Haverford Entrepreneur Connects Donors’ Dollars with Refugees’ Needs

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Helping bridge the gap between donors’ dollars and refugees’ needs has created an outpouring of success for Haverford resident Amanda Levinson's startup. Image via David Swanson, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Helping refugees in crisis is no longer an exercise of reaching out to the nameless, faceless crowd half a world away.

A Haverford entrepreneur’s innovative new startup, NeedsList, is providing the platform for donors to meet specific needs of specific refugees across the globe.

“We’re going to become the Amazon of humanitarian aid, which obviously would be the dream,” said Co-Founder Amanda Levinson of Haverford, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report by Diane Mastrull.


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NeedsList enables willing donors to purchase needed items for refugees through local business suppliers in locations close to them, and it keeps 8 to 10 percent of each sale.

“We are bringing the sophistication of e-commerce to an untapped and underserved market,” Levinson stated. “If we can buy flowers for our mothers online, why can’t we buy diapers for a refugee mother in Greece?”

Key supporters agree, as NeedsList has already received $155,000 from investors and will soon seek to raise up to $1 million more. It’s aiming for $1.7 million in revenue by mid-2018. Plus, the company is a finalist in Philadelphia Media Network’s Stellar StartUps competition, the winners of which will be announced Sept. 12.

“I’d really like to see it as a beacon of hope and as a place where people can get involved in a meaningful way,” said Levinson.

Read more about Amanda Levinson’s humanitarian aid startup in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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