GlobalGiving Powers Philanthropy Behind The Sustainable Development Goals

SDG_SocialSharePostOn September 25, 2015, GlobalGiving announced a new initiative, GlobalGiving for Global Goals, in support of nonprofits around the world that are contributing toward the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with their work in their communities. As world leaders have come together to commit to 17 Global Goals to end extreme poverty, fight inequality & injustice, and fix climate change during UN Week in New York, GlobalGiving is mobilizing individual donors, corporations, and philanthropists to take action around these goals.

The Millennium Development Goals, the predecessors to the SDGs, shaped the international development agenda over the past three decades. Since 1990, more than 1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, cutting the rate of poverty in half worldwide. But there is still much work to be done, and this time, the new SDGs aim to foster a more inclusive effort by governments, the private sector, and civil society to finish the job. GlobalGiving is supporting thousands of vetted nonprofit organizations around the world that have long been working to address the issues laid out by the SDG agenda.

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The new GlobalGiving Global Goals initiative features sustainable development projects that address each of the 17  Goals. GlobalGiving has vetted each of the featured nonprofits, and they are among GlobalGiving’s highest-ranked organizations; those that are committed to learning and effectiveness.

“We believe that locally-driven organizations committed to listening to their communities are in a powerful position to make lasting change in regard to poverty, climate change, and inequality. The launch of the SDGs is a great opportunity to raise the profile of those local changemakers, whose voices are vital in this conversation, and also to help individual and institutional donors identify opportunities to make meaningful contributions toward the goals,” said John Hecklinger, Chief Program Officer at GlobalGiving.

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It is not only individuals who are interested in new ways to make strides toward the SDGs. Private companies, grantmakers, and other philanthropic organisations are also working with GlobalGiving to channel funding toward local projects addressing the goals. The SDG Philanthropy Platform aims to build a means for philanthropy to engage with, and participate more effectively in the Post-2015 Agenda, and amplify the voice and action of grant makers and grantees in determining and achieving international targets and strategies. GlobalGiving is proud to partner with the SDG Philanthropy Platform to help philanthropists support effective development outcomes around the globe. Visit SDGfunders.org for more information.

Learn how you can get involved with the GlobalGiving Global Goals at GlobalGiving.org/sdg.

CHIME FOR CHANGE: Takeaways from a successful girls and women campaign

Picture2In the world of philanthropy, the conversation around girls and women continues to pick up steam. Recent articles by Bill Gates and the NoVo Foundation highlight the importance of empowering girls and women, and here at GlobalGiving we’ve seen a spike in corporate interest in the topic.

We’ve learned a lot from running campaigns on this topic, like the highly successful CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign, founded by Gucci and partners Salma Hayek Pinault & Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Here are five things that have made this cause marketing effort stand out.

 1. Relevant Theme                                     

When Gucci and its partners launched CHIME FOR CHANGE, there was a clear connection between the business and the campaign’s focus on education, health, and justice for girls and women. They chose to support a cause their customers and ambassadors can easily connect with and join, which increases any campaign’s chance for success.

Key Takeaway: It should go without saying that the cause a company decides to champion should be relevant to its business. Marketing an unfocused idea that leaves the public wondering “Why?”  can be a costly distraction that won’t do much to benefit your cause, so double and triple check that the focus is intuitive to your audience and relevant to your business.

2. Global Reach, Local Impact

When CHIME  first launched with Catapult, and subsequently partnered with GlobalGiving, Gucci and its partners were looking for locally-driven projects they could impact through the campaign. Focusing on their chosen themes of education, health, and justice for girls and women, we’re using our expertise in crowdfunding and international vetting to source local projects from around the world to be featured on the CHIME FOR CHANGE website. Through its efforts to date, the campaign has raised more than $7 million to fund more than 420 projects run by 144 nonprofit partners in 88 countries. 

Key Takeaway: It may seem daunting to go global and local at the same time — from reputational risk to tax law, there’s a lot to consider. Luckily, there are organizations that have expertise in navigating the international nonprofit sphere and measuring local impact. They do it so you don’t have to and so your company isn’t left behind in the race to be both global and local with giving.  

