming expertise, it may be possible to launch NKN for less.

Our initial minimum product offering focuses on the social cause of U.S. Education, and we will expand from there. It is possible that we will attract funding/sponsorship for each new social cause, and this could provide a significant opportunity to reduce our fudning requirements.