The Situation

Started in 2016, NeedsList builds tools designed to power faster, more efficient, and sustainable humanitarian action. Their flagship software matches needs and offers in real-time to foster collaboration between stakeholders and reduce waste in times of crisis. To date, NeedsList users have met over $2 million in needs for multiple humanitarian emergencies for over 300 nonprofits in 20 countries. With the onset of COVID-19, the organization moved all their resources into supporting a coordinated response to the pandemic, making their flagship software available for free to governments and nonprofits. They are receiving tremendous demand for their tools from nonprofits serving the homeless, addressing food security, and in communities without access to internet and communications.

The Roadblock

Given the urgent nature of the COVID-19 response—and the reality of lengthy and complicated procurement systems—NeedsList did not want to charge organizations to license their software. But they also needed to scale their tech stack and customer service to respond to the influx of demand and avoid lengthy contract negotiations. NeedsList began looking to raise philanthropic funding to help them fund these efforts.

Open Road's Response

With a charitable grant of $50,000 from ORA, NeedsList will be able to support offline matching of needs to resources, logistics, and procurement, especially for vulnerable populations. They will also provide their partners with marketing and outreach support to quickly deploy NeedsList within their communities.

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