June 2010 Posts

More about AIDS, lipstick (and World Cup) from our friends at M•A•C


Last week my colleague Lisa wrote a nice piece about opportunities to support organizations leveraging sport to address social problems around the world.  Well, as much as I love Lisa, she was topped by our friend Nancy Mahon from the M•A•C AIDS Fund, who really lays it on the line her her Huffington Post piece Battling HIV/AIDS in South Africa One Goal at a Time.

For years, HIV cases in South Africa have been disproportionately concentrated among women and girls. In sub-Saharan Africa, young women between 15 and 24-years old account for 75% of total HIV infections. In South Africa specifically, a young woman is four times more likely to be HIV-positive than a South African young man…

And M•A•C has been addressing these issues since 1994.  They make grants in the US and in 66 additional countries.   And they have one of the most successful cause marketing programs in history with their Viva Glam lipstick.  Yes, lipstick is helping people with AIDS around the world.   With Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga front and center, 11 MILLION lipsticks have been sold.  And here’s the best part. Unlike programs that contribute $1, or even 10% per product sold, 100% of the purchase price of Viva Glam products goes to fight HIV/AIDS.  Think about what one lipstick purchase ($14) can do:

In the US…

  • Pay for 2 emergency boxes filled with non-perishable food
  • Fund the printing of 15 copies of “Tips to Eating Well with HIV/AIDS” booklets
  • Buy 18 personalized birthday cakes to be hand-delivered to a person living with HIV/AIDS on his/her birthday
  • Buy 1 week’s supply of groceries (about 4 bags of food) for 2 clients


  • Provide support and education for 5 pregnant women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS giving them the tools to prevent transmission to their unborn child
  • Provide 2 children with 2 meals per day at Noah’s Ark for 1month
  • Buy 1 pair of school shoes for a child orphaned by AIDS

Not bad for a tube of lipstick.

Nancy makes the following important point in her post:

Much of the press coverage around social issues in South Africa over the past week or so has focused on the high AIDS rates but few have mentioned one of the largest drivers of the disease — sexual violence against girls and young boys. All of the AIDS education in schools and billboard campaigns in the world will not effectively tackle the South African AIDS epidemic unless we create and support programs that honestly confront this national and international sorrow.

So whether it’s sex trafficking in Atlanta (see A Future Not a Past) or the stunning statistics on rape in South Africa, there is much to be done by individuals.  And progressive companies like M•A•C.

Rats for Dads


Today, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof ran an op-ed urging his readers to make meaningful gifts this Father’s Day.

“Wouldn’t most dads feel more honored by a donation to any of these organizations than by a donation to commercialism?,” he asked.

Many of the organizations he mentioned in his article are hosted on GlobalGiving, and we were, of course, thrilled and appreciative that he chose to highlight our partner organizations in this way.

To date, Kristof’s article has raised just under $30,000 from over 600 donors for just one of the projects he mentioned—the landmine detecting, mega-smart hero rats.

And the number goes up by the minute.

To us at GlobalGiving, this is yet another powerful reminder of how one person—or one idea—can make a hugely significant impact on a corner (or in Nick’s case, many corners) of the world.

I’m particularly appreciative to Nick given that this article falls on the day after his own father passed away.

Given what Nick has said about his father’s life, it’s no surprise that he would raise a son who would have such a broad, positive impact on the world. To all the great fathers out there, and the wonderful values they instill in their kids.

Mari Kuraishi is Co-Founder and President of GlobalGiving.

A crowd-sourcing experiment to improve beneficiary feedback loops

Effort improved.png

I’m recruiting for a short-term crowdsourcing experiment we’re starting in three days at GlobalGiving. Do you know anyone who’d be interested?

The Question: “Can a crowd of readers reach the same conclusions as an eyewitness about aid projects?”

The answer could help us improve the communication with people on the ground and their donors.  The time commitment is 15 hours over the next month and we’ll share all the results with you. It’s virtual volunteering – so you never have to leave the comfort of your own home.

The Gist:  Read a bunch of project reports, which are written by project leaders in Kenya and sent to their donors to keep them in the loop. We’ll then ask you to provide context (no essays or anything, just sliding knobs around on 2-D spatial representations of the story elements). We’ve collected 4000 stories from beneficiaries on the ground about these organizations that we want to compare to this stuff.

Other than a huge thank you, you get a GlobalGiving gift card and a full debriefing on the analysis ahead of any papers or press releases. Use the gift card to support your favorite project on our site and then two organizations will benefit from all your hard work!

