Donna Callejon Posts

Local or Global. You choose.

Every CSR professional knows that securing company resources and operational support can be challenging at times. In addition, most employee engagement professionals are juggling many roles, so managing multiple philanthropic partners can be a challenge. But when you’re a 300,000+ employee company with a footprint in more than a hundred countries, you strive to provide your employees with programs that are as equitable and engaging as possible, while of course minimizing the time and expense necessary to administer them. That’s why we are very excited to have launched a first-of-its-kind program that simultaneously simplifies and expands employee engagement/giving opportunities with long-time GlobalGiving partner HP. Together we’ll streamline operations as they drive Living Progress and, more importantly, provide a robust and unified experience for employees worldwide.For several years HP has been working with both Network for Good and GlobalGiving to provide its employees who volunteer with charitable gift cards as rewards. US-based employees received Good Cards, redeemable to any US 501(c)(3) on the Network for Good platform.  Employee volunteers outside the US received GlobalGiving gift cards, redeemable for any program on the GlobalGiving website, including thousands of internationally-based organizations’ programs.

This, of course, required HP’s social innovation team to manage relationships with both partners. It also meant that reporting was coming from two different sources in different formats and had to be integrated by HP staff.

It’s so much easier now! Here’s why:

  • Employees can give directly to these nonprofits in more than 140 countries, thanks to the Guidestar and Network for Good (“NFG”) APIs and NFG’s tested US disbursement capabilities. The giving experience is now truly global.

We are already learning from this partnership and can’t wait to work with other companies looking for a cost-effective, co-branded, and unique giving experience.  Let us know if you’d like to be a part of the next collaboration: dcallejon@globalgivng.org.

A Full Circle of Giving

VMwareInspirationBoothPiDay2014GlobalGiving recently joined the VMware Foundation at its Palo Alto headquarters to celebrate Pi Day by sharing ways that we can all support our global community. On the day marked by 3.14—and the joys of calculating the circumference of a circle—it was a reminder to us about the full circle of giving: the giving and receiving that helps propel our mission. We see this full circle exemplified by our continued collaboration with the VMware Foundation.

The VMware Foundation believes in Citizen Philanthropy, in which every individual’s actions matter and add up to our collective impact. In recognition of all the individual contributions its employees made that contributed to the company’s collective success in 2013, the Foundation gave the gift of giving to its more than 14,000 employees worldwide as a holiday gift in 2013. Each employee received a GlobalGiving charitable donation gift card for US$100, which they could then direct to projects of their choosing on GlobalGiving.org.

The cycle of giving continued with VMware employees directing their support to charitable programs of more than 1,000 organizations in 120 countries with their holiday gift cards. While many organizations received these gifts, for several the unanticipated support was quite a holiday surprise that will contribute to their missions and work in the year ahead.

More than 400 employees collectively donated $36,000 to Give an Hour, an organization that can now provide 2,000+ additional hours of mental health services to members of military families across the United States such as Jennifer Crane. Jennifer returned from her tour in Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress and found herself homeless and struggling with flashbacks and nightmares. When her course of treatment with Give an Hour ended, she reflected, “I no longer feel broken, but instead I feel whole. I am not trying to fool myself because yes, every day is a struggle. But the generosity of the individuals involved with Give an Hour has given me the faith in society that I so desperately needed.”

Thousands of miles away from VMware’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California, a woman named Nissima gave birth to twins in India. Her son weighed 1.5 kg, and her daughter just 0.73 kg. She rushed them to a nearby public hospital that had an on-site Embrace program and 21 infant warmers, but before she made it there, her son passed away.

Hypothermia is rarely a cause for concern across the birthing wings of the developed world, but in resource-challenged India it is a primary contributor to newborn deaths – and it is preventable. “Embrace is helping to reduce the risk of death in preterm babies in India. We establish programs at under-resourced clinics and hospitals and donate the Embrace infant warmer for free to low birth weight and premature infants in need,” explains Alejandra Villalobos, Director of Development at Embrace.

When they arrived at the hospital, Nissima’s daughter was immediately placed inside a warmer and Embrace staff gave Nissima support, explained what hypothermia was, and taught her the skills to keep her baby daughter warm. Villalobos considers education a key component of the Embrace strategy. “Recognizing that technology alone is not enough to solve complex problems like neonatal hypothermia, we also hire local staff to provide intensive health education programs for mothers, families, and health care workers.” The Embrace staff followed up three months later to find Nissima practicing the skills she had learned and her daughter, now named Fortunate, growing every day.

