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How Milkywire CEO, Nina Siemiatkowski, is Saving the World

Could one app save the world? Nina Siemiatkowski, CEO at Milkywire, thinks so.

Milkywire helps people who want to donate to charity, but don’t want a middleman taking a portion. Milkywire strives to work with organizations that are trusted, with work conforming to UN Global Goals.

The app  itself tells you where the money goes. Ninety percent goes to charity organizations, and the rest is for platform and transaction fees.

Another benefit of Milkywire is how transparent your donation is. You will get video updates from each expert about what they are doing, and you are free to ask any question you want.

Who is the person behind Milkywire? Nina Siemiatkowski, whose life went on many different trajectories to get to where she was.

When she was in high school, Nina dreamed of being a photographer. But she knew many photographers did not make it in this business. So she decided to “play it safe” and go to business school.

From 2001 to 2006, she studied at the Stockholm School of Economics and at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

She quickly scaled the business career ladder, becoming a financial leader. She worked as the head of marketing for some of the biggest names in Sweden.

Despite her success, she wasn’t feeling her career in business. She was 31 when she came to the realization. She felt there must be more to it and while still young and free, she wanted to pursue her dream of becoming a photographer. In 2012 she resigned and after a few months in photography school she embarked on the photography project, Book of Leon, about the world’s last wild lions. Set in Kenya, Nina followed one pride of lions over several years, spending more than five months with them in the field. 

During her photography project Nina learnt a lot about lions in general, but also about this one pride of lions. She got to know them as a family, learning about each individual’s personality, their relationships. She got to see their lives unfold as they had children, went through hardships, and even died. She learnt how similar humans and lions are, but also how lions now are dropping in numbers as the human population explodes. 

Twenty years ago, the wild lion population was around  40,000. Now, it was estimated at 20,000. How long would it be until they were extinct? Another 20 years, which would easily be in her lifetime? Perhaps sooner with how humanity was growing and how much we were consuming with our resources.

With the ambition to do something about the threatened lion population Nina’s journey took her to the world of nonprofits. The organizations who hoped to protect the lions and boost their populations.

What she soon realized was that most of the nonprofits were struggling financially  and spent a very large part of their time looking for funding instead of doing what they did best; helping our planet. Yet, for most of the organizations, the people who ran them were very optimistic and dedicated to what they were doing. They were working hard and taught Nina that there was still much that could be done to save our planet.These organisations also faced other challenges. They lacked the digital tools and the resources to, by themselves, reach a global audience of people who would actually care and support them.

When only 2% of all donations in the world go to the environment, everyone struggles financially, but especially the nonprofits several layers down doing the very important hands-on work on the ground. 

Other charity organizations (some who even gave donations to these hands-on grassroots organizations) would have a large number of middle-men that took a major cut of the money. The nonprofits weren’t getting their fair share of the money. There had to be an easier way for the public to donate to the causes they loved.

This is when Nina felt obliged to do something, realizating that both her skills would come to use. Her knowledge of business and love for nature  helped form Milkywire, an easier way for people to connect directly to these organizations and to other people who want to take action to save the planet .

Milkywire is available on iOS and Android, and it helps streamline the donation process. It’s easy for you to find the causes you are most passionate about and then donate to which ones you like. For more information, please download the app or visit their website.

We hope Nina’s story has inspired you to find your passions and your purpose in this  world. One way is to visit Milkywire and look at what nonprofits  are available for you to donate to. Chances are, you can find something you love.

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