When was the last time you felt happy and fulfilled after reading a news article? A company called Ideal Impact is looking to change the way you get your news.

After reading the boundless, grim news headlines, most people feel a brief pang of guilt or a surge of passion towards the story’s cause. But when the reader has nowhere to channel that passion or guilt, the moment fades, no action is taken, and a huge opportunity is lost.

Ideal Impact, a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo, strives to interject in that moment of passion and present the reader with an immediate solution: a way to learn, serve, give, advocate, apply, or connect to that cause.

Using a unique algorithm and a web app/mobile app, Ideal Impact finds organizations (vetted by independent evaluators like CharityNavigator and Guidestar) that involve the cause or other ways to educate yourself and spread the word about the issue, so you’re never at a loss to how you can support these campaigns.

According to Ideal Impact, “90 million people are inspired to get involved in volunteer, advocacy or mission-driven work, but don’t know how. That amounts to $207 billion in lost volunteer time and donations to nonprofit organizations.” The only missing link is that people can’t readily find opportunities to help without extensive research, which is where the major dropoff occurs.

The opportunity and audience for Ideal Impact is essentially limitless, encompassing anybody who is passionate about anything and reads the news. Photo courtesy of Ideal Impact.
The opportunity and audience for Ideal Impact is essentially limitless, encompassing anybody who is passionate about anything and reads the news. Photo courtesy of Ideal Impact.

Unfortunately, it’s not cheap for nonprofits to make themselves known and recruit their volunteers. In fact, Ideal Impact claims that it takes nonprofits a whopping 23 hours to recruit each volunteer, and between $0.20-1.50 to raise each dollar. But Ideal Impact has the power to change that, and it hands the power to every user behind every screen, enabling social change to occur in a rapid and unprecedentedly convenient manner.

The world is changing; in today’s digital atmosphere, geography has little to do with capability. The most effective manner to reach volunteers and donors is now through the screen rather than knocking on doors, and Ideal Impact has intuitively adopted this philosophy. “The learn-earn-return model worked for a very long time because the scope with which you could engage in the community was limited,” Founder and CEO Olivier Kamanda states. “Now, the opportunity to really change the world is within our reach and we’re no longer limited by our geographic or financial boundaries.”

This concept is absolutely incredible, and I can’t believe it hasn’t been done before; it’s so simple and easy, yet so mutually beneficial. And because essentially everyone reads the news, it allows charities to tap into the huge database of volunteers, advocates and money. Personally, I have a news app on my phone simply to ensure that I’m an updated citizen; however, I dread seeing the notifications from my phone, because they usually involve some terrible tragedy that I feel powerless to change.

The Ideal Impact integrates seamlessly into any news apps, adding features that allow the reader to get involved in the cause. Photo courtesy of Ideal Impact.

But as the CEO Kamanda understands, “There is a human urge to do something with the information we’ve been given. Ideal Impact was created to channel your unique contribution – that combination of time, talent, and energy that only you can provide. This is what gives us purpose. It’s how we find our Ideal Impact.”

The IndieGoGo campaign is running for a total of 35 days, and it already reached its $15,000 goal in the first two weeks. It’s got two weeks left to try to raise as much money as possible. Its rewards vary from allowing users to give input to a one-year membership to a nonprofit organization of their choice; what I loved about this was that Ideal Impact uses its own concept in the rewards, allowing people to get involved in the things it cares about and letting them take control of the future.

Kamanda is uniquely qualified for the huge task ahead of him. In addition to being a frequent volunteer at Miriam’s Kitchen for many years and a partner to The Way Home Campaign to end chronic homelessness, he’s a past lawyer with experience in speech writing and advising for Hillary Clinton and has served on the Board of Trustees for Princeton. In case you’re not already blown away, he was named one of D.C.’s “Most Influential Leaders Under 40” by Washington Life Magazine. Kamanda is a Truman National Security Fellow and is currently residing in the Halcyon Incubator in DC, so his idea has already received a significant amount of professional support and guidance.

And there’s already been extensive evidence to show that social impact is really a game changer for causes and awareness. Just look at how successful the Humans of New York campaign has been for the New York Mott Hall Bridges Academy; it’s raised nearly $1.5M in a mere three weeks, gotten the attention of millions of fans, and gained it some lifelong supporters and international recognition. Why? Humans of New York combined the human element, the visual element, the story, the social sharing, and the donation/volunteer opportunities all in one place, resulting in an outpour of support. And Ideal Impact has the capability and framework to achieve the same results on an even greater scale.

Ideal Impact has the power to make charity an intuitive a part of society. “We want to create the tools to show who you are, what matters to you, and what value you provide to society — apart from where you went to school, what jobs you know, and what your employer had to say about you. We want to be as ubiquitous as the resume,” Kamanda envisions. And by the looks of the crowdfunding campaign, they’re well on their way.


by Rafah Ali