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The people behind every project on GlobalGiving meet the following criteria:

  • Their work has significant social impact.
  • They have a track record for delivering on promises.
  • They are not listed in any terrorist databases.
  • Their projects are eligible for international philanthropic donations — so donors in the US receive full tax benefits.

Once Project Leaders and their organizations meet these criteria, they are officially "GlobalGiving Community Members" and are eligible for funding through GlobalGiving. Project Leaders can then communicate to their networks that they have been authenticated as innovative, trustworthy, effective, and eligible for accepting international donations.

More on GlobalGiving's application process.

In order to ensure that the people and organizations behind projects in the GlobalGiving network meet the criteria above, we evaluate them through three lenses:

Qualification for GlobalGiving marketplace entry

GlobalGiving has multiple ways of ensuring that the Project Leaders within the GlobalGiving network have a solid track record and deliver significant social impact. We rely on a network of "Project Sponsors" — highly-respected, well-known organizations like Ashoka, IDEX, and the Acumen Fund — to help identify, vet, and post projects. Many of these organizations have awards and fellowship programs that support the work of innovative individuals and organizations throughout the world. In order to identify these individuals, these organizations have done a great deal of due diligence already, including detailed analyses of people and projects, financial audits, and data collection from local, national, and international experts verifying that the individual/organization can be trusted to deliver on promises. Posting the projects of these individuals on GlobalGiving allows these organizations to access new sources of funding.

GlobalGiving, in turn, evaluates Project Sponsors' methodologies and procedures and reviews the due diligence done. Additionally, GlobalGiving conducts secondary research and random audits to ensure that the organization meets GlobalGiving's standards for trustworthiness, quality, and impact.

In some instances, Project Sponsors submit their own projects, in which case GlobalGiving collects third-party validation from stakeholders, funders, and local/international experts in order to certify them.

In addition to the initial due diligence described above, GlobalGiving conducts additional evaluations through three mechanisms:

  • Primary Evaluations: Most in-depth level of review and analysis, conducted on selected projects, which are visited in-country by teams of evaluators carrying out detailed social and financial audits.
  • Secondary Evaluations: Process through which GlobalGiving periodically selects a random sample of projects for additional evaluation, including checking references and collecting additional data.
  • Self-Reporting: Periodic surveys by GlobalGiving of Project Leaders, who are asked to provide information on their activities, accomplishments, and results.

Compliance with international guidelines for philanthropy

GlobalGiving is responsible for ensuring that organizations that do not have US 501(c)3 status are compliant with international guidelines for philanthropy. Compliance entails either:

  1. 501(c)3 equivalency determination: To ensure that the organization has 501(c)3 equivalency status, we review documentation such as annual reports, budgets, audited financial statements, references, staff lists, and other relevant documents, which are collected every two years; OR
  2. Expenditure reporting: organizations must provide clear evidence — including supporting documents (e.g. receipts) — that funds are being spent for charitable purposes and according to plan.

The Board of Directors of GlobalGiving must approve all grants to organizations opting for expenditure reporting.

Compliance with anti-terror guidelines

GlobalGiving checks the names of all people associated with project leadership against the U.S. Treasury Department's list of "Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons" and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In addition, GlobalGiving's Project Sponsor agreement includes an anti-terror clause, and all non-US 501(c)3 organizations must sign an anti-terror certification prior to their projects being posted. All grant agreements with recipient organizations include anti-terror certification language.