Givology Staff's Blog

Impact Series Podcast: Iskren Kulev of KindLink

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[color=#339900]“ Simply going on a computer, logging in, we need to use this browse ... might be very very natural for the young generation but for the older generation and for charities, especially charity executives, it is a change of mindset.”[/color] [url=https://ctt.ac/g7YAU]Click to Tweet[/url]
Guest: Iskren Kulev
Hosted By: Yejide Obisesan

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Started in 2015, [color=#339900]KindLink[/color] is a Tech4Good company dedicated to creating a transparent charity sector and helping companies manage and promote all their corporate social responsibility activities. It is platform where the donor can connect with the entire value chain of their donation and observe the payment flow, the work of the charity they donated to and connect with the final beneficiary.
[color=#339900]Iskren Kulev[/color], CEO and Founder of KindLink, started his career with a sales/technical role in online payment at Paysafe Group and continued through to work with iZettle, one of the hottest financial tech start-ups that was recently sold to PayPal. Armed with that experience and an MBA, he moved forward to start KindLink.
In this episode, we talk to Iskren about transparency in giving, passion for the problems, and the beauty of rule breaking.

[color=#339900]H I G H L I G H T [/color]
We support over 700 non-profit organizations globally; from Africa to US, Canada and UK. Our business clients work internationally with charities in Nepal, South Africa and Uganda. I believe this is one of our biggest accomplishments…being able to support more than 10,000 beneficiaries, changes the way we see our work. I can say that, for me, this is the most important thing about our jobs.
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[color=#339900]S H O W - N O T E S[/color]
-The Third Sector Lagging Behind: KindLink’s mission & closing the gap between the non-profit sector and technology. [[b]1:28[/b]]
-The Non-Profit Toolkit: One of the many things that sets KindLink apart [[b]3:28[/b]]
[b]-[/b]Hard sell? Not even close: How they built up their customer base and partnerships from the ground up [[b]7:53][/b]
-“ I knew nothing”: Iskren’s pivot from financial technology and how he and his partner’s backgrounds informed their work in a new sector [[b]12:34][/b]
[b]-[/b]700,10,000, 4100 & the BBC? : Some of the triumphs of KindLink [[b]17:32][/b]
[b]-[/b]Money and Fear with a Lot of Passion Thrown In: How KindLink stays so agile in this sector [[b]19:26][/b]
[b]-[/b]The Atypical Startup & Breaking the Myth of CSR: clarity of vision from day one to current projects and initiatives [[b]24:12][/b]
-The Measures of Impact: Empowering everyone in the giving process [[b]31:34][/b]
[b]-[/b]The Highlights and the Pain Points: The community’s response to their work [[b]34:30][/b]
[b]-[/b]The Future of KindLink and How You Can Play a Part [[b]40:43][/b]
[b]-[/b]The Lightning Round! [[b]44:01][/b]

[color=#339900]R E F E R E N C E S [/color]
-Check out Iskren’s book recommendation [url=https://www.amazon.com/Founders-Dilemmas-Anticipating-Foundation-Entrepreneurship/dp/0691158304]The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup[/url] by Noam Wasserman
-Remember that BBC News reference? Check it out! [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwNnNSxabtY]KindLink highlight[/url]
-Explore the [url=https://www.kindlink.com/]KindLink website[/url] to learn more about their mission and [url=https://resources.kindlink.com/]resources [/url]for corporations and [url=https://www.kindlink.org/]charities[/url] alike

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    What can you, a teenager who doesn't have a lot of money or resources, do to help the poor and needy?

    More than you think. Most young adults are blessed with the creativity and intelligence to find ways to help others despite limited resources. Here are some tips that can perhaps start the creative process:

    1. Give a portion of your allowance each week to a poor and needy person or a cause in support of them
    How much is your allowance or your salary from your part-time job? Not much, you might say. The great thing about giving though is that in about 99 percent of cases, you are not restricted to how much you can give to help the poor and needy.

