The Kyn Project was a series of experiments
leveraging technology for the greater good.
It was led by a merry band of product-minded geeks
seeking to modernize the charity stack.
The Core Problem:
It's too hard to give your money away effectively
We started by talking to foundations, individuals, and other charitably-minded folks and quickly discovered that unless you had staff or access to philanthropy advisers, conducting effective philanthropy was time consuming and difficult.
It's easy to follow and mimic the investments of for-profit investors. We asked ourselves why it was so hard to follow and mimic experienced philanthropists and started testing and building a philanthropy platform around the idea.
Existing APIs simply don't cut it
Payments: The incumbent payment provider for charities uses aging technology, is expensive to integrate, and leaves much to be desired from a developer perspective. Having used for-profit payments leader Stripe in other projects, we knew there was a better way.
Nonprofit Data: Why is there a free API to access over 3.4 million movie titles and poster images, yet if we want data on any of the 1.4 million nonprofits in the US it's stuck behind a paywall?
In early 2015 we began experimenting with improvements to the underlying APIs and infrastructure powering the charitable world.
The Kyn Project is now part of SmarterGiving.org
We learned a ton during our time testing and building Kyn and want to give a HUGE shout-out to the amazing team at Awesome Without Borders for their early support. Though we still believe in the power of 'social proof' to revolutionize nonprofit discovery, it was clear we needed to focus our efforts on fixing some of the underlying technology, data, and APIs powering the charitable world.