You often hear stories of people who overcome adversity and are inspired to do something positive with their newfound hope. They take on a healthier lifestyle. They volunteer. They learn to appreciate life whereas they may have taken it for granted before.

Brett Hagler’s story is similar, although beating cancer not only gave him new hope, it gave him New Story. “Cancer gave me a gift that I’m so thankful for: it instilled gratitude into my bones and drove me to live a more selfless lifestyle that could make a difference in people’s lives.” That difference is New Story, an innovative charity that crowd-funds life-saving homes around the world. New Story is a Y Combinator-backed organization (regarded as “the best entrepreneurial program in the world”).

Hagler will share his story, and New Story, at Inman Connect New York on Thursday, January 28, in New York City.


“I experienced tent slums on a missions trip in 2013 and met children born into the worst environment I’ve ever seen,” Hagler says. “They had been living there for over four years, and yet none of the larger nonprofits were able to get them into a safe home.

“So I decided to do it myself, and I set out to create a different kind of charity than I was used to seeing. I was frustrated with with most charities: lack of transparency and personal connection, and the same traditional fundraising efforts. I wanted to do the opposite and create a charity that had radical transparency, personal connection and something that scaled with technology.”

Hagler knew that in order to achieve his goal, he needed to simplify the process: “Raise $6,000, distribute to a local construction company, monitor the progress, then take a video of the family moving in and send all updates back to the donors that made it happen. Keeping things simple has been crucial to our early success.”

You can see proof of that success in the faces of the people New Story has provided homes for.

Maria-Rose and her family from New Story on Vimeo.

If Hagler and his team continue to see success with this model, the possibilities are endless. “What we’re really trying to do is create whole, sustainable communities — not one-off homes — so in 5 years there will be 50+ communities and over 5,000 total New Story homes throughout the world.”

Join us at Inman Connect New York to hear Hagler discuss putting your money where your heart is on Thursday, January 28.

Email Jennye Garibaldi.

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