Author Archive


Breakfast Event, Internet Salvation and Project Leader Honored

Posted by alison on October 29th, 2009

Earlier this month, I was invited to the Center for Nonprofit Advancement‘s Annual Meeting and 30th Anniversary Celebration, which was held this morning. I was invited through YNPNdc, not as an attendee or an honoree – but to Tweet the event. The Center has been making progress to reach more people, more networks and evolve, just like all of their partner nonprofits. So they recruited a small group of us to attend and do what we do – tweet.

It didn’t occur to me until I arrived that I was, in some respects, more of the media than an attendee of the event. It was my job to talk about the event and report on it to people who weren’t there.  Shoot. I wasn’t prepared. Who, exactly, were all these people in the program? What were their stories? Where did they work? Why were they being honored? I had no idea. *GAH*!

Good thing I had the internet at my disposal. Whew. Bullet: Dodged

It was only when I Googled all of the award winners and presenters to see if any of them or their organizations were on Twitter that I realize that I recognized one of them.

Aleta Margolis, Executive Director of the Center for Inspired Teaching, was honored as a 2009 EXCEL Award Honorable Mention. Aleta is a rockstar Project Leader with whom I’ve become more familiar because of all her Tweeting! We like to encourage Project Leaders to reach out on all different types of networks and find creative ways to fundraise, and Aleta her team do it with flair.

Congratulations to Aleta for all of your accomplishments and your award. Keep up the good work!

Check out the Center for Inspired Teaching’s project on GlobalGiving, follow them on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook!

4 Stars – and Proud of It!

Posted by alison on September 7th, 2009

It’s with pride, and a virtual bang of the gong (banging on a real gong is the way we celebrate achievements and good news in the GlobalGiving office) that we announce some exciting news:  GlobalGiving has been awarded a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator!

Charity Navigator currently “rates” over 5,000 501(c)3 organizations in the US by examining a charity’s financial health, and then awarding an overall rating – between 0 and 4 stars.  While sometimes criticized for focusing too narrowly on financial ratios that do not evaluate the “big picture” and outcomes of an organization’s work, Charity Navigator remains the most-utilized evaluator of charities, and many donors factor these ratings into their giving decisions.

In 2008, the first time GlobalGiving was eligible to be evaluated (4 years of IRS Form 990s are required to be considered), we scored a respectable 3 stars. This year, based on updated financial information, we were excited to learn that we have earned the 4-star rating based on (in Charity Navigator’s words) “(its) ability to efficiently manage and grow its finances.  Approximately a quarter  of the charities we evaluate have received our highest rating, indicating that GlobalGiving executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America.  This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator differentiates GlobalGiving from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust.”

GlobalGiving is committed to extremely high standards around accountability, fiscal responsibility, and transparency, and we are proud of what this rating represents.  Especially during these tough economic times, we know that donors are giving extra thought to how they spend their donation dollars – and we hope this external validation gives them even greater confidence that they are making smart choices when they give to a project on GlobalGiving.

We appreciate your continued support!

Style This

Posted by alison on November 19th, 2008

Are you fashionable? Are you the first to know the latest trends? Are your friends constantly in awe of your stellar wardrobe and rockin’ ability to accessorize like a rock star?

Did you answer yes to all of these questions?

I definitely didn’t.

I am not what you would consider hip…by any stretch of the imagination. But you know who is? Celebrities. And it just so happens that Seventeen magazine wants to help people become more fashionable and support young girls around the world – all at the same time.


Seventeen‘s Style Stars of 2008 eBay auction features awesome (and fashionable) clothes and accessories from today’s hottest young stars: The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Leighton Meester, Blake Lively, Hayden Panettiere and many, many more.

The best part? (Besides the opportunity to drastically improve your wardrobe…) All of the proceeds from this auction go to support the Girl Effect.

The idea behind the Girl Effect is that when you help a girl in the developing world get an education or training to start a business, she is less likely to marry early, have an unplanned pregnancy, or contract HIV/AIDS. Her success can help her family, her community and her country. And ultimately, when you put all of these successful young women together, they can change the world.

Watch this incredibly cool video below to learn more. You can donate directly at GlobalGiving.

Or even better, bid on your favroite auction items – become a little more fashionable and help empower girls around the world!

“Plus ça change…

Posted by alison on September 9th, 2008

…plus c’est la même chose.”  So goes the old French expression that translates to “the more things change, the more it’s the same thing.”  But with last Friday’s relaunch of the GlobalGiving website, we’re hoping that the more things change, the BETTER they will be for the GlobalGiving community!

