It was the summer of 2008 and two friends sat on a dusty porch in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Contemplating the systemic changes happening around them, Sadaf and Cate sensed a radical shift in the scale of the problems faced by communities around the world. Knowing orthodox solutions to these new and evolving challenges may not cut it, they were confronting a common dilemma: how can individuals affect meaningful change?
Deciding to combine their talents and resources to spark something new, they founded Kindle Project. Cate came to Kindle with a background in progressive philanthropy and inherited wealth which she had already been sharing. She was committed to contributing her wealth to something meaningful and Kindle was it. Sadaf came to Kindle with a background in the non-profit sector and a fresh perspective on systems change after receiving her Masters Degree from the United Nations University for Peace. She was committed to bringing her skills and grassroots experience to something distinct, and, for her as well, Kindle was it. With the help of a trusted team of diverse advisors, they were a combined force to be reckoned with and crafted their out-of-the-box organization.
After much deliberation, around the clock strategizing, and the advisement and work of a dynamic team, it was clear: Kindle Project would disrupt the status quo by funding in creative and unconventional ways and supporting off-the-radar people and projects contributing to systems change.
First, there was the creation of the Kindle Project LLC which provided the structure to enable Sadaf and Cate to provide direct support to organizations and individuals that did not have tax-exempt status. However, they also knew that many of the projects they would likely support were traditional non-profits, sometimes doing very non-traditional work. To that end, they set up the Kindle Project Fund of the Common Counsel Foundation in 2011. From awards to renegade whistleblowers like John Bolenbaugh to grants to organizations like Amazon Watch, Kindle has primed itself to be a nimble funder, able to seed creativity, imagination and projects. Kindle’s funding philosophy was, and still is, rooted not on a project’s institutional affiliation but on merit, passion, drive, experimentation, originality and risk.
Kindle’s spirit of renegade funding has achieved success in large part because of the deep commitment to breaking the barriers so often present between funders and grantees. This is the foundation upon which all Kindle relationships are built–knowing that every person and project has a voice of equal importance.
Kindle’s programs have always been about funding in radical ways and we are now creating more avenues to push boundaries and flex creativity in the philanthropic sector. Kindle Project is playing a catalytic role in inspiring an existing movement of like-minded funders, donors and organizations by helping to shape the field of Indie Philanthropy by creating a network of change-makers and resources to achieve bold solutions.
What was started by two friends in 2008 has continued to carry a strong and growing legacy. With advisors, staff, the Common Counsel Foundation, consultants and a Kindle Project Steering Committee–the organization has a chorus of voices and expertise that continues to propel us into the future. Sadaf remains Director while Cate remains a close ally and advisor to the organization, after stepping down as Co-Director in 2011. When Cate stepped down, she generously provided funds for Kindle to carry on for several years.
We are actively seeking funding partners who are looking for strategic ways to direct their philanthropic dollars. Whether you are an individual donor, a conscious company or a progressive private foundation, if you’d like to break convention and create change in unexpected and amazing ways, we’d like to invite you to be part of the next chapter in the Kindle story.
Sadaf spent her childhood and adolescence playing her hand at international spy training; scaling walls and jumping off buildings barefoot in valiant attempts to fly, rolling out of moving objects to perfect the art of fleeing without breaking bones, being invisible in daylight without an invisibility cloak, ambushing trespassers by sword and pick pocketing suburbanites by sleight of hand, bending spoons, and becoming well-versed in morse code and speaking in tongues.
Sadaf co-founded Kindle Project in 2008. She brings her espionage skills to her art, photography and leadership at Kindle Project.
Currently, Sadaf is Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. Sadaf has served as President to the Board of Directors for Skateistan, Environmental Justice Manager for Tewa Women United, and Public Education and Outreach Director at Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety.
A photographer and multimedia artist, Sadaf’s work has included documenting Afghan refugee camps and the survivors of the 1947 partition in both India and Pakistan. Sadaf’s work has been shown at Evo Gallery, The Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, The Mannheim Fotofestival in Berlin, and is a part of the permanent collection at Albuquerque Museum of Fine Arts.
Sadaf received her MA in Peace Education from the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica and her BFA in Photography from the College of Santa Fe.
Arianne spends much of her time in worlds of raconteurs story-spinners. She tell stories on stages, in bars, to artists and business people. She has had the good fortune weaving her creative inclinations into a fascinating career with the help of a microphone and many an empathic audience. She has recently received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to write an evening-length storytelling show.
Arianne received her MA in Peace Education from the United Nations University for Peace and completed an honours degree in Religious Studies at Concordia University.
She has organized, facilitated and produced peace building workshops and dialogues in Canada, the United States, Costa Rica, Poland, Turkey, Israel and Palestine. Her background in interfaith dialogue and peacebuilding has led her to work as a chaplain in a Montreal hospital and as an interfaith educator at Concordia University.
Arianne’s varied passions have also led her to produce independent documentaries, co-found a production company, organize grassroots youth conferences, and work as a mentor for teenage girls through YWCA Montreal.
Arianne came to Kindle Project as an advisor in 2009. In the summer of 2010 she was brought on board as Kindle Project’s Media and Project Coordinator. She is now Kindle’s Communication Director and lives and works from Toronto.
