Appleseed: Our mission is to unleash the development sector's potential for impact. We are a nonprofit consultancy specializing in behavioral marketing, and we help leading development organizations make their critical solutions stick in the world's poorest communities.
Many of the best solutions to poverty and environmental issues, promoted by social impact organizations around the world, are not used as intended. In Malawi, Mosquito nets are used for fishing. In Nigeria, exclusive breastfeeding is practiced by only 23% of young mothers. In Guatemala, nutrition-fortified maize seeds are available, but farmers rarely plant them. The list goes on. These organizations often struggle to reach outcomes that require behavior changes within the communities they serve.
Appleseed, a nonprofit founded in 2015, provides social impact organizations with consulting and coaching around behavioral marketing. We demystify “behavior change,” by offering a systematic and culturally-sensitive process for driving adoption of solutions that improve lives and the environment.
We only serve organizations with the highest potential for making impact. Our nimble field team goes wherever they operate, and when we’re not joining them in the field, we are a fully remote organization.
Our current business model and partner engagements are only the initial steps, as we lay the groundwork for system change. We envision a day when all breakthrough solutions get the behavioral marketing needed to truly make impact.
For more information, please visit www.appleseedimpact.org
A health NGO in Kenya installed clean water tanks in 200 schools, but only 8% of children drank from them. Despite receiving training from community health workers, most kept drinking untreated water from the river or from handwashing tanks. Health workers were very frustrated.
Appleseed first showed the health workers to ask the right questions. Research found that children disliked water made warm by the black tanks under the sun. Also, they had trouble telling drinking and handwashing tanks apart. Observation showed they avoided any tanks placed near teachers’ offices. So we applied behavioral nudges, such as painting tanks white (to reflect heat) and putting soap inside hand washing tanks (to discourage drinking). We also moved tanks closer to where students played (and further from where teachers congregated).
These changes, paired with a communication campaign using better signage and positive reinforcement, made drinking clean water a social norm. Within a year, we achieved 60% uptake, which reduced chronic diarrhea for nearly 27,000 additional children.
Our real success was in getting the NGO's health workers to apply behavioral marketing throughout their programs: they now use it to successfully drive adoption of mosquito nets and nutrition supplements. By showing case studies like these to other social impact organizations, to funders, and to social impact accelerator programs, we foster more widespread use of behavioral marketing across the sector.
We are a small mission-driven startup (currently 2 paid full-time + volunteers + advisors and board members), using lean experimentation to create a sustainable and impactful organization. Our culture is solid, our people are engaged, and our runway is healthy. Our model is innovative and has traction. Our strategy is sound, our early projects have yielded results, and our partners rave about our work… We just have to keep building the business.
Currently, 80% of our revenue comes from philanthropy and 20% is earned from clients (impact organizations). We’d like to flip that ratio by improving our business model. This would bring growth, stability and more impact. Two things stand in the way: 1. Limited Capacity and 2. Operations that are not optimized.
We need someone who can take ownership for the efficiency of our operations (build routines that enshrine the essential, making execution almost effortless); lend a hand with our efforts to find, grow, and keep good people; support efforts to make our work of changing behavior more replicable for both partners and staff; and positively shape our culture, keep us focused on mission, and ensure that our core values are always upheld.
To summarize, our team has been missing one key person... a skilled generalist who happens to be obsessed with operational excellence and has the chops to achieve it within a fully remote startup. This is where you come in.
In many ways, you are sought precisely for how you complement Appleseed’s Executive Director (Philip), so that you can free each other up to do your best. This will be an ongoing conversation that takes shape as the working relationship develops. Some examples of how you might help each other play to strengths and manage weaknesses:
You’ve been seeking a role where you don’t have to choose between making a difference and making a living. You see an amazing opportunity here, where by joining and growing up with Appleseed as early stage organization, you would have the chance to craft your own role, learn and grow every day alongside loyal teammates with a passion for making a difference, and unlock the potential for massive positive impact in the world.
You’re also realistic about what it means to build a startup nonprofit: you’d be ready to work with a small team and limited budgets (until we grow), be able to accept lower pay than you could probably command elsewhere (to start), be willing to roll up your sleeves and help fundraise (for now), be fine with wearing many hats including some you might dislike (until we grow), and be comfortable navigating uncharted territory as a startup.
Target remote start date: November 2019; in-person attendance at team retreat soon thereafter.
Context about salary:
We look forward to hearing from you!