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About Us

What Does The Adventure Project Do?

The Adventure Project (TAP) is a nonprofit organization “adding venture” capital to create jobs in developing countries, with a mission to end extreme poverty. The world’s greatest challenges need entrepreneurial solutions.

We invest in smart, cost-effective solutions that empower people to become profitable entrepreneurs, so they can serve their own communities with lifesaving services. We focus our efforts on the top preventable diseases affecting under-five child-mortality: pneumonia, diarrhea, malnutrition and preterm birth complications. We are tackling these issues by investing in four verticals: Environment, Health, Hunger, and Water. We actively fund four types of professions: community health promoters, well repairers/engineers, fuel-efficient stove masons, and farmers gaining access to irrigation or drought-resistant crops. Our partners on the ground recruit local people to become entrepreneurs. Those people learn how to sell products or services to their communities, earning commission from every sale.

How Do We Work?

We channel charity strategically towards jobs that lift people out of poverty while transforming local communities with lifesaving services. We provide the tools and training for men and women to learn how to sell lifesaving products or services to their communities. From training well mechanics who fix broken wells to educating community health workers who revolutionize healthcare in Africa, your support transforms the lives of entrepreneurs and the communities they serve. We believe in sharing empowering stories about people lifting themselves out of poverty.

We work with local organizations with remarkable track records. 

Our on-the-ground partners recruit local people to become entrepreneurs. Those people learn how to sell products or services to their communities, earning commission from every sale.

How Long Have You Been Around? 

The Adventure Project was founded in 2010 by Jody Landers and Becky Straw with the vision of moving people out of extreme poverty by creating jobs. 

Our Co-Founder, Becky Straw, started The Adventure Project after spending three years helping launch the nonprofit, charity: water. As the third employee at charity: water, she spent the majority of her time in the field, vetting and funding local water organizations in 17 countries. However, 36% of all wells in Sub-Saharan Africa are actually broken, often because there are no spare parts, tools or trained mechanics nearby. Instead of drilling more wells, we decided to start an organization working to build local capacity by creating jobs that solve social problems. It is far more effective to keep wells working than investing in new infrastructure and handouts. 

From there, our portfolio has expanded to create jobs that tackle challenges around health, hunger, water, and the environment. Currently, we support job training for water well mechanics, health care workers, farmers, and fuel-efficient stove masons. We called ourselves The Adventure Project because we support “ventures” that “add” something positive to the world. 

Read Becky and Jody's story and why they started The Adventure Project here.

What Have You Accomplished?

With gracious support from our community, we have created 1,874 jobs impacting more than 1.5 million people in six countries. We regularly update our results on our website here: https://www.theadventureproject.org/results. Of course, we would love to take this further and increase our impact.

By 2030, our goal is to create 1 million jobs. We also aim to deepen our work with our current partners, increasing their impact and reach; as well as share our impact transparently and create collaboration by leveraging mobile technology.

Interested in learning more about Vision 2030? Join us!

Is The Adventure Project A Religious-based Organization?

The Adventure Project is not a religious-based organization, but as a nonprofit, we are always happy to partner with religious institutions.

Our Focus

Why Do Jobs Matter?

Jobs give people dignity. Aid is always appreciated, but what people really want is a good job. Jobs have a greater impact since they serve a person with a job and the person’s family. Increased incomes enable families to send their kids to school and lead healthier lives. In addition, jobs serve the local communities and strengthen the economy, which reduces the risk of violent conflict.

What Problems Is The Adventure Project Addressing?

The Adventure Project focuses our efforts on the top preventable diseases affecting under-five child-mortality: pneumonia, diarrhea, malnutrition, and preterm birth complications. We are tackling these issues by investing in four verticals: Environment, Health, Hunger, and Water.