Having grown up in the sprawling expanse of Los Angeles, Ben has always felt a strong attraction toward the contrasting expanse of the New Mexican desert. With pavement under his feet for most of his life, he has jumped headfirst, sometimes perhaps too eagerly, at the arroyos, mountains, and cliffs around Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ben can be found with his nose in a book or rock climbing around the Southwest.
Cate Coslor embodies imagination, insight, vision, and spirit. Born in Santa Fe, New Mexico to a country western singing cowboy father and an artistic mother of four, Cate has years of experience working and learning within the non-profit and funding world. Cate values creativity, collaboration, and is skillful at unraveling the multiplicity of viewpoints and dynamics around class and power inherent in the funding sector.
In 2003, Cate co-founded Seeds of Justice, a funding collaborative that supports individuals and organizations striving for internal, interpersonal and systemic transformation. In 2008, she co-founded Kindle Project.
She has been trained as a facilitator by Be Present, a community-based organization focused on building sustainable leadership for social justice, and has served on the organization’s Capacity Building Team for the last four years. In addition, from 2009-2010 she served as a board member for YES!.
Cate is a talented musician, earning her degree in Music Production and Sound Engineering from Expressions: Center for New Media in 2001. She is a trained vocalist, composer, guitar and piano playing fool. Her compositions are whimsical and warm.
Cate currently lives part time in Switzerland with her Swiss husband and devotes much of her energy to LapCat, a music collective that released its first album in 2011.
Kimi Green’s professional career includes 23 years of philanthropic and community development leadership and management. Her commitment to effective, creative community solutions addressing systems-change for social and environmental benefit has resulted in groundbreaking advancements in the quality of life for local and global communities.
Kimi’s management expertise spans the full range of operational functions critical to advancing social change including program development, management and evaluation, advancement of both permanent and non-permanent financial resources, effective leveraging of funds for increased resources, marketing, campaign management and advocacy. She has served as Program Director for New Cycle Foundation (22 years), Director, Development and Community Sustainability for New Mexico Community Foundation, Development consultant and Board Director for numerous social and environmental justice non-profit organizations, foundations and funder associations, and is a partner with ReGenStem, LLC.
Zane Fischer manages creative process, content generation and client/collaborator projects. He has a background in journalism, editing for the web, arts writing and curating, and house painting. Zane is the recipient of numerous journalism and writing awards, has been named “one of ten who made a difference” by the Santa Fe New Mexican and was given a commendation by the New Mexico Secretary of State for “exceptional service to the peoples of New Mexico.” He is a co-coordinator of the CNN-featured MIX Santa Fe and has more side-projects, committees and board obligations than is entirely reasonable.
Adam has spent the last decade working in the philanthropic and social profit fields. His efforts are inspired by a desire to bring forward the simplicity inherent in natural wisdom to better align complex systems to be in harmony with a natural order. After graduating from Rutgers College with a degree in economics and philosophy, Adam co-founded Saq’ Be’, an organization working with Indigenous groups in the Americas around issues of cultural and spiritual preservation and appropriate sharing. There he harnessed the power of online communications in helping Native communities to get their stories out to the world.
Adam served as development coordinator for the National Network of Grantmakers – a network of social change funders, and as grants manager the Wyss Foundation – a funder committed to open lands preservation in the Intermountain West. In 2004, he co-founded the Institute for Collaborative Change (ICChange), a nonprofit committed to helping organizations become more effective in creating positive change in the world. As an independent consultant, Adam has worked with dozens of organizations to grow their capacities, become more strategic and leverage the power of online communications to maximize their impact. He has helped groups to anchor their relevance and grow outside of the box to maximize their long and short term impact. Adam currently serves as Executive Director for a family Foundation deploying innovative funding and investment approaches to impact positive change in several key areas, including New Economies and Human Development.
Elisa Keir is a multi-media artist, business manager and bookkeeper who has worked with non-profit arts and peace organizations for over ten years. She is also the assistant to the executive director at Creativity for Peace, an international organization that cultivates understanding and leadership in Palestinian and Israeli adolescent girls and women.
Elisa studied fine arts at the Chicago Art Institute, owned and managed a music store in Chicago and has been in an array of exhibitions. Residing in New Mexico since 2001, she continues to embark on the ventures of following her heart, art and ethics.
Webmaster, coder, fixer of anything with wires or blinking lights.
Geet is a master of functionality-based web development and technology integration. With years of experience and an eye towards emerging best-fit applications, Geet brings a comprehensive approach to all aspects of web presence and technology interface to his international base of clients.
Born in the UK and incubated in India and reared in the good ol’ US of A, Geet brings the best of American grit, Indian spice and British refinement to all that he does. In his spare time he can be found sipping mezcal in some of Central America’s seediest bars….
Laura Loescher is a leadership coach, philanthropic advisor and a guide to individuals and organizations who are devoting their resources to inner and outer healing and transformation. Laura previously co-founded and directed Aepoch Fund, a foundation supporting artists, healers, activists and movements engaged in transforming ecological, cultural, economic, and social conditions so that all people and the planet can thrive. Prior to that, she co-founded and directed Changemakers, a foundation practicing and promoting community-based philanthropy.