Visa International and GlobalGiving sign partnership to innovate international aid

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Goal to Efficiently Match Entrepreneurial Development Projects with Funding Sources

SAN FRANCISCO, CA and WASHINGTON, DC (January 20, 2004) — Visa International and GlobalGiving, a global philanthropic exchange founded by former executives of the World Bank, launched a strategic partnership today that will innovate international aid by enhancing the efficiency of funding entrepreneurial social and economic development projects.

Visa will become the preferred payment brand for GlobalGiving, provide resources and co-promotion of the partnership, help optimize the collection of donations and refine best practices for security and privacy of donor financial information. Over the coming year, the two organizations will also work to identify ways that payment technology can improve the efficiency of business operations and help GlobalGiving maximize the percentage of financing going to projects.

"GlobalGiving is a global philanthropic exchange that represents a new vision for facilitating social and economic investments in developing countries," said Dennis Whittle, chief executive officer and co-founder of GlobalGiving. "One of the largest goals for international aid organizations is the efficient collection and distribution of funds. Partnering with a financial technology leader like Visa will enable our organization to get funds to the social entrepreneurs in an effective and timely manner. We commend Visa's commitment to innovation and value in social investment."

GlobalGiving grew out of a World Bank initiative to boost the effectiveness of international aid. While at the World Bank, Whittle and GlobalGiving co-founder Mari Kuraishi created a new model for project funding called the Development Marketplace. GlobalGiving is the extension of that concept to a web-based platform that creates a virtual marketplace of innovation for projects and donors.

"Visa unlocks the potential for individuals and institutions to manage money in entirely new ways," commented Malcolm Williamson, president and chief executive officer of Visa International, "and GlobalGiving is an innovative extension of that concept. We are excited about partnering with GlobalGiving to explore ways we can apply our products and business solutions to promote social and economic development where it is needed the most."

GlobalGiving uses a market-based approach to enable individuals, businesses, and groups to find and support high quality, small-scale, social development projects on five continents. For instance, as part of a project called Digital Divide Data in Cambodia, GlobalGiving made it easy for donors to provide computer equipment and technical training for disabled Cambodians. Each computer purchased subsequently provided two people with full-time employment at about ten times the average hourly wage - yet got started with only $800.

GlobalGiving's website allows a person or organization to submit a proposal for a community-based project. Once carefully reviewed, the project is posted on the GlobalGiving exchange website. Individuals and businesses can easily review proposals from around the world and directly fund those they wish to sponsor. Updated status reports are published on the GlobalGiving site to ensure that projects are accountable to donors. In addition, donors have the option of directly communicating with the social entrepreneurs who run the projects and can receive reports and updates directly from the field.

Individuals can donate through the main GlobalGiving website at using Visa payment products, which offer a safe and convenient method for making donations and managing tax reporting, and enables donors anywhere in the world to participate. GlobalGiving is available to public users and can also be customized to the needs of corporate giving programs, financial institutions, foundations and affinity groups.

Notes to Editors

About Visa International
Visa is the world's leading payment brand generating US $2.7 trillion in annual card sales volume. Visa has unsurpassed acceptance in more than 150 countries. The Visa organization plays a pivotal role in developing innovative payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa is a leader in Internet based payments and is pioneering the creation of u-commerce, or universal commerce - the ability to conduct commerce anywhere, anytime, and any way. For more information, visit

About GlobalGiving
Founded by former executives of The World Bank, GlobalGiving is the trusted, global philanthropic exchange. It uses a market-based approach of directly connecting low-threshold, social development projects with individuals and businesses that have a stake in global prosperity. GlobalGiving is supported by philanthropy and industry leaders that include Hewlett-Packard, 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. For more information, please visit our Web site at

For more information contact Paul Oliva, Visa International, at , or Joan Ochi, GlobalGiving, at .

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