Looking Forward To 20 Years Of Change

GlobalGiving’s Interim CEO reflects on how you fueled community-led change in 2021 and pushed us forward.


2021 was a year of highs and lows. It was a year that required collective action—and reflection.

Just as new vaccines gave us hope, new coronavirus variants took it away, stretching one of the worst pandemics in history into a second deadly year. Globally, a mere 3% of people in low-income countries were vaccinated with at least one dose, compared to 65% of people in rich countries.

With broken social systems exposed in stark ways, you stood up for a better world, a more equitable world.

Thanks to you, the GlobalGiving community raised $95 million for people in need, even as “crisis” became a keyword.

The climate crisis caused more powerful storms, pushed a tornado farther across the United States than any other in nearly a century, and prompted a famine in Madagascar. Crisis also described deadly conflicts for migrants at international borders and told the story of many Afghans forced to flee after the Taliban retook control of the country.

But the heart of the GlobalGiving community spread hope in the most challenging of times.

Enayat and Gene, Joyce, and David kept their commitment to supporting girls’ education in Afghanistan.

Isadora helped families rebuild foundations that powerful earthquakes in Mexico destroyed.

Kenita stopped at nothing to pursue her education and now provides resources other single parents need to learn and thrive.

And Donaldo advocated for Indigenous communities to grow their own food while guarding their seeds and heritage.

Along with thousands of others, they made the world a better place in 2021. You fueled their life-changing missions.

In service of these changemakers, the GlobalGiving team looked inward. In what ways did we need to serve them better? As we approach our 20th anniversary, we have the impetus to look back. Rigorous introspection has strengthened, not wavered, our founding purpose. To transform the world, we must become ever more community led—beginning with ourselves.

We know that we need to work from the inside out and always put local leaders front and center. Because change happens in community centers in Brazil and classrooms in Haiti. It happens in gardens in Indonesia and hectares of the Peruvian rainforest.

Focusing on how and where community-led change happens prompted changes inside GlobalGiving in 2021. We found that our nonprofit onboarding process, the Accelerator, brought thousands of incredible organizations into our community but limited countless others. So we decided to find a better way.

We’re starting small and with ourselves, but our aim is big and boundless: We want to transform aid and philanthropy to accelerate community-led change. That means when you share, we’ll listen. Show us what you care about, and we’ll champion your cause. Set your goals and tell us how we can best help you meet them.

Only when communities are in the driver’s seat of change will we be able to solve the world’s most entrenched problems—racism, poverty, inequality—and unleash brighter futures for everyone, regardless of the place they call home.

So this year and the next 20 that follow, lead us to the change you want to see.

With gratitude for your partnership,

Donna Callejon
Interim GlobalGiving CEO

See how you contributed to our impact in 2021 by reading “Community Forward: GlobalGiving’s Year In Review.”


Featured Photo: Health center for indigenous women in Mexico by MANOS QUE RECONSTRUYEN OAXACA A.C.

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