Environment

There are three billion people in the world burning wood, charcoal, or coal in open fires or inefficient stoves for cooking and heating. Cooking over open fires is one of the world’s biggest, but least known, killers. Four million people die each year from breathing in toxic cooking smoke. We help to recruit and train local people to manufacture and sell fuel-efficient stoves locally that reduce toxic cooking smoke. A stove saves a family 20% of their daily expenses because they use 50% less fuel each day. One stove also saves six trees from being turned into charcoal each year and reduces 1.5 tons of black carbon emissions each year.

Health

Every minute, six children die in the developing world because they do not have access to basic medicines – treatments that cost less than a cup of coffee. There is also a healthcare worker shortage -- only 2.3 healthcare workers per a population of 1,000 exists in Africa. TAP’s solution is to train local leaders to become health care agents, so they can earn a living selling over 60 health products at affordable prices. Each person cares for approximately 800 people in their community, paying special attention to pregnant mothers and young children.

Hunger

80% of the poor in Sub-Saharan Africa work as rural subsistence farmers. Each night, 75% of their children go hungry because they struggle to grow enough to feed their families, especially during the dry season. Land is abundant, but they do not have sufficient inputs to maximize agriculture. They need tools to maximize the utility of their land and produce food. 12-15 million farmers in Africa would benefit from irrigation. One irrigation pump can lift a farmer and his family out of poverty and into the middle class in as little as one harvest. On average, each farmer with access to irrigation grows enough to provide produce to 50 community members and earns enough to send one child to school for the first time.

Water

Water is one of our most basic needs for survival. We believe that everyone deserves clean water. Over one-third of all wells drilled in the last twenty years are now broken – 50,000 are currently broken in Africa alone. They remain broken because communities lack access to spare parts, tools and trained well mechanics to keep them working. TAP helps to train local well mechanics and caretakers to fix and maintain wells, creating a sustainable way to ensure wells are working so people always have access to clean water.

In each impact area, we work with entrepreneurs to come up with innovative solutions.

Solutions For Environment: Train Efficient Cookstove Makers

Our stove masons create efficient cookstoves that reduce smoke emissions. Efficient stoves reduce fuel use by 30-60%, which results in decreasing black carbon emissions by 50-90%.

Solutions For Health: Train Community Health Workers

Community Health Workers go door-to-door to teach families how to improve their health and wealth and sell life-changing products such as simple treatments for malaria and diarrhea, safe delivery kits, fortified foods, clean cookstoves, water filters, and solar lights. By combining the best practices from business and public health, we are dramatically lowering child mortality AND creating livelihoods for thousands of enterprising women. Our Community Health Workers focus on four areas that affect the majority of child deaths but can be addressed at a low cost: treating childhood diseases, offering free pregnancy and newborn check-ups, improving nutrition and promptly referring acute cases to qualified facilities. 

Solutions For Water: Train Well Mechanics and Water Operators

It is estimated that as many as 60,000 new wells are installed each year, but a third in sub-Saharan Africa are simply nonfunctional. Working knowledge about wells and having people around who can fix them increases the sustainability and lifespan of these water solutions. Our trained well mechanics continuously manage wells and make sure wells properly operate and provide clean water to the community. In addition to well mechanics, we also hire water operators and kiosk caretakers. The water operators help manage the process of extending pipes to families’ homes and collect fees, while caretakers help ensure public kiosks are running efficiently and are clean. These entrepreneurs keep the water flowing. 

Solutions For Hunger: Mentor Farmers

Over 40 million farmers in Africa currently rely primarily on rainfall, while the potential to access available groundwater through irrigation could create sustainable change. With irrigation, crops can be harvested continuously throughout the year and on average, can increase their incomes 500%. This means these farmers can invest in improved farm inputs, livestock, and more. We also know the landscape and climate in sub-Saharan Africa are changing. So, we’re working with farmers to provide drought-resistant ground nuts and soybean seeds, along with education on how to adapt crops to this change. By equipping farmers with the tools they need to succeed, they can increase their yields and provide more food to their families and communities! 

Learn more about our targeted, entrepreneurial solutions.