Embrace has developed a simple solution to a life threatening problem, and with the support of the VMware Foundation and 721 VMware employees, is on its way to providing the life-saving technology of an Embrace warmer to more than 150,000 low birth weight and premature infants in 2014. “The Embrace team is humbled and honored to receive VMware and GlobalGiving’s support. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of VMware employees during the holidayssaid Villalobos.

For Jean, a Technical Account Manager at VMware, the hardest part of giving was choosing which worthy project to support. After giving to Embrace he noted that he actually received a great deal in return. “I felt so great and so happy just knowing that I helped someone in the world,” he said. All donors on the site can feel confident their money is being sent to credible organizations with proven track records due to GlobalGiving’s thorough vetting process. Jean felt the program opened his eyes to problems around the world and motivated him to create a better place to live.

GlobalGiving is proud to collaborate with VMware as we work together to continue the full circle of giving and receiving that has the power to impact, and potentially change, all of our lives.

Virtual Community, Actual Impact

Paul was a teenager when he was drafted into the United States (US) Army during the Vietnam War.  And when the US ended its military involvement in Vietnam, it was just the beginning of a longer battle for him.  He was later deployed to multiple other international posts, and when he finally returned home, he was left with little support and undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The disorder wreaked havoc on his life, leaving him homeless, unemployed, over-medicated, and depressed.

Today, with the help of Canines with a Cause (CWAC) and the generous donations of VMware employees all over the world, Paul has a second chance.  CWAC carefully partners veterans with the life-saving companionship of rescued shelter dogs.

“Many with PTSD remain hyper-vigilant, suffer from nightmares, and have difficulty sleeping.  The dogs give them a sense of security so they can sleep well,” explains CWAC founder Cathy King.  “When veterans have an anxiety or panic attack, we train the dogs to paw or bark at them, bringing them back to the present and not somewhere dangerous in their minds.”

photo courtesy of canines with a cause

photo courtesy of canines with a cause

More than four million healthy, adoptable animals are euthanized in shelters each year.  One in four war veterans will come home with PTSD.  The CWAC program prides itself on being able to save two lives at once — it helps both Paul and his former shelter dog reconnect with society.  “He has responsibility and purpose now,” says Paul’s friend.  “Through the CWAC program, he thinks he’s training the dog but really, he’s retraining himself.”

The VMware Foundation partners with the GlobalGiving Foundation to support the work of CWAC through its ‘Citizen Philanthropy’ approach to giving.  The VMware Foundation provides a platform for its more than 13,000 employees worldwide, enabling each employee to amplify his/her contributions to the community. One way VMware supports employee-led giving is through its Milestone Awards. Celebrating service with VMware, people receive charitable donation gift cards when they join the company and when they reach their 1-year anniversary. VMware people can direct the donations to a GlobalGiving charitable project that’s close to their hearts.

Gail Gilstrap, a VMware Engagement Manager based in the Washington, DC, area recently celebrated her 1-year anniversary with VMware. Gilstrap explains how the company has supported her charitable interests.

“There were a lot of organizations to choose from but I gave to CWAC because animals have always been close to my heart and my daughter is studying to be a veterinary technician.  A lot of my family has also served in the military so I thought, ‘what better way to support?’”

Another employee, Priya Kornalius, recently joined VMware as an IT Change Manager in Bangalore, India.  On her first day, she received a GlobalGiving gift card as a welcome gift from the VMware Foundation

“I was pleasantly surprised by the GlobalGiving gift card at first but, really, it has set my expectations for VMware — it’s a company that values people and giving back to communities in need,” says Priya.

“I’m from a small village in India and I’ve seen so many children who don’t have enough money for a better education,” Priya continues, “It was such a joy to donate to help schoolchildren in the Sundarbans (India).”

The Sundarbans is a remote delta region located partially in West Bengal, India.  About 80% of rural households in this state are not electrified.  This limits economic opportunity in the region and consequently, a high proportion of its dense population lives below the poverty line.

For schoolchildren, the lack of electricity means that at nightfall, it becomes simply too dark to study.  Kerosene lanterns are sometimes available but they are expensive, release dangerous smoke and fumes, and frequently cause fire accidents.

Priya used her VMware GlobalGiving gift card to provide solar lamps to children and classrooms in the Sundarbans.  The Indian non-profit organization, the Association for Social and Environmental Development (ASED), leads this initiative and has received more than US$12,760 from VMware employee Milestone Awards

Fourteen year-old Kakoli Giri received an ASED solar lamp in April 2012.

She comes from a family whose monthly income is just 2000 Indian rupees (US$37).  They practice subsistence farming and her father migrates seasonally in search of daily-wage work in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal.