    That means for instance, instead of dishing out a dollar a day for a can of soda from the vending machine at school or work, maybe you can save this money two days of the week. Then give this money to the Zakat and Sadaqa committee of your mosque, a poor person you know in your neighborhood, a local soup kitchen or to a worthy cause abroad.

    2. Encourage your parents to pay Zakat
    Zakat is something too many Muslims neglect. If you are eligible to give Zakat, you must pay. If you aren't eligible, ask your parents about Zakat and if they pay, how and to whom. If they do not give Zakat, respectfully and politely emphasize to them the importance of this necessary pillar of Islam and encourage them to start paying it. Use wisdom and beautiful preaching.

    3. Encourage a family Sadaqa (charity) project
    Get the whole family to pitch in at least once a month to a worthy cause by organizing a family Sadaqa project. Call a family meeting (if you've never had one of these, this is a great time to start) and discuss your idea. Then come to an agreement on how everyone can help the poor. Whether it's contributing a set amount a week as a group with Dad giving the money to the Masjid after Friday prayers or setting up a box somewhere in the house where family members can privately donate, you all decide.

    4. Talk about it in your youth group
    What are the first steps in finding solutions to problems? Dua (supplication) then brainstorming and discussion.

    At your next youth group meeting, put the difficulties of the poor and needy in your community on the agenda. Simply discuss and brainstorm. You don't have to come up with a plan all at once. But discussing this will start the process and keep it in people's minds.

    If you don't have a youth group, get your friends together. Instead of having the usual hang out time one day, substitute this with a formal meeting. Now you have a youth group that can do this exercise.

    5. Visit a poor part of town
    How many big cities have "poor quarters"? Almost every single one. Sometimes, we need to see the reality of poverty right in front of us to really believe it's there, especially if we live in a financially well-off part of a city.

    Go with your youth group to visit these areas. You don't have to necessarily bring money or food for them (although that wouldn't be a bad idea). Talk to the people, if they are willing to be approached, about living conditions and how they ended up there. Prepare yourself for an eye-opening experience.

    6. Do a class presentation on poverty
    Stumped about what to do for a school assignment? Why not talk about the plight of the poor in your community. Do your research thoroughly. Get statistics on poverty, real stories from books and perhaps even video- or audiotaped interviews of the poor and homeless. Show the human face of poverty. Follow the presentation up with a class collection for the poor.

    7. Don't just collect money
    There are plenty of basic necessities that people have to meet. Some people can't afford new shoes. So hold a shoe drive (some teens have already done this). Others cannot afford clothing. Hold a clothing drive. Collect the material, arrange for cars, vans or trucks to transport it to where it's needed, then make sure the material is properly distributed.

    8. Write about poverty in your school paper
    Have you got a knack for writing? Then write about poverty in your school newspaper. Educate your student body not just with words, but photos too, if possible. If you've visited a poor part of the city (see tips above), then you have plenty of material and personal material to write about.

    9. Write about Zakat and Sadaqa in your Masjid newsletter
    Does your Masjid have a newsletter? If so, dedicate the next issue to the topic of Zakat and Sadaqa and how they help the poor and the needy. You can interview an Imam to get the basics straight. You can also include various charitable causes readers can give their money to locally to help the poor and needy.

    If you don't have a Muslim youth newsletter, maybe this can be your premiere edition.

    10. Put the information on a website or Facebook page
    If you put the above-mentioned newsletter or at least some of the articles online, you 'll probably have more young people reading it than if you limited the information to print only.

    11. Collect money in your group
    After your next group meeting, pass around a box to collect donations for the poor and needy. Better yet, make this a weekly practice. Make one person responsible for collecting the money and sending it off after consulting everyone on which cause it should be sent for.
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    12. Organize a youth seminar on poverty
    Get a youth-friendly Imam or speaker to come and talk about how Islam has successfully fought against poverty in the past and can continue to do so in the present. Then, after his lecture, hold a workshop with participants and come up with 21 ideas of how the audience and Muslim teens in general can help fight poverty in America and abroad Islamically.
    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 12:19:50 AM
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