Want to learn more about why we focus on these areas? We recommend this extra reading: 

Importance of Charcoal-efficient Stoves

Focus on Health

Impact of Hunger

Focus on Water

Why Create Jobs Instead of Giving Direct Aid?

People all over the world want the same things: the opportunity to care for their families, send their kids to school, and lead healthy lives. 

What people really want is a good job. 

Aid is always appreciated, but people desire to work. We provide lifesaving jobs and dignity. 

We believe that every person on this planet is born with potential. Every person needs an opportunity.

Creating jobs also provides sustainability. 

We don’t simply catch fish for them. We teach them to fish. Your gifts will train people and serve their local villages with clean water, provide health care, impact hunger and protect the environment. Once working, moms and dads are moving their entire families out of poverty and sending their kids to school. 

Want to learn more about the lack of job opportunities in Africa? Check out these articles for some additional reading: 

Everyone Wants a Job

Poverty, Inc.

How Do You Measure Your Impact?

Jobs make a huge impact. But we don’t stop with the number of entrepreneurs we hire or train. We look at the number of jobs created; the average income and changes from those jobs; the number of secondary jobs created by our entrepreneurs; and then changes in the number of kids who are able to go to school because of a stable income. We also then ensure we’re measuring specific metrics within each impact area: acres of farms and nutrition rates for hunger; the number of people with access to water; reduction in CO2 for the environment; and under-five mortality rates for health.

Our Solutions

How Does TAP Impact the Environment? 

We help to recruit and train local people to manufacture and sell fuel-efficient stoves locally that reduce toxic cooking smoke. A charcoal efficient cookstove saves a family 20% of their daily expenses because they use 50% less fuel each day. One cookstove also saves six trees from being turned into charcoal each year, and reduces 1.5 tons of black carbon emissions each year.

Cookstoves are made locally and sold by men and women in Kenya and Tanzania. Our stove masons create efficient cookstoves that reduce smoke emissions and use less charcoal. Reducing smoke emissions will result in lowering preventable diseases and deaths. In addition, efficient stoves reduce fuel use by 30-60%, which results in decreasing black carbon emissions by 50-90%.

Why Does TAP Focus On the Environment?

There are 3 billion people in the world burning wood, charcoal, or coal in open fires or inefficient stoves for cooking and heating. Cooking over open fires is one of the world’s biggest, but least known, killers. Four million people die each year from breathing in toxic cooking smoke.

How Does TAP Impact Health? 

The Adventure Project's solution for health is to train local leaders to become health care agents, so they can earn a living selling over 60 health products at affordable prices. Each person cares for approximately 800 people in their community, paying special attention to pregnant mothers and young children.

Community Health Workers (CHW's) go door-to-door to teach families how to improve their health and wealth and sell life-changing products, such as simple treatments for malaria and diarrhea, safe delivery kits, fortified foods, clean cookstoves, water filters, and solar lights. By combining the best practices from business and public health, we are dramatically lowering child mortality AND creating livelihoods for thousands of enterprising women.

Our CHW's focus on four areas that affect the majority of child deaths but can be addressed at a low cost: treating childhood diseases, offering free pregnancy and newborn check-ups, improving nutrition, and promptly referring acute cases to qualified facilities. This method has been proven to reduce child mortality by 25% in communities.

Why Does TAP Focus On Health?

Every minute, six children die in the developing world because they do not have access to basic medicines – treatments that cost less than a cup of coffee. There is also a healthcare worker shortage -- only 2.3 healthcare workers per a population of 1,000 exists in Africa. Free clinics operated by the government cost time and money to get there and often have medicine shortages. Finally, counterfeit drugs are a common problem in the private sector. Counterfeit drugs are responsible for 100,000 deaths a year in Africa.

Why Does TAP Focus On Water?

Water is one of our most basic needs for survival.

We believe that everyone deserves clean water. Over one-third of all wells drilled in sub-Saharan Africa in the last twenty years are now broken. They remain broken because communities lack access to spare parts, tools, and trained well mechanics to keep them working.