In the old days, we did alot based on “gut.”  What we thought donors would like, or would make it easier to give, or even just what colors we preferred. Sometimes we hit on something that worked, but just as often we struggled to figure out why people weren’t responding as we anticipated.

But over the past few years, we started to focus a lot more on asking our donors and community members what they thought.  We started watching the way that users interacted with GlobalGiving, and listening closely to what you had to say – through the surveys you fill out on our website, in small focus groups, and through hands-on user testing. And while people generally felt that our site was easy to navigate, there were many areas for improvement.  For example, testing showed that users had trouble finding all of the information they were looking for…and that they preferred bigger pictures on project pages.

To address these findings, we created a new site layout and navigation.  We even expanded the physical size of the site on the screen to display more content since we saw many users were now using larger monitors.

Have we gotten it right?  Early feedback and data suggests we’re moving in the right direction, but we’ll be doing a lot more testing to keep honing how the site looks, feels, and works for you – the goal being to make it easy, fun, and informative to give to projects on GlobalGiving.

When we look back now at how the site looked a few years ago, it’s almost like looking at an old high school yearbook…did GlobalGiving really look like that?!?!?!

A New Shade of Generosity

Posted by alison on July 25th, 2008

We’re launching a new “shade” of GlobalGiving today – GlobalGiving Green.

GlobalGiving Green looks at development through a green lens – and vice versa, for that matter – and enables you to support projects that are fighting poverty and dealing with climate change at the same time.

Why are we doing this? The developing world faces a double whammy. Pretty much every country in the developed world has gotten to where they are through a carbon-intensive path, which if repeated would cancel out any other efforts to combat climate change. And developing countries are more likely to bear the consequences of global warming—things like flooding and droughts, or increased incidence of diseases like malaria. And there are indirect societal and political impacts too – Nicholas Kristof wrote about one of the more unusual ones earlier this year, linking unusual levels of rainfall in rural Tanzania to more women being accused of witchcraft.

So, we partnered with EcoSecurities, a leader in emissions reductions markets, to evaluate how projects are doing with regard to climate change, and in areas such as providing sustainable economic growth, aiding the culture and environment of a community, educating future generations on green issues, and more. Twenty-four projects were initially selected to be a part of GlobalGiving Green, and on the website you can see how they do on elements ranging from use of innovative technology to creation of additional health and safety benefits. And we’re working with our amazing Project Leaders to help them understand how their proposed solutions to big societal issues can build a carbon-neutral path to development.

It’s a small (but first) step toward creating a market-based incentive for green development to thrive. Through GlobalGiving Green, we hope people concerned with climate change can more easily find the best solutions for creating positive change, developing responsibly, and reducing harmful emissions.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Charles in Charge

Posted by alison on July 23rd, 2008

The new boy in the neighborhood

Lives downstairs, and it’s understood

He’s there just to take good care of me

Like he’s one of the family…

We’re thrilled to welcome a newest member of the GlobalGiving’s Tech Team.  No, not Scott Baio, but Charles Koppelman.

I’ve asked him a few questions so we can all get to know him.

A:  What is your name?
C:  Charles Koppelman last I checked.

A:  What attracted you to GlobalGiving?
C:  The true power of the web is its ability to connect people who have something to people who want something. GlobalGiving is using that power to help people do amazing local projects worldwide, and it’s also using that power to explain to the casual web surfer what sort of great work is being done.

A:  Name five words to describe yourself.
C:  Punny, active, social, kind, nocturnal

A:  What color socks are you wearing?
C:  Boring black.

A:  What’s your favorite board game?
C:  Settlers of Cattan or Blokus

A:  What’s your favorite TV Show/Movie/Book?
C:  Family Guy, The Sword and the Stone

A:  Have you ever watched the show Charles in Charge?
C:  Of course!  I loved Scott Baio. (editor’s note: Who doesn’t?!)

A:  Name 2 interesting facts about yourself.  Name one untrue thing.  Put them in any order.
C:  I once came within 5 feet of a black bear and her cub, I love licorice, and I can throw wheel pottery.

A:  What’s on your iPod?
C:  I know I’m supposed to be in IT and love technology, but I don’t have an iPod.  I didn’t even have Internet at home until February.

A:  If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three things would you take with you?
C:  Food, a flashlight, and lots of music.

