Nightbank envisions a world where people open their homes and share their sleeping space with others to support social and environmental initiatives in communities around the world.
Nightbank is an online platform that encourages participation in three ways: by initiating a project in one's local community; by contributing a sleeping space to an initiative listed on the site; and by sleeping at a space to support an initiative. As a result of this participation a community is formed where everyone gains. The project Initiators get publicity for their project and funding; the Space Donators support the project of their choice; and the Sleepers get to have a good night's sleep in the knowledge that their contribution goes to a meaningful cause.
Nightbank works with local partners, scholar activists, non-profit associations and grassroots movements around the world. It supports initiatives that generate communal assets or shared resources for these communities. A good night’s sleep is crucial to the phyical, mental and emotional health of the individual and, by extension, the general well-being of their community.
Nightbank is entirely funded by its founders, its donations and merchandising sales.
In the immediate aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, the Berlin-based anthropologist Michael Hoffmann set up together with friends a group called ‚DARG’ – Direct Action Relief Group to provide funds for earthquake victims. Drawing on a network of local contacts in Nepal, DARG provided direct humanitarian aid without intermediaries through the organisation of events in Berlin and Italy and direct donations from friends. After gathering funds within a three week period, DARG successfully delivered hundreds of tents, several tons of food, countless medical supplies and sanitary items and benefitted around 3000 people in a village in the Nepali highlands.
Inspired by the success of DARG, Michael envisioned a new online platform that entails a financial funding mechanism for development initiatives that relies on the activation and redistribution of value from unused resources.
In September 2016 Michael met up with Erato Tzavara and Kiran Hacker in Athens. Together they begun to discuss the idea and draft different aspects of the project. The envisioned plattform was baptised with the name Nightbank and the three reached out to different programmers and supporters with the aim to build a prototype of the plattform. After some failed attempts to obtain institutional support for the project over the winter 2016/2017, Michael met the Leipzig based game designer and programmer Micha Zöller. Throughout winter 2017, Michael, Micha and Kiran invested their skills, time and personal funds to build the plattformand established the organisation in all its legal and financial aspects. Throughout this process they were supported by the Berlin based lawyer Peter Thalhauser. By january 2017, the Nairobi-based project manager, Paz Lopez-Rey joined the team and begun working on setting up a first pilot project in Kenia.
In April 2017 the organisation won the ‚Social Impact Lab Leipzig’ residency which continues to provide legal and business mentoring as well as an office space in Leipzig. Shortly after on 19th of June 2017, Nightbank was registered as a charitable, non-profit at the trade register in Berlin. On the 4th of July 2017 the team releases a fully, functional version of the Nightbank online plattform. On the 1st of November 2017 the team wins the 'Kultur & Kreativpiloten' price of the german ministry of economics.
Michael Hoffmann (CEO and Co-Founder)
Michael Zöller (CTO and Co-Founder)
Kiran Hacker (Design and Co-Founder)
Peter Thalhauser (Law Advice)
Paz Lopez-Rey (Project Manager)
Erato Tzavara (Content Producer and Social Media)
Additional collaborateurs and inspiring friends:
Zyranna Stoikou, Mellissa Gomez, Victor Matekole, Nikhil Archaya, Massimiliano Leone, Thomas Dolcetta, Matjaz Pinter, Eva Pivac, Kuchhat Chaudhury