giving Posts

Grantee Spotlight: Range of Motion Project

The TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation partners with GlobalGiving in awarding grants to organizations that  relieve the suffering of people around the world.

Fabiola consults with Breyner about the fit of his prosthesis

Breyner’s path to mobility

Fabiola, a prosthetic technician for Range of Motion Project (ROMP), welcomes Breyner with a warm smile as he walks through the doors. A year prior, seven-year-old Breyner’s leg had been removed during his battle with cancer. Breyner and his mother Gabriela had made the two and a half hour trip to ROMP three months earlier after hearing that the organization provides free prostheses to children in need. For three months, Breyner used the prosthetic leg provided by ROMP to walk, run and jump. But as Breyner continued to grow, his prosthesis became uncomfortable, and he was forced to begin using crutches again to help with his mobility.

Fabiola measures Breyner and finds he has grown two centimeters in the last three months. His prosthesis will need to be lengthened slightly to enable him to walk comfortably again. Carlos, a prosthetic assistant, adjusts Breyner’s prosthesis in the ROMP workshop, changing out the rod that serves as Breyner’s lower leg for a slightly longer one. With his newly adjusted prosthesis, Breyner strolls confidently through the parallel bars and proudly shows off his mobility for the ROMP team.

TripAdvisor employee engagement: the beginning of a partnership

Though Breyner and his mother had to travel long distances to receive help from ROMP, the time investment came with a significant reward—realization of Breyner’s potential for mobility.

Patrick Mathay, former TripAdvisor Team Lead for Owner Support, also invested heavily in ROMP, though in a different way. In 2009, Patrick began volunteering with ROMP, conducting effectiveness surveys and providing fundraising support. During that time, he met patients like Breyner, whose lives have been altered by ROMP’s services. Seeing ROMP’s impact for himself inspired Patrick to take action through the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation, which accepts grant proposals from nonprofit organizations that have been engaged with a TripAdvisor employee on a volunteer basis for at least six months. Patrick supported the ROMP team as they applied for the funding that would allow their organization to maximize its potential and reach more patients like Breyner. His initial support resulted in a significant reward for ROMP— multiple grant awards from the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation and GlobalGiving over six years.

GlobalGiving partners with the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation to vet, moderate, and manage all grants made through TripAdvisor’s Employee Grant Program. GlobalGiving has awarded more than a hundred grants in excess of $7 million in partnership with the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation.

security in Guatemala

Patrick Mathay, Executive Director

Employee engagement grants: Investment in ROMP’s growth

The grants that the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation has awarded in partnership with GlobalGiving have helped ROMP become a prosthetic industry leader in underserved communities. The ROMP clinic in Zacapa, Guatemala started as a single room where prosthetic technicians saw patients and built prosthetic molds. Today, ROMP is a full-service rehabilitation center that’s served more than 3,000 patients. It now boasts two patient rooms, a waiting area, parallel bars, a workshop, and a 3D printing lab.

Investment in ROMP has strengthened its operational foundation, helping it to transform from a volunteer-based organization to one with a strong team of professionals. ROMP is lead from their office in Quito, Ecuador by Patrick Mathay, a familiar face to ROMP who now serves as Executive Director, and Diana Antony, who serves as Operations Officer. Employee engagement with TripAdvisor is still ongoing following Patrick’s departure, and ROMP has continued to benefit from the skills of TripAdvisor employees, who have helped in areas such as social media and branding strategy. TripAdvisor’s volunteer engagement and support, recognized through a GlobalGiving grant, is allowing ROMP to make the adjustments needed to realize its potential.


ROMP’s mission is to provide high quality prosthetic care in underserved populations, which enhances mobility and unlocks human potential. ROMP believes in equal access to prosthetic and orthotic services that facilitate independence through mobility.

International Giving Can Be Tough for Companies, but…

 

Last month the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (“CECP”) published its annual report on corporate philanthropy, “Giving in Numbers2009.”  This is one of the reports we look forward to seeing each year, as CECP is very highly regarded and counts among its member CEOs of many of the leading global corporate citizens, including several of GlobalGiving’s corporate partners – Applied Materials, Gap, Inc.,  Hasbro and PepsiCo, to name a  few.

CECP describes itself as the only international forum of CEOs and chairpersons pursuing a mission exclusively focused on corporate philanthropy. The Committee’s membership consists of more than 170 executives who lead the business community in raising the level and quality of corporate giving.