3. Share Stories of Impact

Telling stories has been central to the CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign. From Erin Helfert’s triumph in gaining a conviction in her rape case in Moroccan court to Razia Jaweed’s journey in learning to speak upwww.chimeforchange.org features stories of women who have been empowered to make changes in their lives and communities. Managing Editor Mariane Pearl explains: “Their stories are shaping a different story for mankind, a new narrative built from the heart and made of hope.”

Key Takeaway: With so many great causes around the world worth supporting, we all wish we could just say “Please help!” and that would be enough to mobilize the world. But let’s be honest: in the fight for the global consciousness, persistent humanitarian issues don’t have it easy. Using stories can help you draw emotional connections with your audience, making your cause feel more personal and real. For tips on how to tell a great story, visit http://stillmotionblog.com/storyfirst/.

4. Help Me Help You

On the CHIME website, users aren’t in danger of clicking themselves into a confused frenzy trying to figure out how they can be a part of the cause. The first thing you see on the homepage is a Take Action link that, when clicked, prompts you to either #CHIMEIN on Facebook or Twitter or donate to support a project. Powered by GlobalGiving’s API services, anyone can easily donate to featured projects such as “Help Young Women Rebuild Nepal” or “Healing for Sexual Violence Survivors in Colombia.”

Key Takeaway: “This story really hit home for me. How can I help?”  If there’s one question any cause marketing manager can expect from the public, it’s this. Just take a look at the comments section of this recent New York Times piece. Readers were touched by the compelling story of a mother separated from her son and wanted to know how to take action. Don’t make your audience do the heavy lifting. You’ve already inspired them to want to help your cause, so all that’s left is to give them an easy way to do it. 

5. Demand the Spotlight, and Keep it Alive

CHIME FOR CHANGE certainly didn’t waste time waiting for the spotlight to fall on their campaign. Team CHIME has been busy since the start using a variety of mediums to reach different target audiences.  Just last week it was announced that CHIME has partnered with Global Citizen to present the September 2015 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park.  As a result, a tremendous amount of attention is being paid to the issues surrounding girls and women worldwide. How do they do it?

  • Earning the support of leading celebrity women like co-founders Salma Hayek and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.
  • Launching global events like the Sound of Change Live Concert Event, which featured performers like Florence and the Machine, Ellie Goulding and John Legend, and the upcoming Global Citizen Festival®
  • Features on the world stage at prestigious gatherings like TEDWomen and International Women’s Day.
  • Harnessing the power of technology to drive change by launching Twitter campaigns like #CHIMEHACK and recent #CHIMEHACK 2.

Key Takeaway: Build it and they will come…right? Not so much.  During a time when the public is constantly bombarded with information, commanding the attention of your audience is crucial. Take a leaf out of CHIME’s book by trying different modes of communication to reach a broader audience.

 

To donate to a project through CHIME FOR CHANGE or learn more about the campaign’s work with girls and women, visit: www.chimeforchange.org

If you need help with your cause marketing campaign give GlobalGiving a call at 877.605.2314 or visit us at: www.GlobaGiving.org/corporate-partners

GlobalGiving’s Big Bet

Betting On Impact

How we’re using gamification, incentives, and behavioral economics for good.

We all want our donations to have the most impact possible. But how do we choose which nonprofits to support? And how does an organization like GlobalGiving, working with nonprofits in 165 countries, measure, compare, incentivize, and reward effective nonprofits doing everything from providing affordable housing in Nicaragua to restoring buffalo on Lakota land, to teaching organic farming to at-risk teens in Indonesia?)

Well, we’ve made a Big Bet about how we can do just that, and today marks a major milestone as we’re working to drive more money to more effective organizations. Starting today, the organizations on GlobalGiving that we believe are more effective—those nonprofits that are committed to learning—will be rewarded with more visibility and the chance for more funding through the crowdfunding community.

GG_Rewards_Logo_whiteWe’re using gamification, incentives, and behavioral economics to encourage organizations to listen to the people they serve, to act on what they hear by testing new ideas, and to learn faster and more efficiently. (We call this the Cycle of Progress: Listen, Act, Learn. Repeat.)

The Cycle of Progress: Listen, Act , Learn, Repeat

We’ve created a new ranking system, which we’re calling GG Rewards, that helps us identify which nonprofits are climbing the GG Rewards ladder as Partners, Leaders, and Superstars. We’ve developed this system in collaboration with our nonprofit partners, with researchers, and peers. We’ll continue to improve as we learn more in the coming months. (In case you’ve been following our progress, the GG Rewards system is a big improvement on the Effectiveness Dashboards and Partner Rewards rankings we’ve been experimenting with for several years.)

