38,000 opportunities for change

Posted by Donna Callejon on July 26th, 2011

Yesterday we launched our most recent partner program - a custom portal that allows Eli Lilly and Company’s 38,000 employees around the world to support 800 of the projects currently available via GlobalGiving.  The Lilly Foundation will match their donations of $25 USD or more, up to $1 million annually.

Why is this blog-worthy or unique?  For a few reasons:

1.  Organizations otherwise wouldn’t have access to these 38,000 donors and the matching dollars.

Our mission is to make it possible for great ideas and organizations around the world to have a shot at raising funds they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.  And while there are certainly more than a few projects run by larger organizations in the Lilly portal, the majority of organizations only have a shot at receiving matching funds from US donors and companies via GlobalGiving.  They have completed our vetting process and, in most cases, participated in a Global Open Challenge, so we know they have the capacity to receive these funds.

2.  An opportunity for all employees – not just those in the US, UK and Canada – to be matched.

During the last few months we have participated in a number of convenings and meetings with companies large and small at which the topic was, “going international with workplace giving.”   Even some of the largest, most globally respected companies struggle with providing an equitable – and culturally relevant – program that embraces all their employees.  Lilly is taking a unique approach, combining a focus on its corporate areas of interest  – health, education, hunger, and the environment – as well as themes that resonate with its global employee base, including disaster relief.  It’s an experiment, to be sure, but one in which a leading company is taking a bold step to address this vexing question of parity of employee engagement programs worldwide.

3. A company putting its money where its mouth is.

Coincidentally, the launch comes on the same day as the release of the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of most generous corporate givers.  At #28 on that list, Lilly “wrestles above its weight class,” as described by the Indy Star.  So it’s really no surprise to long-time CSR/Philanthropy watchers that the company that supports education/wellness for kids with diabetes, or invests in organizations fighting MDR-TB around the world, would make this program available to its team. What’s not so typical is that the Lilly Foundation has directed a $50 credit to each employee’s “giving account.”  Enough to get them started and familiar with the website.  In the 24 hours since the portal launched, nearly 3,000 employees have already logged on to activate those vouchers, and contributed an additional $7,600+ of their own funds. 

4.  This partnership has made GlobalGiving stronger already.

To be selected by Lilly to provide this giving platform, GlobalGiving has gone through rigorous reviews.  Let’s be honest, these guys have high standards.  These reviews have caused us to strengthen our already considerable data security regime, to document our processes in more detail, and to think strategically about our longer term infrastructure needs.  It’s hard for a non profit social enterprise to make these investments in abstract.   But thanks to the encouragement and support of  the Lilly team  (and a little extra love from our friends at Dell for Good), we have been able to make investments that are critically important as we continue to grow the GlobalGiving platform to serve – for the long haul – even more great organizations doing important work globally.

Let the giving begin.

 

 



 

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4 Responses to “38,000 opportunities for change”

  1. barbara says:

    Congrats to you–a feather in your cap for sure.

    Although it doesn’t help the truly “little guys” since global giving requires you to prove you can raise a significant chunk of change in a month’s time from a large list of people before you are listed at all (and wastes some fundraising capital with your donors if you fail). The real little guys can’t do that. I wish Eli Lilly and other huge corps had just gone with a straight matching service like easymatch where the non-profit is specified by the employee and only the already rigourous 501c3 listing is required.

  2. Marina says:

    It’s a great step forward! Thank you for helping us get access to this wonderful program that we would not have been able to benefit from otherwise! Got our first donation from Eli Lilly today :)

  3. I agree, the little guy seems to always fall in between the cracks. Statistically all of those little guys combined together help more people, more animals and environmental concerns. There is a website that levels the playing field. Little guys can post a national fundraising campaign reaching the whole United States with basically no out-of-pocket expense, except possibly $20-$50 for a permit from which ever state therein. This website was developed with the little guy in mind. Cross marketing is how it works; big guys drive the traffic to the website therefore giving the little guy an equal chance to raise funds. Check it out for your, I’m sure you will agree. Just Google RaffleAmerica.com it’ll be on the first page the very first hit. Yes the little guy does matter!

  4. donna says:

    Hey Barbara,
    Thanks for your comment (everyone who blogs is excited for comments!). I hope this response will clarify a few things for you, and for anyone else who happens to come across this post.

    As you suggest, in order to get on the GlobalGiving site an organization does have to demonstrate that they have some capacity to use the platform and raise funds through one of our “Open Challenges.” And to be sure, not all organizations are ready to be part of the platform. On the other hand, small organizations like Advita Fund (see Marina’s comment above), or Hot Sun – the project receiving the most “allocations” from Lilly employees yesterday (http://www.globalgiving.org/8478) – have total annual budgets of $35,000 and $100,000, respectively. Not too big.

    Finally, great idea on Easymatch – in fact Lilly employees in the US have been using their service for years – and continue to do so, for US 501c3s. 60% of the organizations on GlobalGiving don’t have 501c3 status, allowing Lilly employees in the US to support orgs that aren’t available on Easymatch. It’s a win-win.

    Thanks again for your comment.