A:  Who would win in a fight, Superman, Batman or Spiderman?  Why?
C:  Batman’s nothing without his belt, and all Spiderman can do is climb walls… But Superman is too nice to fight them.  I’d say Batman wins.

A:  When you drop food on the floor, do you observe the 5 second rule?
C:  Come on!  Dry food gets more than 5 seconds!

A:  When you played Oregon Trail, did you set out as the banker from Boston, the carpenter from Ohio, or the farmer from Illinois?
C:  I just remember catching my first bear :)

GlobalGiving Tips for Beating the Heat

Posted by alison on July 18th, 2008

It;s really hot at GG HQ in Washington, DC.  We’re all a little bit weary, so for fun, I asked all the GG staff in the office today to complete the sentence “It’s so hot…”

 It’s so hot…

…Hot?! It’s not hot.  It’s 117 degrees in Kuwait City.  Now that’s hot. (Joan) 

…I ate hot sauce to cool down. (Cecilia)

…you can fry an egg on the sidewalk. (Tanveer)

…I had some iced VOSS(Robert)

…all three networks’ news anchors have decided to cover Barack Obama’s trip to Iraq not because they think it’s newsworthy, but because they think it’ll be cooler in Iraq. (Michael)

…all the water buffalo at the zoo have evaporated. (Greg)

…that it can be characterized as “wicked” hot. (Alison)

…all I want is a Rita’s mint chocolate chip cream ice. (Marisa)

…I can’t think of anything funny to say. (Kevin)

But, at GlobalGiving, we’re about finding solutions to our problems, so we also compiled a list of GlobalGivers’ favorite ways to beat the heat.

Alison: Hang out in the GG conference room (and play Wii). 

Cecilia: Head over to my friend’s place for Iron Chef Night.  8:00 p.m., see you there!

Tanveer: Go see The Dark Knight at an IMAX theater.

Marisa: Try the cream ice’s at Rita’s.

Michael: Drink plenty of non-alcoholic / non-ceffeinated beverages, and place ice cubes on wrists/ankles/back of the neck.

Wylia: Drink a Mint Julep in the shade with a personal “fanner”

Robert: Drink more water VOSS.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Oh Cecilia

Posted by alison on July 17th, 2008

I wanted to welcome new GlobalGiving staffer, Cecilia Snyder.  As you can see by the picture on the right, she’s ready to go!  She is joining our Supply Fortress as the Community Marketing Manager, and we’re excited to have her join the GG Team.

To introduce her to you, our blog readers, I sat down with her and got the answers to some pressing and important issues.

A: What is your name?

C: Cecilia Snyder

A: What attracted you to GlobalGiving?

C: Innovative giving model, especially the idea of local organizations being able to promote themselves to a large audience.

A: Describe yourself in 5 words.

C: Creative, Goofy, Passionate, Musical, …

A: Where have you never been, but would like to go?

C: Petra

A: Pancakes, waffles or French toast?


A: What’s your favorite book/TV show/movie?

C: All the President’s Men, Law and Order, All the President’s Men

A: What’s playing on your iPod right now?

C: Beatles

A: Name two interesting facts about you.  Name one untrue thing.  Put them in any order.

C: I was a rock n’ roll singer in high school.  I have pet ferrets.   I grew up all over the world.

A: What’s your favorite Starbucks drink?

C: Double Tall Latte

A: What’s your favorite board game?

C: Scrabble

A: What’s your favorite karaoke song?

C: Anything by ABBA

A: Do you have any hidden talents?

C: Hmmm. I am GREAT at Charades.

Hot Town, Summer in the City

Posted by alison on July 16th, 2008

I like music. Despite my apparent obsession with U2, I do actually listen to other music.

And when this auction for Jimmy Buffett tickets, with 10% of the proceeds going to GlobalGiving, popped up in my email, I went to YouTube and started listening to Margaritaville.

Sometimes songs will remind me of experiences, places, people, or just a particular point in time. And there’s no better example of that reminder than songs of summer. The following 5 songs are distinctly summery to me.   

Feel free to comment with your own musical summer reminders; I’d love to hear them!

5. Bananarama – Cruel Summer

4. Madonna – La Isla Bonita

3. U2 – Beautiful Day (had to have at least one reference)

2. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince – Summertime

1. The Lovin’ Spoonful – Summer in the City

The Future of Philanthropy: Giving 2.0

Posted by alison on July 14th, 2008

From the Stanford Social Innovation Review posted a very nice article about philanthropy. 

 On full disclosure, GlobalGiving is mentioned in the article.