Megan Kashner, founder and CEO of the new Evanston-based, nonprofit start-up,, has been named to the Techweek 100.

The six-month-old site, based in incubator space at the Technology Innovation Center in Evanston, uses technology to connect people who face hurdles in their path to stabilizing their lives with people who want to help.

An image from the website.

The Techweek conference, now underway at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, asked attendees to nominate leaders of startup businesses as the most innovative names in Chicago tech.

Kashner was recognized for “reinventing personal giving” by creating — a social media philanthropy site that connects people on the edge of sustainability with those who want to help.

Benevolent provides a platform for choice and direct personal giving coupled with the security of a trusted validation process through its partnerships with local nonprofits.

Kashner, the former executive director of the Taproot Foundation and a licensed clinical social worker, says she’s spent her career leading organizations and programs dedicated to bringing innovation to the nonprofit sector and to improving social service support for women and families living in poverty and at risk.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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