December 2007 Posts

Take the Challenge

Can the Internet revolutionize citizen-led philanthropy?

That’s the question The Case Foundation and Parade Magazine are hoping to address with the America’s Giving Challenge, the first large-scale initiative to use technology as a way of inspiring people to support causes they care about. Through the Challenge, which runs from now through January 31, 2008, Parade is encouraging individuals to champion causes they care about, raising donations online using Web 2.0 tools that make it easy to spread the word and give. And there are some other incentives (of the monetary sort) too: the eight “fundraisers” attracting the greatest number of donations for their causes will each get $50,000 for their chosen cause, and the 100 causes that receive the most donations will each get $1,000.

GlobalGiving is one of the two partners selected by Case and Parade to support the Challenge (Network for Good is the other, for US-based organizations) – so anyone who wants to support an international cause will have the opportunity to fundraise for or donate to a project on GlobalGiving – with the potential to get $50,000 for that project!

The Washington Post and New York Times have already written about the Challenge, which kicked off yesterday, and the really big bang will come this weekend, when Parade is featuring the Challenge in its magazine (look for Denzel Washington and Oprah Winfrey on the cover) – which is distributed in over 400 U.S. newspapers, and has a readership of more than 70 million!

So if you’ve got a favorite project, now’s your opportunity to help them get $50,000. Set up a fundraiser, create a charity badge, tell all your friends, leverage your social network, take the Challenge…become a part of the revolution!

Oh So Pretty…

A new study by the beauty brand, Nephria, has found that women, on average, spend almost three years (cumulative) of their lives getting ready to go out.  It sounds absurd, but if you think about all the time that is spent, prepping, primping, changing outfits, twirling in front of the mirror, obsessing about that hair kink…it adds up! 

I’d love to say that I am immune from that statistic, a but after a recent incident where I got schooled by the 3-1-1 TSA carry-on rules (resulting in the necessary repurchasing of over $40 worth of cosmetic materials and contact lens solution) – showed me that I probably contribute to that statistic more than I care to admit.

“…The survey found that before a big night out, women typically spend 22 minutes showering and shaving their legs, seven minutes moisturising, 23 minutes drying and styling their hair, 14 minutes doing their make-up and six minutes getting dressed.

…Add to that the 40 minutes needed to get ready for work every morning, and the amount of time spent preening adds up to more than two years and nine months over a lifetime.

Mathematically, it makes sense, though I think it’s a generous assessment (I don’t take that long to get ready).  But it got me thinking, if on average, women spend three years of their lifetime getting ready….what are they getting ready for?!  And more importantly, how could that time be better spent?!

Admittedly, I’m guilty of spending quality time with my mirror and dragging my flat iron around.  But my own minor vanity aside, I’m glad that there are people in this world who choose to make better use of those three years…instead of applying five steps of Oil of Olay skin care regimen.

On the Road

Earlier this spring, I had the opportunity to visit some project leaders in Nairobi. I was so impressed with their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn about GlobalGiving and how to appeal to GG donors. I have to say, some folks from that batch have turned out to be real rockstars!

Towards the end of December, GlobalGiving will have the opportunity to meet some Project Leaders in India, Indonesia and Pakistan. We’d love to learn more about the leaders behind these projects and find out about the work they’re doing. We plan to host a few workshops to bring them together and to answer their queries!  Here are just a few of the people we’re planning to visit:

However, as a GlobalGiving donor myself, I wondered, “What would I want to learn from the donor perspective?”

So I would pose this question to you-have you supported any projects in Delhi, Udaipur or Chennai or Indonesia and Pakistan? What more do you want to know?  What else would you like to see? Do you want more project photos?  Interviews with the people behind the project?  Be creative!  Send us your thoughts and questions, and we’ll try to answer as many of them as we can while we’re there.

Vh1 “Nothing But Nets” PSA

Vh1 and the Best Week Ever crew launched a funny PSA around their “Nothing But Nets” campaign about preventing Malaria in Africa.  Check it out:


Top Read CNN “News” Stories – huh?

Take a look at the most highly read stories on today:


Oprah, a parade gone bad, MySpace suicide, and the writer’s strike in Hollywood.

How about somebody paying attention to this:

BASRA, Iraq, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Women in Iraq’s southern city of Basra are living in fear. More than 40 have been killed and their bodies dumped in the streets in the past five months for behaviour deemed un-Islamic, the city’s police chief says.

A warning scrawled in red on a wall threatens any woman who wears makeup or appears in public without an Islamic headscarf with dire punishment. Read More…