How Does TAP Impact Water?

We rain local well mechanics and caretakers to fix and maintain wells, creating a sustainable way to ensure wells are working so people always have access to clean water. One caretaker per well is hired to collect user fees and keep the well clean for the community. The community always has access to clean water and has a system in place to deal with broken hand pumps.

In addition, we hire engineers to extend pipes straight to households. When families no longer have to spend hours walking to access safe, clean water, they can stay in school and increase their incomes. By the end of 2020, our water solutions will have helped Kamwenge become the first district in Uganda to have 100% water coverage.

Why Does TAP Focus On Hunger?

80% of the poor in sub-Saharan Africa work as rural subsistence farmers. 

Each night, 75% of their children go hungry because they struggle to grow enough to feed their families, especially during the dry season. Land is abundant, but they do not have sufficient inputs to maximize agriculture. 

They need tools to maximize the utility of their land and produce food. 12-15 million farmers in Africa would benefit from irrigation. If Africa reaches just 20% of farmland irrigated, the “hungry season” will become a thing of the past. In addition, the climate in sub-Saharan Africa is rapidly changing. Farmers need education and tools to deal with increasing droughts and floods to stave off famine.

How Does TAP Impact Hunger? 

We equip farmers with irrigation pumps. One irrigation pump can lift a farmer and his family out of poverty and into the middle class in as little as one harvest. On average, each farmer with access to irrigation grows enough to provide produce to 50 community members and earns enough to send one child to school for the first time.

In addition, we’re working with farmers in Malawi to provide drought-resistant ground nuts and soybean seeds. This helps them adapt to the changing climate around them. By equipping farmers with the tools they need to succeed, they can increase their yields and provide more food to their communities!

Work in the Field

What Countries Are You In?

We currently work in Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, and Kenya. See our results in those countries here.

How Many People Have You Helped?

As of October 2019, we have helped 1,545,134 people. Want to learn more about what that impact looks like? Check out our impact here.

How Do You Choose Your Partners? 

Our five implementing partners are innovative professionals with years of proven progress. We choose partners who are experts in their impact area, have in-depth knowledge of the issues facing communities in their operating country, have offices in the field, hire locally, and know what techniques will be sustainable and efficient, as well as suitable for their specific region.

In addition, we’ve started focusing on gender parity in our partner selection, moving toward ensuring at least half of our portfolio of organizations is founded by women or local founders. 

IDENTIFY: We vet the partners thoroughly and conduct annual site visits, ensuring our partners are achieving sustainable and measurable impact -- creating jobs that are truly lifting people out of poverty.

SCALE: We invest in the best. Funds are sent to local partners to provide specialized job training, education and support to people living in poverty, so they can learn how to become profitable entrepreneurs.

PROVE: After individuals are working, we share their stories -- showing you exactly who has been helped and how they have benefited. We follow up and evaluate how effective our donations were at reducing poverty and saving lives. We want our funding to always create the highest return for your dollar.

How Do You Train Entrepreneurs? 

Our entrepreneur selection varies from region to region, partner to partner. We vet our partners thoroughly, so we believe in their vetting process. In addition, every program's process must factor in community support and input. This often means the community assists with the entrepreneur selection process. With community buy-in, we see increased sustainability and results.

Who Are Your Partners?

We currently work with five amazing organizations: 

KickStart International to equip farmers with irrigation systems in Kenya.

Living Goods to train Community Health Workers in Uganda and Kenya.

Water For People to train water operators and engineers to manage and build piped water systems in Uganda.

Energy 4 Impact to train and mentor stove masons in Kenya and Tanzania.

Yamba Malawi to mentor farmers and equip them with drought-resistant seeds in Malawi. 

Learn more about our partners on the ground here.

How Do You Select the Countries You Work In?

We currently work with five implementing partners in East Africa to assess and determine areas and communities struggling in extreme poverty. We choose the countries where we work based on poverty levels, political stability, and the availability of strong local organizations in which we can partner with for major change in one of our four impact areas. We look for partners who present innovative solutions to those impact areas -- and most importantly put the entrepreneurs at the heart of their own success story. 

