Archive for the ‘Corporate Programs’ Category

 

Pursue Purpose Through New Power

Posted by Angela Wu on May 22nd, 2014

Jeremy Heimans at CECP 2014 Summit: What Counts


Imagine you’re eleven. You live in Rio. You absolutely love school. It’s a safe place where you are free to learn, engage with your peers, and grow. But suddenly you hear about plans to demolish the school building. In its place will be a parking lot for a local stadium.

What do you do?

In a perpetually evolving world, it’s necessary to be mindful that the way we approach change may need to adapt. Now more than ever, we’re equipped with tools and technology to tackle problem-solving with innovation, creativity, and efficiency.

Jeremy Heimans, Co-Founder and CEO of Purpose, activates individuals to build lasting social movements that address global issues. Recognizing the shift of power structures—from what he calls “old power” to “new power”—his organization utilizes technology to empower activists, amplify their voices, and mobilize the masses to make positive change happen.

Old power works like a currency and is held by few. It commands, is leader-driven, and closed. New power moves like a current and is enabled by many. It is shared, peer-driven, and open.

In a talk titled “Unlocking New Power: How to Think Like a Movement-Builder,” Heimans encouraged the companies at CECP 2014 Summit: What Counts to pursue purpose through new power.

As evidenced through successful movements such as Airbnb, Kickstarter, and Giving Tuesday, which disrupt traditional top-down power models, new power considers participation and collaboration as ends in themselves and offers its participants transparency into the process of change. Anybody can take action, and the sky is the limit when large groups of people band together in solidarity to drive positive change.

If your company is looking to harness new power or adapt from old power, the key is to find a cause that aligns with your business model. If purpose is already built into your brand, then organize the masses around that mission. If not, Heimans advises to keep the following points in mind:

  • Think like a movement builder, not a philanthropist.
  • Invite participants into your story.
  • If you’re not there yet, avoid declaring victory.
  • The stakes must be high.
  • Be in it for the long-term or not at all.


Now what if I told you the eleven-year-old is a real girl named Bia? To protect her school, she started a campaign with Meu Rio, an organization that set up a 24/7 live webcam on the school. Community members monitored activity, and when bulldozers showed up at the school, all who signed up received a text message and gathered to form a human barrier around the building. In the end, government officials agreed to have the school remain in place.

Unparalleled potential is found in fueling forces that create long-term social value through authentic, community-driven movements. This echoes one of our core values at GlobalGiving, which declares that we’re “Always Open.” We believe in the power of great ideas, which can come from anyone, anywhere, at anytime.

Build for Bia, urged Heimans. We at GlobalGiving couldn’t agree more.

A Full Circle of Giving

Posted by Donna Callejon on March 28th, 2014

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.

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

Posted by Donna Callejon on January 10th, 2013

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.

A Fundraising Success Story: Somali Survival Backpacks Project

Posted by Marc Maxson on August 3rd, 2011

A week ago GlobalGiving launched an employee giving portal for Eli Lilly & Company. On the first day, the Lilly Foundation and its employees contributed over forty thousand dollars to GlobalGiving projects within Lilly’s giving focus areas. One of these projects was an emergency project to provide Somali famine victims with “Survival Backpacks,”  run by Hot Sun, a film school in the Nairobi slum of Kibera. Hot Sun raised over $8,000 from 143 donations in one day, thanks to Eli Lilly employees.

This unexpected windfall is noteworthy for two reasons:

  • First, the organization was flexible in its mission and able to shift focus to disaster relief (when it had only managed a film school prior to this).
  • Second, the reason Survival Backpacks for Somali Refugees attracted all those new donors was because their team followed GlobalGiving’s recommended strategies – posting four project updates in 2 months, tweeting / facebooking heavily about the cause, and building personal relationships with donors in a variety of other ways. This helped them attract 76 donors, which gave them good visibility on our website. (Site placement is determined by a series of factors including donor numbers, reporting history, etc.)  Therefore, the Backpacks project had high site visibility on the day that we brought in 38,000 new donors; this led to  a significant overnight fundraising success story.

Fundraising is stochastic, meaning that each action does not guarantee results in a tit-for-tat fashion, but the sum of each incredible personal act does indeed add up. This example should inspire and instruct others in how to attract resources to any community effort, whatever the need, regardless of barriers.

Here’s a bit about the genesis of the project from its founder, Nathan Collett:

Long before this crisis hit, Somali filmmaker Ahmed Farah and I had been shooting a documentary about the Somali refugee camps in Dadaab. We felt we had to do something to fill the gap that large aid organizations are not filling. People need immediate help, before “official” help arrives, as they wait for days, even weeks, to be registered. This gave birth to the Survival Backpacks project. Famine now adds to war as the reason for their exodus. Somalis are crossing the horn of Africa on foot, arriving at Kenyan border camps, where they wait. This will help them survive until “survival aid” arrives, and allows them to keep moving if needed.

As filmmakers we also are working to raise awareness of the issue from a Somali perspective. In 2007 I shot a short film in Northern Somalia called “Charcoal Traffic.” Every time the country tries to get on a solid footing there is outside intervention, war, and attacks such as the Ethiopian invasion in 2008. Many of Somalia’s problems are self-created, but outsiders have made the problem worse. An African proverb says that ‘when the elephants fight, the ground suffers’… this is the case in Somalia. The people are suffering.

Our goal is to give something tangible and raise awareness. No filming or transport costs are taken out of GlobalGiving donations. The trailer for our next documentary “Dadaab: get there or die trying” was screened on Al-Jazeera English’s “The Stream” on July 27th 2011. We hope to continue raising awareness through you, and those whom you tell about us… but to not limit ourselves to that. People on the ground need help. We’ve seen their faces, we’ve experienced their suffering. We can’t just film anymore, we need to save lives.

Best,
Nathan Collett

If you’re interested in learning more about the story of the Somali Survival Backpacks project, here are some links to follow:

The crisis in the Horn of Africa is so immense, we’ll be watching to see what other innovative people and projects arise to help alleviate the suffering. Here are the drought/famine relief projects on GlobalGiving today: http://www.globalgiving.org/east-africa-drought/

You can find other tips and examples about successful online fundraising strategies on our Tools and Trainings Blog.

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.