Archive for June, 2008


Working within the box and out of the box

Posted by mari on June 17th, 2008

Courtesy of NPRDennis has just blogged about Tim Kane’s observation when he first visited Japan in the 1980s-where he encountered a humbly equipped man sweeping the tarmac at Narita airport as if his life depended on it. Kane linked it to the overwhelming ratio of perspiration v. genius that adds up to excellence.

There’s something else there though. It’s symptomatic of how intensely Japanese individuals and organizations have come to focus on discovering value within their constraints. Toyota’s continuous reform (kaizen) program is justly famous for the way they look at change as a continuous stream, but a lot less is said about the implicit mindset that allows for what feeds that continuous stream. It’s the idea of working your framework so intensely and carefully and allowing the individual changes combine and “re” form the whole until you’ve eventually got a different box. But you didn’t start out insisting on getting out the box. In fact, it comes from a culturally mandated willingness to focus intensely on where you are and what you have. (The flip side of course, is that it can drive you mad to be so constrained, but more on that another time.)

What I was saying about the incredible Tokyo discipline to obey what can seem like a pettifogging rule of standing on the left is, I’m convinced, part of the same phenomenon-everyone is intent on getting the most out of every frigging commuting minute. It just wouldn’t happen that way otherwise. Same reason Japanese geeks are the most intense geeks anywhere. Or why Japanese classical concertgoers bring sheet music to performances. And why I am currently obsessed with us doing a better job facilitating the exchange when our project leaders can convey to donors the sense of incredible value and adventure that every project on our site represents. Here’s just a hint of what donors say when when the value gets uncovered. (It’s also why I try to wash and reuse our ziploc bags. It just seems un-Japanese not to.)

I don’t want to write ‘Goodbye’ because I hate ‘Goodbyes’

Posted by saima on June 6th, 2008

Before I send my farewell message to the project leader universe, I thought let me post a farewell on the GlobalGoodness Blog (a practice goodbye if you will). Saying goodbye is harder than I thought it would be…so here’s a go at it…

My husband and I are relocating to New Orleans so this is the end of a lovely seven years in DC to start a new adventure in an entirely new city. I look forward to getting to know the city and its people and hope that I can volunteer and learn more about some of the work that is going on there. This really isn’t a goodbye because I will always be a GlobalGiver and am fortunate enough that I will be working on a few projects with my colleagues from NOLA.

I love that at GG you can connect with a project and be a part of it from afar. You can see this in the comments that donors have left wonderful comments on updates-like this one:

 “Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to help support these wonderful brave women. Giving financial help as a tool and respecting that these women  truly are the experts in their community and do have the best ideas to make social change is in my opinion the best type of support .  I have been looking for a way  to give my support so thank you so much”

Then there’s our great project leaders whom I feel are a big global family.  Between emails discussing projects, project updates, and donors with project leaders, there were also emails about family life, dreams and everyday life in the US and abroad. Over 2.5 years I have formed lifelong connections with extraordinary people doing amazing work all around the world in circumstances so very different from what I face everyday. I feel so connected to many people whom I have never met and hope that we will always keep in touch and that our paths will cross again. GlobalGiving has allowed me to get to know these wonderful men and women.

And of course, I am sad to be leaving DC and GlobalGiving because I leave behind a family here at GG. I am so lucky to have worked with such a passionate group of people doing so much good for givers and community leaders around the world. 

GlobalGiving to me is passion, connection and just pure goodness. Every day is a new experience, a new donor, a new project leader and a new beautiful story or story of courage from the other side of the world.

Welcome Marisa

Posted by Donna Callejon on June 3rd, 2008


A much awaited new member of our team arrived this week. Marisa Glassman is the newest addition to our Business Development team, working with the always amazing John Hecklinger. The BD team is responsible for identifying and working with corporate and other institutional partners, as well as large individual donors. The team helps these partners enhance their direct and customer- and/or employee-focused giving programs.

While many conferences are represented by the team at GG, there is an historic tilt toward the ACC – with folks from UNC and University of Maryland dominating, supported by representatives of Virginia and Duke. Our interns, on the other hand, have also represented the SEC well – including Syracuse, Pitt and, of course, Georgetown. Well, Marisa straddles both worlds. With an undergraduate degree from Georgetown and a just-conferred MBA from the Flagler School at UNC, March Madness promises to be a conflicted time for her.

Here are a few things about Marisa

  • Between degrees, she worked for four years in the publishing business. Yes, books, those things that don’t (necessarily) come on a screen
  • She is is from Montclair New Jersey and has one younger sister
  • She counts Almost Famous, Garden State, and Rent among her top movie picks
  • Her music tastes are “so varied it’s impossible to narrow down a favorite” (i feel another Pandora fan in the making)
  • She has traveled to, and worked in, a number of locations, but Costa Rica and Thailand are her two favorite destinations

We are all glad to welcome Marisa to the team!!