At present, The Adventure Project can’t accommodate requests from supporters to work in specific additional countries. You can earmark your donation to a certain project. Outside of that, we ask that you trust our judgment in determining where your funds will go and where we work. We are honored to have the chance to be good stewards of your funds.

Donations

What Can My Donation Do? 

On average, every $1,500 can transform one person’s life by hiring one entrepreneur. Once working, they will go on to serve 500 people in their community. 

Donations to our Water Programs: 

Water is life. So, we make every dollar count: $200 can pipe water directly into one family’s home. $40 gives one person access to clean water. 

Donations to our Environment Programs: 

For less than $1000, we can put one stove mason through mentorship and training. That stove mason goes on to impact over 700 people in their community! Together, we’ve mitigated over 580,000 tons of carbon. 

Donations to our Health Programs: 

It costs $2,500 to train, mentor and equip one community health worker. That woman goes on to serve 800 people in her community, all for less than $3.25 a person. 

Donations to our Hunger Programs:

We can equip one farmer with training and mentorship for less than $1100, along with needed resources, like drought-resistant seeds or an irrigation pump. That farmer is able to impact 30 people. Most importantly, one irrigation pump can lift a farmer and his family out of poverty and into the middle class in as little as one harvest.

Hire Someone Today.

How Can I Donate to The Adventure Project?

Online

Donating online is our easiest option. You can donate using any major credit card or your PayPal account here. You can donate to a specific campaign or to our general funds online by selecting where your funds go. 

And of course your security is a top priority for us: we use Stripe to securely process all online donations. No account needed, and we'll never share your information with anyone.

Monthly Donation

Our Collective is the backbone of all we do. The Collective is a community of people dedicated to giving effectively to end extreme poverty in our lifetimes. You can sign up for any recurring amount. Your generous donation will then be automatically deducted starting on the date that you've signed up and will occur every month on the same day.

You can also click "Make this a recurring monthly gift" on any donation to join The Collective.


By Check

Send checks for general donations to our NYC office at:

       The Adventure Project

        81 Prospect Street, Suite 7055

        Brooklyn, NY 11201

If you're donating in honor of someone, sponsoring a specific project, or want to direct your donation to our operations costs, please write this in the memo of your check.

Can I Donate Stock?

We're able to accept donations in the form of stock, government (including municipal) debt, and corporate debt through the Depository Trust Company (DTC). For security, settlement, and reduced paperwork, electronic transfer through the DTC is preferred. This can be arranged from most brokerage accounts. To get started, fill out this form and provide to your financial advisor or we can recommend this service.

Is My Donation Tax-deductible?

Yes! As a 501(c)3, 100% of your donation is tax-deductible, with the exception of event tickets and purchases from our shop (i.e., t-shirts or charcoal soap/candles). A tax receipt is emailed after your donation, and we email (or mail) cumulative tax receipts to the address associated with the donation by February 15 of each year.

I Made a Donation to The Adventure Project. Do I Get Reporting On It?

We are committed to sharing where our projects are and the direct impact on entrepreneurs. Your general donation becomes part of our General Fund, which is spent on projects in East Africa where it’s most needed. While you may not receive a personalized project report, we do send out regular impact reports to all supporters who contributed to a campaign and project. You can be confident that your money will help empower entrepreneurs and make a direct impact. 

If you’re interested in receiving reporting for a specific project, we encourage you to start a fundraising campaign or sponsor one of our entrepreneurs.

How Do I Get a Tax Receipt for My Donation?

After each donation, a tax receipt is automatically sent to the email address associated with the donation. In addition, by February 15 of each year, we email out cumulative tax receipts for our supporters for those with email addresses on file or mail out to the address associated with the donation for those supporters who donate by check. However, if you didn’t receive one or can’t locate it, please feel free to email us at hello@theadventureproject.org, and we will send one out personally!

