skip to content

When We Say ...

KickStart was founded to create a new and effective solution to poverty. To prove this we created one of the best impact measurement systems in the sector.

At KickStart, we think it's important to be specific about our mission, goals, and results. There are a lot appealing but vague buzzwords out there so we want to share with you our definitions of some of the terms that we use.


Sustainability is an important concept, but the term has been applied so broadly in the past decade that it's meaning has gotten cloudy. KickStart uses the term "sustainability" to describe three important aspects of our work:

The lasting benefit of our efforts -- Most importantly, we want to know that the people who have climbed out of poverty, stay out of poverty. We do this by putting our pumps into the hands of the most motivated entrepreneurs, by demanding that any tool we promote has a profitable business model attached to it [link to design criteria], and by ensuring that replacement parts are easily available. Our Impact Monitoring efforts prove that people continue on an upward path of prosperity.

Increasing benefits of our work -- Can additional people take advantage of this solution to poverty without requiring additional cost to KickStart? Because we sell our pumps through a profitable supply chain, our pumps are available to anyone who wants to purchase one.

The growing self-sufficiency of the organization -- KickStart earns a small margin on each pump sold but it does not cover the full costs of selling each pump. Eventually, country-by-country, we will reach a point where we are selling our pumps at a profit. We will reinvest those profits in the development of new technology and new markets.

Enterprises Created

Our goal is to create simple tools that can be used to create profitable businesses. But we know that not every pump sold us used to create a successful business. So our "Enterprises Created" is an important number. We know that at least this many businesses were created that are generating enough income to lift a family out of poverty.

Out of Poverty

The term "out of poverty" has a very specific meaning for KickStart. It does not mean that a person or family is merely making a bit more money, but making enough to money to transform their lives. Placing a value in US dollars is hard as costs of living vary from country to country. Instead, we use this functional description:

  • A family has sufficient income to meet all of their basic needs--nutritious food, decent shelter, clothing, and basic medicines; AND
  • Has enough money to put ALL their children in school; AND
  • Still has money left over to plan for, and invest in, the future.

Imagine a parent going to sleep at night without worry about feeding the family or paying school fees. Economic freedom is what we mean when say "out of poverty."


We count both family jobs and waged jobs created with our pumps. For us, a "job" means 5 hours of productive work per day for at least 150 days per year.


How do you know if a organization provides a good value for your philanthropic dollar? It's not an easy question to answer as it requires the donor to know: a) the "unit cost per impact"; b) the quality of the impact; and c) how this compares to similar organizations.

At KickStart, we can say that we can take a family out of poverty forever for $300. We think this makes us one of the most cost effective solutions to poverty, but we will let you decide.

You Can Help

Increase a farming family's income from:

$150 per year before pump

$850 per year after pump

Donate Now

Measurable Success

190,000 jobs created to date.

Read more about our impact »