The ~60 page report is actually pretty easy to digest, but here are some highlights:

  • Even in challenging economic times (and giving overall being down in 2008), 53% of surveyed companies increased giving from 2007 to 2008;
  • Among the 53% of companies that gave more in 2008, non-cash giving increased by a median of 29%;
  • Improved contributions tracking, beyond-budget disaster-relief giving, and strong profits through the third quarter were among the reasons cited for increased giving;  And  interestingly,
  • Financial results are not statistically linked to corporate giving, as corroborated by Giving USA.

The minor mentions of “international giving” are highly noteworthy, as they continue to emphasize the barriers and difficulties many U.S. companies identify:

Frequently cited challenges in expanding global giving include: developing local issue expertise, vetting NGOs, U.S. Patriot Act compliance, and building local community partner­ships. The complexity of receiving tax deductions for international dona­tions can be an additional deterrent. Cultural differences among employee attitudes toward volunteerism and charitable giving can also hinder global giving initiatives.

Companies also face hurdles in accurately measuring giving abroad. Pockets of international giving may be unrecognized because the tools and communication channels needed to record them accurately have not matured. Still, international giving is a growing priority as business globalizes.

We are glad that we’ve been able to help many companies address these challenges.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Nike and Gap have been able to engage their employees globally and create equity worldwide in workplace giving – not just for disaster giving but every day
  • Symantec has funded a great strategically-aligned program in Pune, India through GlobalGiving, providing them a way to find grantees and receive the tax deduction they need
  • Intel has sponsored the Technology and Innovation Fund and we have worked to establish very specific deliverables with the implementers – tracked by GlobalGiving -giving Intel the measurement/impact assessment it desires and a platform to engage other stakeholders.

We feel privileged to work with some of the most creative companies around.  And we’re always up for working with more. 🙂

 

People need to arrive hungry

What we do here at GlobalGiving is a mix between the complex and utterly simple. Systematically finding and vetting the best projects and plugging them into a global development ideas marketplace is rather complicated. However, the mechanisms at work that encourage more of the people to donate their money to better than average projects are simple.

groceriesTry this: Fast all morning and then walk through the aisles of your local supermarket at lunchtime. Everything looks tasty, right?

Just like feasting one’s eyes on tasty treats in a supermarket is to the ravished, a tromp through GlobalGiving’s market should evoke similar excitement – towards giving. Most of the people who find our site are already looking for a way to reach others and build relationships, but the simplest part of the system is also the most difficult: People need to arrive hungry, and the only way we build an appetite for helping others is by building relationships between strangers across the globe. Few Americans travel outside North America, and most that do go to Europe. That leaves few Americans with a realistic picture of the total human condition. That 5 out of 6 humans on Earth live nothing like Americans and Europeans should concern us. Do we understand? Or are we just sitting in the back of the class, nodding our head?

PuzzleRecently, the Poverty Action Lab proposed a series of tests to see what encourages poor people to save money. In one test they asked the person to think of a savings goal (buying a goat?) and then gave a piece of a puzzle with an image of that savings goal in exchange for each deposit. This way, the person would feel like she was not giving money away, but rather trading money with the banker for a piece of what she wants.

If you don’t read and write, and all you own is what you can see and count, banking can be uncomfortable. That’s why 95% of rural Gambians (where I used to live) prefer matresses to accounts. But before you lament the plight of the illiterate non-banking farmer, keep in mind that we in America and Europe are often no better when it comes to understanding the human condition – meaning, specifically the condition what it means to live as a person for 5 out of every 6 people on Earth.

This brings me back to the simplest and most difficult piece of the GlobalGiving marketplace puzzle – how to tell the stories of these other 5 in a way that builds an appetite for a relationship. For all our Western education, our understanding of the world is the poorest of all. In many respects, we need to begin with something simple like a puzzle – a gimmick that puts an image of the more abstract goal in the front of our eyes every day.

The Future of Philanthropy: Giving 2.0

From the Stanford Social Innovation Review posted a very nice article about philanthropy. 

 On full disclosure, GlobalGiving is mentioned in the article.

Giving is Good

Saw this in a blog called Don’t Tell the Donor, but actually it’s the kind of inspiring story that donors like to hear.

It’s about Sonja Christopher, one of the contestants in season one of Survivor (way back in 2000). She had originally promised to donate her potential prize winnings of $1 million to her church to build a community hall – but since she was the first one voted off the island, ended up with “only” $2,500, which she went ahead and gave to her church anyway.

But something interesting happened – moved by her generosity, fellow congregants stepped up – and raised the million dollars needed. Ground was broken recently. The moral of the story, according to the church’s minister, is that “giving is good.”

And never underestimate the power of a “small” donation.