GG Rewards Status

When our partners log on to GlobalGiving today, they’ll see their GG Rewards Status, a list of benefits their status affords them, and then they’ll have immediate access to tools and resources that can help them log more Effectiveness and Engagement points that will help increase their scores. Nonprofits not only get points for reporting to their donors, but they can also earn points for interviewing stakeholders, collecting community stories, or collecting feedback from the people they intend to help, for example.

We know that 40% of our partners log into our system every week, and we have data that demonstrates that they’ll take actions to improve their ranking because it leads to more funding, so we’re making sure those actions will help the nonprofits not only become better fundraisers but also more effective at meeting the needs of their communities.

As nonprofits demonstrate their commitment to learning and improving, they’ll now have increased visibility on GlobalGiving, and we’re confident that Superstars will reap tangible rewards. Stay tuned as we roll out ways for donors to search for and find effective organizations!

Versions of this article have also been published by GuideStar and Markets for Good

Unveiling GlobalGiving 6.0… Little by Little by Little

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Do we look a little… different to you?

Our team is hard at work re-designing the GlobalGiving website so that it’s faster, easier, and more fun for donors, nonprofits, companies, and everyone else around the globe. Especially for users on mobile devices! Today you’re seeing the first bit of it in place: the header and footer (with a few new pages in between.)

Rather than hiding away and working for years on a new design and launching it all at once hoping you’ll love it, we’re designing and launching GlobalGiving version 6.0 in sections. This helps us gather feedback as we go, allowing us to iterate to a much better design.

Thanks for bearing with us in the meantime, while the site looks slightly…er… Frankenstein-ish. (“Excuse me while I take this body copy from 2009 and pair it with a footer from 2015…”)  You can expect to see many more beautiful pages launching soon. In the next few months we’ll be rolling out new project pages and have a much better search experience for everyone, (especially you mobile web users!)

Please feel free to share any feedback you have, or any suggestions for how we can make GlobalGiving even better for you.

How We’re Building GG Rewards Together

Next week GlobalGiving will be launching the new GG Rewards Program. Here’s a post by Marc Maxmeister that provides a sneak peek into the work that’s gone into conceptualizing, building, and launching the program. 

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GlobalGiving‘s goal is to help all organizations become more effective by providing access to money, information, and ideas.

That is a lofty, aspirational goal. To everyone else, it might look like all we do is run a website that connects donors to organizations. But internally, I serve on a team that has met every week for the past 3 years to pour over the data, to find an efficient way to help organizations become more effective. We call ourselves the iTeam (i for impact).

GlobalGiving's i-team. We try not to take ourselves too seriously.

GlobalGiving’s iTeam. We try not to take ourselves too seriously.

It is hard to move thousands of organizations in one shared community forward. We use gamification, incentives, and behavioral economics to encourage organizations to learn faster and listen to the people in whatever corner of the world they happen to operate.

Before 2014 we used just six criteria to define “good,” “better”, and “best.” If an organization exceeded the goals on all six, they were Superstars. If they met some goals, they were Leaders. The remaining 70% of organizations were permanent Partners – still no small feat. Leaders and Superstars were first in line for financial bonuses and appeared at the top of search results.

In 2014 we unveiled a more complete effectiveness dashboard, tracking all the ways we could measure an organization on its journey to Listen, Act, Learn, and Repeat. We believe effective organizations do this well.

But this dashboard wasn’t good enough. We kept tweaking it, getting feedback from our users, and looking for better ways to define learning.

What is learning, really?

How do you quantify it and reward everyone fairly?

The past is just prologue. In 2015, GlobalGiving’s nonprofit partners  will earn points for everything they do to listen, act, and learn.

LALR cycle-dark-bglalr-2015-explained

This week I put together an interactive modeling tool to study how GlobalGiving could score organizational learning. When organizations do good stuff, they should earn points. If they earn enough points, they ought to become Leaders or Superstars. But how many points are enough to level up? That is a difficult question. We worked with our nonprofit partner Leadership Council to get their ideas, and we also created some data models to help us decide.

