Last Monday, GlobalGiving UK launched its brand new web site in London at a big gathering of NGO, private sector, and government leaders. This is particularly exciting since UK donors are among the most generous and progressive in the world when it comes to supporting causes overseas.
The creation of GlobalGiving UK has been supported financially by the Charities Aid Foundation‘s Venturesome Fund and the Travel Foundation, with key advice and operational support from Google, Expedia UK, Paypal, and Isango. Booz and Company hosted the launch on Monday and provided office space in the start up phase. The GlobalGiving US team worked overtime to provide back-end services and adapt the front-end website to the UK context.
Minister Shahid Malik of DFID (the UK’s aid agency) gave the keynote speech and made the first donation through the site, which speaks volumes. DFID is at the very top of official aid agencies in terms of innovation and leadership in key areas.
The GG UK team is outstanding.
It is headed up by Sharath Jeevan, who has the kind of eclectic background that makes him specially suited for the job. Most recently, he ran eBay‘s charity division in the UK. Previously, he has worked at the international NGO ActionAid, been a project leader at Booz Allen, and has even done a high-tech startup in Asia. Having grown up near London, Sharath has an economics degree from Cambridge, an MBA from INSEAD in France, and graduate degree in creative writing from Oxford.
UK team members include Rachel Smith, who heads up relationships with NGOs and campaigns, Svetlana Gitman, Tanya Serov, Ann Dugan and Becky Hill – all of whom have played key roles in the launch.
We at GlobalGiving US are proud of our new cousins in London. But we are a little nervous, too. They have already introduced a couple of key innovations that we don’t have on our own site 🙂