I looked at the hundred expectant faces staring curiously at the bright colors on the screen behind them. The stage was empty, with just a rostrum. This group of exceptionally talented, really energetic people had gathered into this auditorium this past Saturday afternoon, not really knowing what to expect. It was in fact, a meeting to celebrate Alfinio Flores, a past delegate from the 2007 Global Engagement Summit (GES) and a winner of last year’s GlobalGiving GES Project Challenge.
In February 2007, GlobalGiving hosted the GES (then called IYVS) Project Challenge on our website (www.globalgiving.com), an outcome opportunity for all delegates to apply their learnings from the Summit and fundraise for their projects. Four were invited to become part of the GlobalGiving site. Alfinio’s award is a celebration of his impressive and compelling presentation of the challenges and accomplishment of the community in Jazmin, Costa Rica. His project has shared great stories that have engaged new donors and as a result have continued to raise funds.
Nathaniel Whittemore, the co-founder of GES introduced the first-ever GlobalGiving Achievement Award, Alfinio and GlobalGiving. He talked about our personal ” moments of obligation – moments when we can longer do nothing”. Recounting the story of William Wilberforce and Britain’s abolitionist movement, he, in fact, told the story of the GES delegates in that room gathered from nearly 40 countries. Profound change is driven by these very moments of truth. His words resonated within me. This is also the story of GlobalGiving which began with one such moment for its co-founders Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle. It led to the creation of Development Marketplace at the World Bank and then GlobalGiving. In the true spirit of social entrepreneurship, GlobalGiving isn’t the perpetuation of an individual’s sense of obligation to social change, but a living commitment to inspiring people towards another realization – not just that we can be connected into something larger but more importantly, we can influence it. This is the mission of GlobalGiving – to provide a space to realize these moments of truth and to borrow Nathaniel’s words – moments in which we can no longer do nothing whether we are a donor or a social entrepreneur.
GlobalGiving celebrates Alfinio, Liz, Caitlin and Daniel — the GES alumni on GlobalGiving– and their passion, energy and commitment to leading social change. We’re very excited to continue working with the amazing young entrepreneurs that attend the Summit each year. This year’s GES Project Challenge will run from April 24th to May 13th. You can track it by visiting the GlobalGiving website during those dates. We’re very privileged to be able to support them as they realise that they can no longer do nothing.