Kakoli is currently in the ninth grade and her favorite subjects are physical science and geography.  In the evenings, she uses the solar lamp to study.  She attends tutorial three times a week and during this time, her younger brother is able to use the solar lamp for his own studies.  Since receiving the lamp a year ago, Kakoli’s grades have improved and she has moved from 39th to 33rd in her class.

“GlobalGiving has been a wonderful partner,” says ASED project leader Diti Mookherjee.  “Together we are securing brighter futures for needy children.”

 

VM Ware Employees Share on VMLink, the company's internal social network

VMWare Employees Share on VMLink, the company’s internal social network

 

VMware continues to support the personal charitable interests of its employees.  To date, more than US$170,000 has been donated to more than 1100 projects in more than 100 countries throughout the world by VMware people starting their journey with VMware and those marking their 1-year anniversary through giving back to the broader community.

google hunger relief campaign: simple ways to take a bite out of hunger

Koro is a six-year old girl who arrived at A Child for All’s orphanage (ACFA) without a home or family, her thin body extremely malnourished.  The founder of ACFA, Kadiatou Sidibe, remembers the first meal Koro had with the organization in 2010.  “It was lunch-time, and you know how in Mali, we all eat around one large plate of food.  Koro saw the food; her eyes grew big.  Then she took the whole dish and ran away—she didn’t know that there would be another meal later.”

Koro’s health has improved dramatically with the help of ACFA and its donors throughout the world.  It’s hard to think that engineers and marketing managers 7,000 miles away in Mountain View, California are key to improving the life chances of Koro and other children at ACFA.  But the fact is, they are.

Recently Google, Inc. partnered with GlobalGiving to launch its Hunger Relief Campaign, an initiative that encouraged employee donations to hunger relief agencies globally.  Googlers took a short online quiz on food security to receive a GlobalGiving gift code that allowed them to donate US$10 online to a hunger-related project of their choice.

And no, they didn’t have to answer the quiz questions correctly.

ACFA is just one of fourteen projects listed on Globalgiving.org as part of Google’s campaign.  Googlers could give to unique projects in India, Haiti, Guatemala, and Kenya (to name a few) but also to U.S.-based ones like the River Fund Mobile Pantry’s project to aid Hyperstorm Sandy victims.

“We love working with new partners like Google that innovatively deploy our gift card program to support their employees’ passions,” explains Mari Kuraishi, Co-founder and President of the GlobalGiving Foundation.

For ACFA, ten dollars goes a long way.  “All of the children that come to us are malnourished.  Ten dollars can provide multivitamins for two months,” says Sidibe.  The Google Hunger Relief Campaign drew awareness to these issues and often, after redeeming the gift card and learning about the projects, employees chose to give an additional donation that their company matched.

Mali, where Koro is from, has one of the highest child mortality rates of children under age five in the world (178/1000).  Over half of these deaths are related to malnutrition.

And the situation isn’t getting any easier.  Droughts throughout the Sahel and rebel uprisings have struck simultaneously, leading to more than 400,000 displaced and in search of food or safety.   The United Nations claims that the current situation has left 600,000 children under the age of 5 threatened by severe malnutrition.

“The children are staying at my father’s house, the same house that I grew up in.”  The partnership with Google and GlobalGiving allows Sidibe to work towards what she’s long dreamed: a five-acre lot that can house up to one-hundred children and provide a medical facility, a school for grades one through nine, a library, and sports facilities.  “All of this will help support the larger local community as well.  People currently have to walk two kilometers to get to the closest medical facility.”

ACFA has already received a disbursement of US$4,750 through Google employee gift cards, a small fraction of total Google employee giving.  This amount represents two months of ACFA’s operating budget and more than the annual nutrition needs for the current twelve children.

The Google Hunger Relief Campaign concluded at the end of 2012 and the result is absolutely amazing.  Google employees donated nearly US$160,000 to provide more than 800,000 meals to communities around the world.

freedom starts at home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is Independence Day in the United States.  On this day we celebrate our freedom from oppression, tyranny, and our equality, our freedom of speech and, among other things, right to pursue happiness.  Often these freedoms are framed in an historic and military context, dating back to 1776.   And they are framed with an eye toward meta- or country-level independence, freedoms and rights.

And while the USA  is a great country in many many ways, we still have a lot of work to do.   We have much to learn from other cultures and countries.  We are – and will always be – a work in progress.  And we have miles to go before these concepts are a reality for all of our citizens and residents.

So today, I share with you some fantastic organizations and projects working here in the United States of America, fighting every day to ensure that the ideals we celebrate on July 4th apply to all:

War Vets Heal with Help of Shelter Dogs

Protect 250 Women Immigrants fleeing violence

Stop Homophobic Bullying in Schools

Provide School-based Healthcare for Poor Kids

Happy 4th.