Digital platform connects change makers and supporters worldwide

"As humans, we’re so powerful when we come together - It only takes a few hundred people to literally change the world"

Interview with Nina Siemiatkowski, Founder Milkywire

Milkywire
Source & Copyright by Milkywire

Author: House of Eden

Milkywire is a disruptive digital platform, which empowers local changemakers, who are committed to protecting our planet. The platform connects local and award-winning grassroot organisations around the world with people who want to support. The digital app creates transparency, trust and brings donors close to the projects.

The organisations are screened by Milkywire and grouped by causes in the App. The topics are based on the four UN Biosphere Goals. The supporters can follow every step of the so-called impacter through regular video updates . Donations can also be spread across several initiatives. The innovative platform has already received support from large companies such as Pangaia and just recently announced a partnership with Klarna.

We talked to the founder Nina Siemiatkowski and learned more about the idea behind Milkywire as well as the mission "Save the Earth".

"As humans, we’re so powerful when we come together - It only takes a few hundred people to literally change the world"

Milkywire Founder Nina | © Emma Svensson

Before founding Milkywire, you decided to give up a very successful career, what was your moment of change?

I had always strived for the next step on the corporate ladder, but when I finally was head of marketing for a top hundred Swedish company I realised that the corporate world wasn’t making me happy in the way I once thought it would. I resigned to pursue a full-time career in photography.

Then between 2012 and 2016 I embarked on a documentary project about the life of a lion pride in Kenya. During this time, I faced the reality of the dwindling lion population - that there were only about 20.000 lions left and that the population has halved in the past 20 years. From then on, I became involved with non-profit organisations that were working for the protection of lions and other species.

What are the greatest challenges for grassroot organisations?

Grassroot organisations usually spend a lot of time looking for funds, instead of doing what they are best at - protecting our planet, saving our oceans , planting trees and more. Thus, continuous funding is essential for them to be able to focus on their work.

Milkywire projects on mobile phone

Source & Copyright by Milkywire

Why is direct and local support important to make an impact?

Local organisations with local leadership will not move away to solve the next problem, but stay and continue to work long-term. Effective local organisations are embedded in the locations they serve because of their proximity. They are locally rooted organisations, that have vital expertise in the local environment and community, and will work very hard to save and protect it.

How does Milkywire create trust between supporters and impacters?

We believe it's by showing the supporter what's happening. It’s hard to know exactly where your money goes when you make a donation to big charity. Through Milkywire, supporters have the chance to follow their donations in every step. By downloading the Milkywire App you can explore handpicked organisations, connect with them, donate to them directly, and follow their work through weekly video updates.

The platform’s model allows supporters to see firsthand how their money goes toward screened and vetted, award-winning organisations from across the globe that are fighting extinction, saving oceans, cleaning the planet, restoring forests, and more.

 Milkywire transparency pie

Transparency Pie, Source & Copyright by Milkywire

How many organisations do you have on the platform by now and what are the selection criteria?

There are currently close to fifty organisations on the platform. We have a whole team dedicated to the organisations we're working with. To be eligible you need to be a registered non profit organisation with a proven track record. We also require digital willingness, as all impacters post videos on the platform every week and also answer supporters' questions and comments.

You have grouped initiatives by causes, how are these connected to the SDGs?

Milkywire supports the work in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goald and are focused on the so called biosphere goals:

  • Goal number 6 - clean water and sanitation
  • Goal number - 13 climate action
  • Goal number 14 - life below water
  • Goal number 15 - life on land

Our causes on the Milkywire app are created to be a bit easier to understand for all the people who are not too informed about the SDGs. It's important to understand that one impacter can be connected to more than one SDG too. Everything is connected and when working with the SDG 14 “Life below water”, this will also have a positive impact on the climate.

Milkywire this is Heidi

Source & Copyright by Milkywire

What kind of projects are currently in need of the greatest support?

All of them - only two to three percent of all donations go to the environment. Milkywire has decided to work with the Biosphere goals because they are the goals that all other depend on. Without our planet, we're pretty much screwed. And as I mentioned, all of the causes affect one another; if we lose some of the critically endangered species in the world - that most certainly will affect the climate.

Many big brands have worked with Milkywire, what support do you need to further spread the word?

We need people like you and me; regular people, to decide that they can skip a coffee per month and instead put that money towards saving our planet. No donation is too small and every action counts. We want everyone to know that their efforts really matter. As humans, we’re so powerful when we come together. It only takes a few hundred people to literally change the world.

What impact do you wish Milkywire to have ten years from now?

I wish that Milkywire is everybody’s go-to when it comes to saving the planet. I wish that we've been able to save endangered animals and that we've planted, protected, and restored millions and millions of trees. I wish that we've helped reverse climate change and that we actually see that the world is moving in the right direction. Big dreams, I know, but we have to dream big to make an impact.

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