We Dropped “Charity” from Our Name — Here’s Why

Today, we removed “charity” from our URL, social media handles, and general branding. We replaced charity with homes because our North Star isn’t scaling charity. Our North Star is helping underserved people access life-changing homes.

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Today, we removed “charity” from our URL, social media handles, and general branding.

We replaced charity with homes because our North Star isn’t scaling charity. Our North Star is helping underserved people access life-changing homes.  

Charity has a role in enabling more people to access adequate housing, but philanthropy and government subsidies are not enough alone to fund housing solutions for more than 1.6 billion people. New Story remains a 501c3 nonprofit, but we are seeking an even better use of your philanthropy — a way for your donations to go further so we can impact more families.

Your journey with us

Charity is defined as, “an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need.” For our first eight years as an organization, that is how we’ve worked. Generous donors like you have given, and we have deployed your funds with local partners to build thousands of homes for families living in extreme poverty. This traditional method of charity works to build homes — but its impact is limited. We have to move beyond charity.

Rather than giving away homes, we’re now creating a financially sustainable path to homeownership for the bottom billion.

The problem behind the problem

Globally, there are 1.6 billion people without adequate shelter. The UN estimates this population to grow to 3 billion by 2030. As an organization that exists to end homelessness, the task at hand can be overwhelming.

To reach our goal of housing 1 million people by 2030, we need to build about 250,000 home units. That would demand about $6 billion in funding. Even if we managed to raise that much to help 1 million people, then what? There would still be 1.5 billion people to help. To reach 100 million people (<10% of overall problem), we’d need $22 trillion in philanthropy. Yes, as in trillions. That’s like creating Apple twenty-two times.

Moving beyond charity

If we define charity as demonstrating unselfish love for people in need, we believe the most charitable thing we can do is create a financially sustainable path to home ownership for the bottom billion.  What does this mean?

Financially sustainable...

Providing low-income families with opportunities to own homes at a price they can afford.

...path to homeownership...

For-profit organizations such as financial institutions and real estate development companies are incentivized to create housing products for low-income families.

...for the bottom billion.

The population we serve lives in inadequate housing and below the economic welfare line.

Breaking down barriers for families in poverty

At New Story, we are innovating ways to bring families the opportunity to purchase a high-quality home at a price they can afford, developed by for-profit businesses.

Lack of affordable financing is a core obstacle between vulnerable families and safe housing. We’re focused on breaking down financial barriers so families play an active role in their exit from inadequate housing.

When we view people with dignity, full of untapped potential, we partner with them to create opportunities.

Proving a financially sustainable model

Proving this sustainable model would mean charity isn’t at the forefront of our work, but it is at the foundation. Philanthropy will enable us to:

Create proven models.

Philanthropy will help us address barriers in the housing market, specifically for initial financing.

Fund our team.

Bold donors have allowed us to attract and retain top talent. We’ll continue using funds to build a world class team.

Gain greater leverage.

Philanthropy will help us subsidize gaps and have a safety net to help the most vulnerable familiesWe can receive better terms from bank partners and impact investors, which will enable a guarantee fund for construction and land loans.

Developers across Latin America will gain a new population to build for. Local banks will gain new long-term customers. Low-income families will gain homeownership. And you will help us scale a model that can completely change how the world thinks about charity.

You can help us transform charity

To scale our impact beyond charity, we need a community dedicated to building differently. If you’re interested in getting more involved, please email sarah@newstoryhomes.org. We’ll follow up to schedule an introductory call. We’d love to talk with individuals, foundations, impact and corporate partners.