(Washington, D.C.) - On December 17, 2014, GlobalGiving announced that it has raised more than $3 million for Ebola relief from donors in 68 countries through the GlobalGiving crowdfunding community.
GlobalGiving is currently crowdfunding 29 community organizations that are preventing and fighting the spread of the epidemic in West Africa. By connecting donors to nonprofits that are deeply rooted in the affected areas, GlobalGiving helps donors make a lasting impact through organizations that were working in the communities long before this Ebola outbreak; the same organizations that will be there to drive long-term recovery.
The GlobalGiving Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund enables donors of all sizes to reach the 'last mile' of Ebola workers. Aaron Debah is a man at that 'last mile.' Aaron is a Liberian nurse who has rallied his neighbors to go house-to-house in their community to combat rumors and misinformation in a culturally relevant way. GlobalGiving donors are funding his work through Internews; donations are providing motorbikes, a scanner/copier/printer, and mobile phones, among other supplies. People like Aaron make up the community organizations, clinics, and local radio and television producers that have enormous potential to sway the tide of the epidemic at a hyper-local level.
"Grassroots groups fighting Ebola have formidable challenge," explains Jennifer Lentfer of How-Matters.org, a leading blog on aid effectiveness. "They must continually seek out and compete for new resources in a funding environment that favors short-term grants to larger, higher-profile groups and that is often led by global trends rather than persistent, ongoing challenges," she says. GlobalGiving’s co-founder and president, Mari Kuraishi agrees: "That's one of the most important reasons GlobalGiving supports locally-driven organizations during disasters. We work not only to connect small groups to major funding, but also to help those organizations build their own capacity and funding networks so that their communities will be stronger and more resilient in the face of ongoing challenges and future crises."
For Kuraishi and GlobalGiving, it’s about even more than just access to funding. "We're also making sure that local organizations have access to the information and ideas they need to be as effective as possible. We're connecting organizations of all sizes to technology and information that would have otherwise only been available to major international NGOs."
More than 3,800 individuals have given to more than 30 Ebola relief projects on the GlobalGiving.org and GlobalGiving.co.uk websites, including GlobalGiving's Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund. In November, a $200 donation to the Fund came from a community of concerned people in Mozambique: "Though it may not seem like much, this is equivalent to two months minimum wage here. Thank you for connecting our hearts with fellow Africans who are suffering!" said Brian, a man whose family collected and sent the donations to GlobalGiving.
Private foundations have joined the thousands of individual donors to support locally driven organizations combating Ebola in West Africa through GlobalGiving. In August, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation gave $100,000 to GlobalGiving's Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund in the form of a matching grant, motivating more than 700 individual donors to give $100,000 over a span of just four days. In September, the Sall Family Foundation also gave $100,000. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation gave a $400,000 grant to GlobalGiving’s Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund in October. In November, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust gave $2.2 million to the Fund.
Each of the nonprofits on GlobalGiving has been vetted, and has committed to providing donors regular updates about how donations are put to work. GlobalGiving publishes donation data to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) on a daily basis.
In addition to connecting locally driven organizations to funding, GlobalGiving is also connecting nonprofits to valuable resources. In November, several organizations in the GlobalGiving network expressed a major challenge in the fight against Ebola: they needed faster access to data from the field. GlobalGiving connected those nonprofits with Journey, a South African technology company with a history of success developing mobile health solutions in Africa. Journey is working with GlobalGiving partners to create and distribute the Ebola Care app, helping health workers track individual patients, coordinate education events, follow up with at-risk children and orphans, and log data about survivors.
"In order to be effective during any crisis, accessing real-time data is paramount as time is of the essence," explains Sam Herring, data manager for More Than Me, an organization using the app in the slum of West Point, Liberia. "Thanks to the Ebola Care app, data that once took weeks to receive is now rolling in by the minute. This allows us to identify hot zones, have our ambulance transport suspected Ebola patients to Ebola Treatment Units immediately, send in our social mobilization team to provide psychosocial support, food, and cleaning items to affected homes, and enable our nursing team to educate residents about prevention."
Journey and GlobalGiving have mobilized smartphone donations for nonprofits that have the desire and capacity to use the app. After developing the app in partnership with local organizations in Liberia, Journey is distributing the app on smartphones to other GlobalGiving partners who have expressed interest. Journey continues to gather feedback and improve the app based on feedback from the field so that it will become even more effective in meeting the needs of health workers on the ground.
"The whole reason the GlobalGiving community exists is not only to connect local world-changers to people around the world who have funding to can support them, but also to provide access to information, ideas, and tools so that nonprofits can use their funding more effectively," said Kuraishi. "We're so glad that the GlobalGiving network is becoming so valuable for vital organizations that would otherwise not have access to corporate or foundation funding, or resources like donated smartphones and a custom-made app."
GlobalGiving is the first and largest global crowdfunding community for nonprofits. GlobalGiving's mission is to catalyze a global market for ideas, information and money that democratizes aid and philanthropy. Since 2002, GlobalGiving has helped raise more than $158 million from more than 400,000 donors for more than 11,000 projects in more than 160 countries through GlobalGiving.org and GlobalGiving.co.uk. Each of the nonprofits on GlobalGiving.org has been vetted, and has committed to providing donors regular updates about how donations are put to work. To see the list of GlobalGiving partners responding to the Ebola outbreak, visit www.GlobalGiving.org/ebola.
The Ebola Care app was made by Journey, a tech startup founded in Cape Town, South Africa in 2009. Journey builds a software platform for companies to rapidly build mobile apps that improve their business processes. Journey has a proven track record for mHealth projects with thousands of users. Find out more at www.appsagainstebola.org.