Posts Tagged ‘corporate social responsibility’

 

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.

 

 



 

The democratization of aid.

Posted by dennis on July 29th, 2010

This piece on Mari and the inspiration for GlobalGiving is great. It explains accurately and concisely the rationale Mari and I had when contemplating leaving the World Bank to start GlobalGiving.

The article explains, “But Kuraishi had spent years working to change the world with a top-down approach and saw its shortcomings as clearly as its strengths. The idea of top-down is that if you can effect change in governments and economies, then you’ll naturally reduce poverty and improve lives. And while that approach works, Kuraishi decided there was also room for a bottom-up approach—especially in countries with weak or corrupt governments. ”

Indeed, when we left, that was the idea–an alternative model that would grant access to funding and markets to people and communities that were otherwise left out, whether because their government was too corrupt or they weren’t established enough to acquire high-level grants with big institutions like the World Bank or USAID.

That was and is our vision. But, as the article documents, our vision is also expanding with our success.

Tara Swords writes in the article, “Eight years later, the organization has raised US$29 million for grassroots charity projects in more than 100 countries. Perhaps Kuraishi’s former World Bank colleagues should reconsider.”

I won’t lie. I smile every time I wrap my mind around the extent of our growth and success (2,800 projects now funded, in fact). And you might wonder what thoughts cross my mind when I read thoughts like “Perhaps Kuraishi’s former World Bank colleagues should reconsider.”

What runs through my mind is hope.

Because our success indicates that this model is working, and will continue to work.

But what makes me even more hopeful is that as I realize the effectiveness, potential, and power of our model–now tested for eight years–I’m increasingly aware of the possibility that GlobalGiving will not only serve as an add-on to traditional aid structures, but actually can serve as a model on which to base their work.

My hope is grounded in reality.

The World Bank’s Urgent Evoke project, for example, is a brilliant concept that puts development entrepreneurship into the hands of, well, anyone.  And next month, they’ll be working with us to launch the funding component where the best, brightest ideas will have a shot at the GlobalGiving marketplace.

But the impetus and the seed money for this huge undertaking came from the World Bank.

This initiative is new, innovative, and smart. Not your standard World Bank funding fodder. I commend them for this type of open-access initiative.

I also admire their documentation of best practices and lessons learned, including what hasn’t worked. That’s brave and serves as powerful learning for the entire development community–exactly how it should work.

There are other hopeful signs out there of a shift in aid–that’s it’s moving, albeit slowly, to recognize that the true potential for change lies within the people and communities who are affected by the world’s problems, and not necessarily the people who write the most effective grant proposals.

So, when I hear others comment on our success, I’m hopeful. We no longer want to just be the guys who left the World Bank. We want to be part of a larger community of people dedicated to the democratization of the aid process. And it’s happening!

Dennis Whittle is Co-Founder and CEO of GlobalGiving.

The business of business is increasingly philanthropy.

Posted by Donna Callejon on July 29th, 2010

Ideas about the role of corporations in society have changed a lot in the past few years. Twenty years ago, many corporate executives believed that “the business of business is business,” and that social issues had no place in corporate management.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts rarely went beyond an occasional employee volunteer day or a glossy report.

Today, the outlook is entirely different. Realizing that corporate responsibility matters to customers, employees, and investors, forward-thinking business leaders are making social and environmental sustainability a priority.

From improving energy efficiency to raising labor standards for overseas workers, companies are making corporate citizenship an integral part of their business strategy.

The Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE), a new GlobalGiving partner, advises and trains companies on sustainability and CSR. Registration is now open for CSE’s September workshop, a unique course designed to teach practical, implementable CSR techniques.

GlobalGiving’s corporate clients are at the forefront of new trends in corporate philanthropy. With our help, Dell has refined its philanthropic strategy, ensuring that its corporate giving reflects its vision and goals.

Nike has used our platform to facilitate employee giving, helping employees donate to organizations meaningful to them.

Pepsi and Neutrogena are incorporating philanthropy into marketing campaigns, linking their products to high-impact social projects around the world.

At the CSE workshop, GlobalGiving will share learnings and best practices with the next generation of CSR professionals. Participants will learn about cause marketing campaigns, trends in corporate philanthropy, sustainability reporting, and more.

Participants will leave the workshop with skills and competencies necessary to incorporate sustainability into business plans, benefiting not only their companies and investors, but also their local and global communities.

The GlobalGiving community (that’s you!) qualifies for a 15% discount when registering. Use the discount code “GlobalGiving.”

More information.

Donna Callejon is GlobalGiving’s Chief Business Officer.

Persuasive Partnerships

Posted by bill brower on January 25th, 2008

“Clearly CSR has arrived,” stated the Economist in a recent special report on Corporate Social Responsibility. The report shows that in today’s business world, CSR – now another tool used to add value to the customer experience – is no longer a question of “to do, or not to do,” but rather, “how?”

The most recent corporation to answer this question was Dell. They’ve teamed up with Bill Gates and Bono to introduce a line of (Product) RED consumer computing hardware that will compete directly with Apple’s recently debuted Mac Air.

This partnership creates shared value among the participating organizations:

1. Dell hopes to win new customers and retain old by giving them the warm-and-fuzzy value-add they demand, and

2.The Global Fund/(Product) RED receives funding to further realize their organizational goals

It will be interesting to see whether this strategic offer from Dell is compelling enough to persuade laptop buyers to purchase “socially good” product rather than the technolocially-superior, and aesthetically-pleasing Apple product (excuse my bias – I’ve been a mac fanatic since I got my first PowerBook three years ago). Was it a good marketing move? Will the revenues deliver the value they promise? When it comes to spending $2,000, consumers may choose to spend for the better hardware and save their giving for a separate occasion.