Let me know if this sounds like something you or someone you know would be interested in by Friday. (You can respond via twitter @marcmaxson, or skype:marcmaxson, or Marc Maxson on Facebook, or via email:mmaxson@globalgiving.org)

Today brings 50% match and world of difference to projects like Wuqu-Kawoq

Today is Bonus Day, when, until 11:59 p.m. EDT, GlobalGiving matches all gifts made at GlobalGiving.org up to $1,000 per project per donor at 50% up to $70,000 total–enabling donors to make their gifts go further and projects to receive significant inflows of funding that make a significant difference to their work.

This was the case for Wuqu-Kawoq, which was able to fully fund a child nutrition project due to our last Bonus Day in March. This year, they hope to do the same for a project focused on helping victims of Guatemala’s Tropical Storm Agatha.

Here’s their Bonus Day story in the words of Peter Rohloff, Wuqu-Kawoq’s Executive Director:

Wuqu-Kawoq addresses barriers to health care for Guatemala’s indigenous Maya population.

When Bonus Day came along last March, the result of our participation exceeded our wildest expectations.

Within one day, one of our projects–Child Malnutrition in the Bocacosta of Guatemala–had exceeded 100% of its fundraising goal, raising more than $10,000 on Bonus Day alone.

We were floored.

By leveraging the GlobalGiving community and matching funds, we were able to fully fund the project much faster than we could have otherwise.

Bonus Day helped reduce malnutrition among children
As a result, we were able to purchase “Sprinkles,” a micronutrient preparation for babies that tastes much better than the product we had been using. We were also able to install water filters in every home in the communities where we work–one of the most sustainable ways to prevent childhood disease and malnutrition.

It worked.

Over the life of the project,  malnutrition in children declined from 70% to 35% and we prevented and reversed stunting in children from 6 months to age three.

Our hope is for Bonus Day to fuel relief efforts for survivors of Tropical Storm Agatha
This year, we hope Bonus Day will help us raise critically important funds to help rebuild following Tropical Storm Agatha.

Our relief project will implement two phases of recovery in the communities where we work, where 1,000-2,000 families are now without homes and the storm destroyed all crops and municipal water systems.

After a thorough needs assessment, which we’ve been conducting over the past few weeks, we will focus on providing critical clean water and medical supplies, and then will turn to re-establishing a stable water source.

On behalf of my colleagues at Wuqu-Kawoq, I’d like to thank the GlobalGiving community for supporting our work in Guatemala.

To further assist survivors of Tropical Storm Agatha and to make your gift go further, please consider making a gift to our relief project on Bonus Day (today!).

Or, give to any project on GlobalGiving.org. All gifts made today through 11:59 p.m. EDT (or until the $70,000 limit is reached) on GlobalGiving.org will be matched at 50% up to $1,000 per donor per project.

Peter Rohloff is the Executive Director of Wuqu-Kawoq, a project of GlobalGiving.

World Cup inspires seeing soccer/football as mechanism for social change.

Yesterday, I got a Tweet from @Alyssa_Milano reminding me that, “Before the #WorldCup is won, 100k Africans will die from malaria.” She encouraged me to, “Join players & fans: http://bit.ly/WC_a_m6 #endmalaria.

The link clicks through to the United Nation’s “Unite Against Malaria” Facebook page.

This was quite timely, as the Tweet came through just as I was creating GlobalGiving’s World Cup landing page, featuring projects related to soccer.

Not long after, Tobias Eigen, President of Kabissa, an organization that bolsters civil society in Africa, sent out a message asking everyone what they were doing to leverage the World Cup in their awareness-raising and social change efforts in Africa.

Indeed, when it comes to this kind of thinking about how to leverage this year’s World Cup for good, it seems everyone is on the ball. (Pun intended, but with apologies nonetheless.)

It’s 10 a.m. on the day the World Cup is launching, and, in addition to those above, I’ve already seen Tweets or emails linking the World Cup to issues of global awareness and social action from @growingupglobal and even @usaid, and, of course, @peacecorpsconnect.

It’s fun and exciting to see an international sports platform being used in such creative, inventive ways to draw attention to issues which are less fun, but even more important than a soccer game, such as malaria, poverty alleviation, and HIV/AIDS.

The projects GlobalGiving is featuring on our World Cup landing page drive this home.

In just the sampling of projects we feature that tie to soccer, the issues being tackled include using soccer to help inmates in South African prisons reintegrate into society, reducing stigmas associated with amputees in Sierra Leone through amputee soccer, providing soccer as recreation for children in a refugee camp in Rafah, and using soccer as a means to build leadership and self-esteem for military daughters in the U.S.

Those are just a few of the ways that GlobalGiving projects are using soccer to create social change for people around the world. (Here’s the full list.)

We’re looking forward to seeing how the World Cup is used to fuel awareness of and support for projects and issues like these as much as we’re looking forward to the matches themselves.

And trust us, we’re really excited about the matches.