Connecting the dots to get needs met, fast

In Uganda, Field Ready and LIRA NGO Forum team members modeling locally manufactured face shields.

When you think of international aid, what comes to mind? Is it packages of food being thrown off of airplanes? Red Cross trucks driving through mud-packed roads? Military transporters ferrying tons of goods across borders? The images we have of aid are always of the items when they are on the ground or en route. But the reality is that international aid is often bound up in slow, cumbersome, and expensive supply chain management. In fact, it’s estimated that a shocking 60–80% of aid funding is spent on logistics.

So what would happen if we made it possible for organizations…

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

We started NeedsList in 2016 because we knew there had to be a more efficient way to help local organizations get the funding and supplies they needed to support their communities.

However, we know our software products are a small part of what is needed to create more resilient, prepared communities. So we’re formally expanding our offerings to include innovation advisory services based on our core values of collaboration, local knowledge, responsible technology, and aid with dignity. …

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

With Giving Tuesday and year-end giving campaigns both around the corner, the time to amplify your nonprofit partners is, well, right now.
With charitable giving down due to a global pandemic and the resulting economic uncertainties, it is more important than ever for funders to leverage their influence on behalf of their grantee partners.

Here are four ways to help amplify your nonprofit partners this year:
1. Get out early. Giving Tuesday — this year set for Tuesday, Dec. 1 — is a crowded day. …

In honor of World Humanitarian Day, a coalition of leading international humanitarian organizations and funders — including Amnesty International, Asylum Access, Oxfam International and Open Society Foundations — announced a fundraising campaign supporting refugee-led organizations.

The campaign is powered by NeedsList’s innovative ConnectLocal software solution that connects donors directly to community needs.

NeedsList is proud to be a part of this critical work. Around the world, refugee-led organizations are leading on the frontlines, taking critical action to prevent the catastrophic impacts of COVID-19 for refugees and host communities. Yet — like many community-led initiatives — the work remains woefully underfunded.

Today’s the day…we’re turning four years old! In honor of this milestone, we’re going to walk you through how this brainchild has grown and transformed over time into the robust set of tools we have today.


For those of you who don’t know, the idea for NeedsList was sparked during the refugee crisis in 2016. Tasha was volunteering with refugees in France, and Amanda was back in the US trying to understand what was needed there, and gathering necessary items to send over. Both found that the aid process was very disorganized and inefficient, and goods being sent over were…

Jaivet Ealom is the only known person to have ever escaped the notoriously brutal Australian-run refugee detention center on Manus Island. As a Rohingyan refugee fleeing Myanmar’s campaign of genocide, Jaivet found himself imprisoned on the remote island near Papua New Guinea for three and a half years. He describes it as a torture center. The story of his prison break is the stuff of Hollywood movies. He planned it for months. Leaving under the cover of darkness, posing as an interpreter and using forged passports. Against the odds, he arrived in Canada in 2017.

During Jaivet’s detention, one book…

We are outraged by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, as we are outraged by the countless African American men and women murdered by law enforcement and white mobs throughout American history.

As a company founded by Jewish white American women, with a multiracial, global team, we have an obligation to speak out — our privilege and our culture demands it.

We started NeedsList with the belief that our current systems of aid — including disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and the public health system — were fundamentally failing the very communities they were created to protect…

Photo by Matthew Waring on Unsplash

NeedsList is no stranger to crises that affect communities across borders and demographics. Since 2016, we have been developing crisis response tools to aggregate and match needs and offers in real-time. Our software has been used by the government, nonprofit, and business sectors in over 20 countries. It’s been used for all kinds of humanitarian actions, including refugee aid, wildfires, floods, and hurricanes. COVID-19 — while different in its scale and global reach — demands a similar response effort. Because this is a pandemic affecting all sectors, we need a multi-sector response, and we need it now. We’re at a…

Natural disasters and pandemics share some important similarities. Both are unpredictable, hitting communities unevenly. Both strike vulnerable populations disproportionately, especially the sick, elderly, and disabled. And both have the potential to reshape everything from politics to economies. This is the first time many of us have experienced something like coronavirus, and its impacts are far from certain.

However, when it comes to preparedness and response, we expect to see some similar patterns in the challenges facing local communities in handling the virus. Here are some of the biggest challenges we’re likely to see in the coming weeks, based on our…

On January 31, 2020, the United States announced a travel ban that will prevent citizens from Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar⁠ — all of which have a substantial Muslim population⁠ — from obtaining certain types of visas. The proclamation takes effect on February 22.

Nationals of Nigeria, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar will no longer be able to obtain visas that can lead to permanent residency, and nationals of Sudan and Tanzania will no longer be allowed to apply for “diversity visas.” …


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

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