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.

Pursue Purpose Through New Power

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

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.

Happy Money

Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending - Book

The Science of Smarter Spending – Book

If you think money can’t buy happiness, think again. In their new book Happy Money, our friend Michael Norton and his fellow behavioral scientist Elizabeth Dunn, explain how money really can buy happiness – if you follow five core principles of smarter spending.

One of the principles should come as no surprise to all you GlobalGivers: spending money on others can increase your happiness even more than spending your cash on yourself.

It’s not just a warm fuzzy feeling. It’s science. Click here to see the book or read more in this Economist article.

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.