The Adventure Project is taking aim at extreme poverty in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean with an innovative approach that’s reflected in its name.
The New York City-based nonprofit is designed to “add venture”—as in venture capital—to support training and job creation in Uganda, Kenya, India and Haiti, with more countries to follow. Since its 2011 founding, the organization (www.theadventureproject.org) has raised more than $1 million, helping to create nearly 700 jobs impacting 950,000 people.
The need is great. Throughout the developing world, millions of people lack clean water, adequate healthcare and sustainable, nutritional food. The Adventure Project channels its funding to on-the-ground nonprofit organizations that run training and educational programs that empower local people to deliver much-needed goods and services.
Hundreds of jobs in the areas of water well maintenance, healthcare supplies, clean fuel cooking stoves, solar chargers, irrigation systems and more are being created through the efforts of The Adventure Project and partner organizations such as Living Goods, Water for People, Kickstart International and the International Lifeline Fund. The nonprofit aims to create 1 million jobs in 10 years.
“What people want most in this world is the opportunity to thrive—not with handouts, but by using their own two hands,” said Becky Straw, co-founder of The Adventure Project. “We give people the tools, education and resources to become entrepreneurs so they can serve their own communities with improved health, decreased hunger, a safer environment and clean water.”
NetSuite supports The Adventure Project with a software donation through its NetSuite.org corporate citizenship program, which makes free and discounted software available to qualified nonprofits and social enterprises. Straw said that NetSuite’s cloud financials and CRM solution has been a “huge help” in enabling the organization to efficiently manage transactions and cultivate strong relationships with donors.
With NetSuite CRM, The Adventure Project has on-demand visibility and reporting on its donor base, helping guide outreach and marketing efforts that have doubled the number of new donors in the past five months. NetSuite financial management lets the nonprofit easily manage donations and disbursements, providing transparency that’s essential to maximize impact while avoiding costly manual work.
"Because we have so many transactions and donors, it’s fantastic to have such a robust CRM and accounting system that lets us track where a donation is going and how it’s used,” Straw said. “We love all the things NetSuite can do and we’re excited to build it out even further as we grow.”
Launching The Adventure Project with Jody Landers, Straw had the benefit of having used NetSuite at a previous nonprofit she was instrumental in growing, charity: water, which focused on sustainable water projects in the developing world. Also a NetSuite.org grantee, charity: water adopted NetSuite after hitting the limits of its previous QuickBooks/Excel system—a problem Straw wanted to avoid with her new venture.
Through NetSuite.org and administrative efficiency enabled by the software, The Adventure Project has been able to channel its limited resources into its social mission, rather than IT systems and administrative personnel. The nonprofit has also taken advantage of the SuiteVolunteers program, which matches up NetSuite employee volunteers with NetSuite.org grantees to take on pro bono projects. The Adventure Project worked with a volunteer team to customize online forms to include information on the funding beneficiaries.
“NetSuite.org is a great program that is helping us to grow, and the volunteers we worked with have been very helpful and knowledgeable,” Straw said.