Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQs

1. What is GlobalGiving?
2. What was the inspiration for starting GlobalGiving?
3. Who are some of the funders?
4. How does GlobalGiving differ from United Way, America's Charities, and other umbrella organizations?
5. Is GlobalGiving competing with aid institutions?
6. How are GlobalGiving's services different from those of other giving facilitators?
7. What companies and institutions are currently working with GlobalGiving?
8. Why give internationally?
9. How does GlobalGiving select its projects for the website?
10. How does the money get to the project?
11. How is the progress of the projects tracked?
12. What can GlobalGiving do for companies or institutions who want to get involved?

1. What is GlobalGiving?

GlobalGiving was founded in 2001 by Dennis Whittle and Mari Kuraishi, two former World Bank executives. It is a growing, Internet-based organization that is shaping the future of international aid and philantropy.

By creating an Internet-based marketplace, GlobalGiving offers direct contact between donors and locally-run projects from around the world. It works with corporations, institutions, and individuals to enhance the strategic impact of their philanthropy while creating a support network for the world's most innovative social entrepreneurs.

GlobalGiving aspires to be the world's richest marketplace for international giving. The company is striving to create an open marketplace a bit like eBay where, instead of buyers and sellers connecting to do business, donors can connect directly with project leaders (social entrepreneurs) over the Internet and help fund their projects. The vision is to create a vibrant global community of social entrepreneurs and donors working together to make positive world change happen. It will be a place where people connect around shared interests, donors have real impact on issues they care about, and social entrepreneurs have access to new funding they otherwise would never have had. What you see now at www.globalgiving.org is the first step towards realizing that vision.

2. What was the inspiration for starting GlobalGiving?

GlobalGiving founders Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle began working together while at the World Bank, initially collaborating on the Bank's Russia program. In 1998, they were asked to lead the World Bank's Corporate Strategy Group. While in that post, they created the first-ever Innovation Marketplace for Bank staff in 1998 and the worldwide Development MarketPlace in 2000. The Innovation Marketplace was an internal competition where Bank employees were asked to pitch their own ideas for fighting poverty worldwide. The "winners" were given grants to go make their ideas happen. The competition resulted in some of the most innovative ideas and most effective programs the bank has done. The Development Marketplace took the competition to the outside world and enabled any social entrepreneur in the world to compete for Bank funds.

After the awards were announced at the World Bank's 2000 Development Marketplace a South African woman who was not awarded a grant approached Dennis and asked when the secondary market was going to start. She said, "Just because the World Bank didn't fund my idea doesn't mean that others in the world won't."

That remark was the genesis of GlobalGiving. Within six months, Mari and Dennis left the World Bank to begin designing a marketplace that would allow social entrepreneurs from across the world to submit project proposals and have access to potential funders of all types and sizes. GlobalGiving set out to connect donors and social entrepreneurs - people with ideas for changing for the better their communities and even the world at large. In February 2002, GlobalGiving launched the beta version of the website. Within two weeks, the first project, a toilet block at a school in India, was funded, prompting the Washington Post to call GlobalGiving, the foreign aid equivalent of the speed of light."

3. Who are some of the funders?

GlobalGiving is supported by philanthropy and industry leaders that include HP, Visa International, USAID, The Skoll Foundation, The Omidyar Foundation, USAID, The Sall Family Foundation, The Hewlett Foundation, The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The Calvert Foundation, and The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, among others.

GlobalGiving is made up of two entities: a for-profit called ManyFutures, Inc. and a nonprofit called GlobalGiving Foundation. GlobalGiving.com is a service provided by Many Futures, Inc. All donations and funding grants are processed through the GlobalGiving Foundation, a registered 501c3. All donations, as a result, are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

4. How does GlobalGiving differ from United Way, America's Charities, and other umbrella organizations?

Organizations like United Way and America's Charities allow donors to identify organizations that they would like to support. These organizations then support a variety of other organizations and individual projects. GlobalGiving, in contrast, connects donors directly to the project level, enabling a more transparent, engaging donor experience and eliminating some of the inefficiencies inherent in many other organizational structures. With GlobalGiving, donors know exactly where their money is going and can interact with project leaders from around the world directly. Nowhere else will you find such an eclectic collection of high-impact, international projects.

5. Is GlobalGiving competing with aid institutions?

GlobalGiving is a complement to the work of aid institutions and, in fact, many aid institutions are strategic partners of GlobalGiving. While much of the aid industry focuses on multi-million dollar loans to foreign governments, GlobalGiving focuses on smaller, grassroots initiatives, and is working with institutions like USAID to help them connect to locally-run projects that will enable their dollars to have more impact.