Here is the data; the current distribution of scores for our thousands of partners, leaders and superstars looks like this:

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How to read this histogram

On the x-axis: total learning points that an organization has earned.

On the y-axis: number of organizations with that score.

There are three bell curves for the three levels of status. It is significant to notice that these bell curves overlap. It means that some Superstar organizations in our old definition of excellence are not so excellent under the new set of rules. Other Partner organizations are actually far more effective than we thought; they will be promoted. Some of the last will be first, and some of the first will be last.

The histogram shown mostly reflects points earned from doing those six things we’ve always rewarded. But in the new system, organizations are also going to earn points for doing new stuff that demonstrates learning:

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And that will change everything. “Learning organizations” will leapfrog over “good fundraising organizations” that haven’t demonstrated that they are learning yet.

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Not only will different organizations level-up to Leaders and Superstars, everyone’s scores will likely increase. We’ll need to keep “moving the goal posts.” Otherwise the definition of a Superstar organization will be meaningless.

The reason this is a modeling tool and not an analysis report is that anyone can adjust the weights and rerun the calculations instantly. Here I’ve increased the points that organizations earn for raising money over listening to community members and responding to donors:

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This weighting would run contrary to our mission. So obviously, we’re not doing that. But we also don’t want to impose rules that would discount the efforts organizations have made to become Superstars under the old rules.

So I created another visualization of the model that counts up gainers and losers and puts them into a contingency table. Here, two models are shown side by side. Red boxes represent the number of organizations that are either going to move up or down a level in each model:

status_change_table

We’d like to minimize disruption during the transition. That means getting the number of Superstars that would drop to Partner as close to zero as possible. It also means giving everybody advance warning and clear instructions on how to demonstrate their learning quickly, so that they don’t drop status as the model predicts. (We’ve talked this over with representatives from our Project Leader Leadership Council to get ideas about how to best do this.)

This is a balancing act. Our definition of a Learning Organization is evolving because our measurements are getting more refined, but we acknowledge they are a work in progress. We seek feedback at every step so that what we build together serves the community writ large, and not just what we think is best.

We’ll share more about the launch of our GG Rewards platform next week. This post is just the story of how we used data and feedback to get where we are. Here are a few lessons of what we’ve learned along the way:

Lessons:

  • Fairness: It is mathematically impossible to make everybody happy when we start tracking learning behavior and rewarding it.
  • Meritocracy: We will need to keep changing the definition of Superstar organizations as all organizations demonstrate their learning, or else it will be meaningless. The best organizations would be indistinguishable from average ones.
  • Crowdsourcing: The only fair way to set the boundaries of Partner, Leader, and Superstar is to crowdsource the decision to our community, and repeat this every year.
  • Defined impact: We can measure the influence of our system on organizational behavior by comparing what the model predicts with what actually happens. We define our success as seeing everybody increase their score every year, and earning more points each year than in the previous year. Success is also seeing a normal distribution (e.g. “bell curve”) of overall scores.
  • Honest measurement: I was surprised to realize that without penalties for poor performance, it is impossible to see what makes an organization great.
  • Iterative benchmarking: We must reset the bar for Leader and Superstar status each year if we want it to mean anything.
  • Community: We predict that by allowing everyone a say in how reward levels are defined, more people will buy into the new system.
  • Information is Power: By creating an interactive model to understand what might happen and combining it with feedback from a community, we are shifting away what could be contentious and towards what could inspire stronger community.

We were inspired by what others at the World Bank and J-PAL did to give citizens more health choices in Uganda. What the “information is power” paper finds is that giving people a chance to speak up alone doesn’t yield better programs (the participatory approach). Neither does giving them information about the program alone (the transparency approach). What improves outcomes is a combination of a specific kind of information along with true agency – the power to change the very thing about a program that they believe isn’t working through their interpretation of the data.

The model I built can help each citizen of the GlobalGiving community see how a rule affects everyone else, and hence understand the implications of their choice, as well as predict how they will fare. If we infuse this information into a conversation about what the thresholds for Partner, Leader, Superstar ought to be each year (e.g. how much learning is enough?), this will put us in the “information is power” sweet spot – a rewards paradigm that maximizes organizational learning and capacity for the greatest number of our partners.

I predict that giving others this power (to predict and to set standards) will lead to a fairer set of rules for how learning is measured and rewards doled out. It ain’t easy, but it is worthy of the effort.