How Much of Your Funding Goes to Your Programs?

We believe in transparency! You can see our financial breakdowns, including programmatic, fundraising, and specific impact area funding, along with our financial statements here. Our financial year begins each November. 

Getting Involved

We Want to Be a Partner On the Ground. How Can We Submit a Proposal? 

Thanks so much for your interest! Typically, we seek out our partner organizations that align with our growth; however, we will post all opportunities and requirements for a proposal on our website when we have an open request for proposals. In the meantime, if you feel you are a strong candidate, you can email us at hello@theadventureproject.org with more info on your organization. Please note, we only partner with nonprofit organizations that create jobs that impact pneumonia, diarrhea, malnutrition, and preterm complications in our verticals of environment, water, hunger, and health.

How Can I or My Company Partner with The Adventure Project?

We partner with organizations that share our passion for ending poverty and empowering entrepreneurs, value excellence, and operate with integrity. Our corporate partners make a significant annual contribution and work with us to launch innovative, unforgettable campaigns. You can contact a member of our staff by emailing us at hello@theadventureproject.org, and we’ll get back in touch with you within five business days.

How Can I Join Your Team?

We love finding talented, entrepreneurially-minded and data-driven people who also have a passion for ending extreme poverty effectively. In short, we need people to do big things quickly. We post all job and employment openings here.

Can I Volunteer for The Adventure Project?

At this time, we have no recurring volunteer program. However, we often are in need of volunteers and interns in NYC. Our social channels (@TheAdventureProject) and blog are the best ways to stay up to date on this (plus, get great stories from the field!).

The Collective

Can I Make a Recurring Monthly Donation?

Our Collective is the backbone of all we do. The Collective is a community of people dedicated to giving effectively to end extreme poverty in our lifetimes. You can sign up for any recurring amount. Your generous donation will then be automatically deducted starting on the date that you've signed up and will occur every month on the same day. And each quarter, we’ll share the impact your contributions have made! 

On our Donate page, you can also select "Make this a recurring monthly gift" to join The Collective.

How Can I Change or Cancel My Monthly Donation?

We want to make giving easy! You can contact a member of our staff either via this form under Membership Preferences; by emailing us at hello@theadventureproject.org; or by calling us at 650.303.1899 to make any changes to your monthly giving. 

How Does my Monthly Donation Make an Impact?

Whether you give $15 per month or $1,500, collectively, we're creating sustainable impact that scales. Our Collective creates jobs around the globe. You will be providing people, currently living in extreme poverty, with tools, job training, and skills to become profitable entrepreneurs.

Each quarter, we'll send you stories from the field, so you can learn more about who you're helping and how they are lifting their families and communities out of poverty.

Interested in becoming a part of The Collective? Join The Collective here

Payment / Troubleshooting Issues

Help! Something On Your Site Isn't Working.

Oh no! We're so sorry about that! Whether you're getting a 404 error or a link isn't working, we want to get this resolved for you as soon as possible. We'd love it if you could email us at hello@theadventureproject.org with the following: 

  • What happened? 
  • Did you submit your payment via credit card or a personal PayPal account? 
  • Can you provide the URL of the last page you were on before the error?
  • Are you on a Mac, PC, mobile device or tablet?
  • Can you attach a screenshot of the error?

We'll be in touch quickly once we get your email! Thanks! 

How Can I Update My Address?

We want to make giving easy! You can contact a member of our staff either by emailing us at hello@theadventureproject.org or calling us at 650.303.1899 to notify us of any changes. 

How Can I Update my Credit/Debit Card Information?

We want to make giving easy! You can contact a member of our staff either via this form under Membership Preferences; by emailing us at hello@theadventureproject.org; or by calling us at 650.303.1899 to make any changes to your donation.

What Information Do You Collect?

We believe in protecting your information. You can see our Privacy Policy here. If you have any questions about how we use or store your information, please reach out to us at hello@theadventureproject.org or 650.303.1899.