6. How are GlobalGiving's services different from those of other giving facilitators?

GlobalGiving offers a variety of services that connect corporations, institutions, and individuals to locally-run projects around the world. GlobalGiving's strengths are:

  • Its broad offering of projects from around the world in a wide variety of thematic areas like education, the environment, microfinance, healthcare, among others.
  • Its system for vetting projects through a network of nonprofit organizations who support social entrepreneurs. This network helps technology-challenged organizations post their projects and ensures that the projects are run by legitimate, highly-effective organizations.
  • Its highly-efficient giving platform that, because it enables donors and project leaders to connect directly with one another, eliminates much of the bureaucracy and inefficiency of traditional giving organizations. The result is that more of a donor's money gets to the actual project level. GlobalGiving provides a great alternative for companies already working with organizations like United Way and America's Charities, providing a direct connection to projects, and offering a broad selection of international giving opportunities.

7. What companies and institutions are currently working with GlobalGiving?

GlobalGiving Partners (HP, Visa, GM, AOL, The North Face, Applied Materials, Yahoo, USAID, among others) make up a cross-disciplinary group of organizations focused on being good global citizens and working to create a support structure for social entrepreneurs and their projects. Partners collaborate to create and support real solutions to social, economic, and environmental problems, while fueling constituent loyalty and developing new markets for their organizations.

8. Why give internationally?

We are in an era of unprecedented global interconnectedness - problems in one corner of the earth have a ripple effect worldwide. Though GlobalGiving offers projects in the U.S. as well as overseas, we are strong advocates for international giving. Americans are the most generous people on the earth. They give away over $200 billion a year (about 2% of GDP), while Europeans (the runners-up), give away just under 1% of GDP. Yet much of this generous spirit remains invisible to the rest of the world since the bulk of philanthropic dollars go to domestic causes. Why? We believe that truly engaging international giving opportunities are difficult to find and the donor experience is often sub-optimal due to bureaucracy and inability to verify and monitor progress. GlobalGiving is building a dynamic, vibrant community of donors and social entrepreneurs from around the world. We believe, that by enabling donors to connect directly to social entrepreneurs, they will have a dynamic, engaging experience that connects them to causes they are passionate about. Additionally, the majority of GlobalGiving's projects are based in the developing world where every dollar has enormous impact. For example, an $800 donation in Cambodia will buy a computer that enables a local company to employ two people full time at several times the average wage. If $200 million is directed to similar projects, it would provide employment for 500,000 people.

9. How does GlobalGiving select its projects for the website?

GlobalGiving promises the highest quality projects to its donors. To ensure this, all projects on the GlobalGiving site must be vetted by a Project Sponsor - an organization, funder, aid agency, or corporation who certifies that the project's methodology is sound and the project leader's track record is strong (specifically in cases where the methodology or approach is untested).

10. How does the money get to the project?

Once GlobalGiving has received payment and the funds are pooled with contributions from other donors, the money is transferred to the project's sponsoring U.S. non-profit organization. The sponsor then wires the funds directly to the project leader. In rare cases where GlobalGiving is responsible for transferring the money overseas, additional nominal charges may apply.

11. How is the progress of the projects tracked?

For every project listed on GlobalGiving, the project leader provided contact information. This includes mailing address, phone number, and email address. This information allows donors to establish a relationship with those running the project and follow up on its progress. Many of GlobalGiving's social entrepreneurs provide regular email reports on project progress as well.

12. What can GlobalGiving do for companies or institutions who want to get involved?

GlobalGiving also works with corporations, financial institutions, affinity groups, and other institutions to help them with their specific giving needs. Here are some of the services offered.

Employee giving: We develop customized Web sites for corporations and other organizations to enable their employees to give to GlobalGiving projects through payroll deduction programs. These sites are co-branded by the company or organization and GlobalGiving and project themes and geographies can be tailored to strategic interests. For example, if a company is interested in projects in the environment or education field, we can customize the site so that only projects within those two themes are viewed by employees. For example, GlobalGiving runs an employee giving program for 70,000 Hewlett-Packard employees.

Strategic philanthropy: We provide project sourcing services for corporate and other types of organizational philanthropy. If a company wants to support local communities in which they do business internationally, we can source and connect them to high-impact projects in those communities. For example, for The North Face, GlobalGiving is sourcing projects in areas where the company is running international expeditions and wants to give back to the surrounding communities.

Co-marketing programs: We work with companies and other organizations who are striving to be good global citizens to raise awareness about their support for international projects through GlobalGiving and get their customers and other constituents engaged in helping them make a difference. The North Face strategic philanthropy program is expanding to enable consumers to give to the same projects the company is supporting at all The North Face retail stores.

Consulting services: GlobalGiving provides support for partners looking to enhance the impact of their international strategic philanthropy.

Physical Marketplace Events: GlobalGiving facilitates giving events where donors can interact directly with world-class social entrepreneurs.

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GlobalGiving Contact

Joan Ochi
Director of Marketing Communications


Phone: 202-232-5784
Toll Free: 1-877-605-2314
Fax: 202-315-2558