Great Grants by Small Foundations

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A Partnership Builds Infrastructure for International Grantmaking — Association for Small Foundations Newsletter

Volume 7, Number 4 (Fall 2003) — The Skoll Foundation based in Silicon Valley, was created in 1999 to advance systemic change that benefits communities around the world by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs. It was founded on a series of principles, including the following:

  • We seek leverage through our grantmaking, looking for multiplicative and long term impact
  • We see greater benefit in projects or programs with wide-scale or universal application
  • We consider community benefit essential, and we look for evidence of significant tangible results
  • We are inspired by innovation, creative ideas and new solutions to problems

The Skoll Foundation found a grantee that helps the foundation extend its own goals by making it easier for people to give to causes the foundation supports. An organization that both shares its vision and has inspired its support is GlobalGiving, whose mission is to "globalize opportunity by creating the world's richest marketplace for international aid and philanthropy." This online marketplace enables givers to find the best grassroots projects led by top social entrepreneurs.

GlobalGiving connects donors directly with social and economic development projects around the world. Donors can browse through a "project catalog" organized by theme (for example, human rights or environment), by country, by organization or by project sponsor in order to find the project of their choice, and then contribute to these organizations via All projects are fully vetted and authenticated by GlobalGiving's network of nongovernmental organizations and in-country partners.

GlobalGiving will use the Skoll Foundation's contribution to further develop the infrastructure needed to move its Website and operations from pilot mode to full implementation. The organization will work with corporations and their employees, charitable funds and other groups of grantmakers to link them to tangible projects worldwide that are aimed at economic self-sufficiency, education, human rights and other basic human needs. is a tool that can be used by donors of all shapes and sizes.

By investing in this critical organization, the Skoll Foundation will help to enable the creation of a global community of donors, grantmakers, policymakers and social entrepreneurs, working together to address some of the world's most crucial challenges in a tangible and measurable way.

For more from the Association for Small Foundations, please see

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