2021: A Year to Remember (and Forget)

3 min readFeb 2, 2022

Who else was ready to leave 2021 in the rearview mirror? 🙋

Although we’re already getting some “dumpster fire” vibes for 2022, the ever-eternally-optimistic team at NeedsList is opting to reflect on the good things that we helped make happen in 2021 and what we’re excited about in 2022. Need a dose of Good News? Read on…

Our Biggest Year Ever for Impact

The numbers say it all. In addition to breaking even for the first time since we started NeedsList in 2016, we more than doubled our impact in a single year, with over $3.2 million in matches reaching nearly 200,000 recipients in 9 countries around the world.

Check out some of the highlights below.

A Groundbreaking Way to Support Afghan Refugees

In the fall of 2021, we used our software to launch the Welcome Exchange with Welcome.US. The Welcome Exchange is a digital marketplace that is matching the needs of refugee agencies and their affiliates around the country with offers from the private sector. Some early accomplishments include:

  • The platform is supporting almost 100 refugee organizations around the country, and growing every week.
  • Over 350 posts representing hundreds of thousands of essential needs are currently listed on the Exchange.
  • Corporate and nonprofit partners such as Accenture, CVS, Harry’s, Starbucks, Serta Simmons Bedding, Hasbro, P&G, Baby2Baby and Good360 are all meeting needs on the Exchange.
  • The Exchange was featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Supporting Displaced Venezuelans

Launched at the beginning of 2021, Red Recuperación (the Spanish name for our RespondLocal software) worked hard to identify the needs of and improve the living conditions of vulnerable Venezuelans in Latin America. Matches ranged from PPE to technical assistance, reached over 64,000 people, and were valued at over $100,000 with partners ranging from Venezuelan led grassroots organizations to Delta Airlines and UNHCR. This initiative was so successful that we’re looking for funding in to help it continue in 2022. If you know of funders who could support it, email us at info@needslist.co

Aid, Manufactured Locally!

The Protecting the Frontline Project with our partners Field Ready continues to generate a high level of impact in Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, and Iraq. In 2021, over $180k of locally manufactured items were delivered to almost 100,000 people through this program.

NeedsList in the News

  • Tasha was on a recent episode of The Impact Investing Podcast talking about our journey and our challenges…give it a listen here.
  • The Welcome Exchange was featured in a White House blog and in the Wall Street Journal.

Our team has been blogging up a storm:

  • Read Serina’s take on being an Afghan American working on Afghan resettlement.
  • Ben wrote about our product updates and what’s ahead.
  • Tasha wrote a scorcher about how the impact funding landscape fails social entrepreneurs.

What’s Next?

In 2022 you can expect us to continue working on all of the above areas and also expanding to new contexts and geographies! And while we’d love to gather in person for coffee, brainstorming sessions and meandering walks, we’ll take a raincheck for another day (hopefully not far away).

We’d love to hear any thoughts or ruminations you have about our work…Want to get in touch? Email us at info@needslist.co




We’re designing new ways to meet the growing needs of displaced people worldwide. Get involved! #withrefugees #tech4good #socialinnovation #Humanitarians