Posts Tagged ‘globalgiving’


Fighting Violence with Generosity – and Opportunity

Posted by dennis on September 11th, 2008

Each year as we mark the anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, people wonder what they, as individuals, can do to mitigate the consequences of terrorism.

Conventional thinking encourages us to rely on our government to respond to terrorism and extremist acts – though foreign policy, military action, bilateral talks. But when it comes to private citizens, the only guidance we have been given is “go shop”.

I prefer Gene Steuerle’s approach. Gene lost his wife when her plane was crashed into the Pentagon. He was humbled and moved by what he saw as an outpouring of goodwill toward families who had lost loved ones.

Based on that experience, Gene decided that he and other 9/11 families should send a message to the world: peaceful collaboration and opportunity are among our best antidotes to terrorism over the long term.

Whether it’s fast tracking education for Afghan women and girls, financing microlending in rural Afghanistan, or establishing health clinics in Pakistan, Americans who want to play a role in combating terrorism over the long term can make a donation and give people opportunity and hope.

Visionary philanthropy like Gene’s can help create the conditions that make it much harder for extremist networks to take root. And the good news is that it costs a lot less than guns and bombs.

So far, the US government has allocated more than $500 billion for the military “war on terror.” This is around $10,000 for each citizen of Iraq an Afghanistan.

By contrast, using Gene’s “Safer and More Campassionate World” approach, a mere $100 can provide 56 Afghan women with basic healthcare and health education. And that amount is within reach of nearly all of us.

Alumni Baby #1 – Willa Stefanski

Posted by Donna Callejon on June 28th, 2008

Former employees of GlobalGiving know that they never really leave the GG family. And of course, this means that their children are immediately issued a GlobalGiving account and building ID card. In May we had a visit from Alumni baby number one – Willa. Willa is the progeny of our former Chief Program Officer, Eli Stefanski (now Executive Director of the Maine Women’s Fund) and her husband Scott. Mom, Dad and young Willa were the hit of the office….how could they not be, when you look at that face, those eyes.

In the next couple of months, two more alumni babies are anticipated – so watch this blog for news of their arrivals. Tim/Allison – Willa has set a high bar.

Only connect: Mother’s Farm

Posted by mari on May 11th, 2008

Sometimes a donor comment on a project will make me smile. More rarely, a donor comment makes me want to read it out loud to anyone who will listen. And perhaps even more infrequently, a donor comment will make me come back to my dormant blog and restart the blogging engine. This is one such comment, on, appropriately enough, a project called Mother’s Farm in Sudan–here’s an excerpt:

I am glad that the ladies started with sorghum this year as conditons are very condusive to sorghum harvest … I am really proud of the way Ms. Fathima has been able to do the work necessary. Please continue this work to enable women to do better and educate them as well in agricultural practices. I for one am willing to help.

For more

E.M. Forster was right. Only connect.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Thanks and go for it, Kellogg Foundation

Posted by Donna Callejon on April 17th, 2008

We probably don’t say as much as we should about the people and organizations who have directly supported building the GlobalGiving marketplace. It’s a pretty amazing group of funders – Omidyar Network, Skoll Foundation, John and Ginger Sall, and the Hewlett Foundation – and a couple of anonymous donors – have all contributed significantly. We are both humbled and inspired by their confidence in GG’s vision, and our ability to execute against that vision. A few years back the Kellogg Foundation provided a small grant that was very timely. And we are about to work with them on some innovative ways to leverage online giving tools to support their grantees.

Two reasons for this post:  First, as a shout out to Kellogg for being a strong and innovative funder in the philanthropy space. They have consistently supported anchor organizations in the philanthropic sector (e.g, Independent Sector and Guidestar), and made important investments in emerging and innovative organizations like Kiva, Network for Good and the Women’s Funding Network. We’re glad to count ourselves among that latter group.

Second, on Monday the Chronicle of Philanthropy ran an article about WKKF’s revitalized mission – focusing on vulnerable children. Since the Chronicle has a subscription-only block on the article, (if you have a subscription, can be found here) here are the opening paragraphs:

In May 2007, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation gathered its more than 200 staff members for a three-day discussion and brainstorming session. It was the start of a soul-searching process that has led to a new mission statement and, for the foundation’s program staff, a new organizational structure that goes into effect this week.The changes are designed to break down divisions among departments within the organization, seek multifaceted approaches to solving problems, and sharpen the organization’s focus on the vision of its founder, W.K. Kellogg, the breakfast-cereal magnate.

All of the foundation’s grant-making staff members will be assigned to interdisciplinary teams in an organizational system that is rare among foundations but common in large companies.

Sterling Speirn, president of the foundation, in Battle Creek, Mich., describes the overhaul as “starting the next generation of our work.”

Speirn most recently led the Peninsula Community Foundation, so he’s lived in the most innovative valley in the country. He has brought on a new crop of leaders, to augment the strong leadership team already there. WKKF is taking on its own culture and norms by structuring itself in a very “matrix-y” fashion – and sharpening the focus of its grantmaking. And they are committing an initial $100 million to a new Mission Driven Investment Fund – twice as large as any other foundation’s “non-grant” portfolio. That’s revitalization!

I spent the day Tuesday in Battle Creek, and I can attest that the place is ready for change. The structures are changing, the expectations are changing. And we are glad to be part of the energy, possibility and promise of the next chapter.

National Enquirer Here we Come

Posted by Donna Callejon on March 20th, 2008

Yesterday was a normal day at GlobalGiving. Each of periodically glancing up at our wall-mounted flat screen TV, which gives us a running update on donation volume, ticker-style updates of each donor/donation, and rotating pictures from projects on the website. Traffic seemed in the normal range. And then something strange happened. Traffic shot up. Not huge, but enough to notice. “What’s up?” asked our newest team member, Georg. So we checked it out. Yes, folks, Perez Hilton blogged GlobalGiving, sending about 7,000 new visitors to our site. For those of you over 40 who don’t read People magazine or watch Entertainment Tonight, is one of the top read blogs in the world. Generally posting on issues as deep as a Jessica Simpson/Tony Romo sighting or sexual proclivities of the stars, it’s great to see Perez also has a section on his blog called “Inspiration.’

His post, so far, has inspired about a dozen donors. Yesterday, Perez, tomorrow the Enquirer!

450+ ideas for Mark Zuckerberg

Posted by Donna Callejon on March 9th, 2008

Beth Kanter asks in her most recent post, “How will the youngest billionaire use his new found wealth for social causes?”

Well, Mark, come visit. We’ve got over 450 ideas for you…


A new GG baby!

Posted by john hecklinger on February 20th, 2008

It’s my distinct pleasure to welcome Kevin Conroy, GlobalGiving’s Ninja Java Master, to the world of fatherhood. Kevin and Samantha Conroy just sent along official photos of Zoe Finette Conroy, safely delivered Tuesday, February 19 at 8:32 p.m., a healthy baby girl weighing in at a snuggly 7 pounds, 9 ounces and measuring 20.5 lovable inches. She’s a cutie, and I know cute babies, as my wife, Katie, and I had the first GlobalGiving baby (Miles) almost a year an a half ago. Kevin will be an amazing dad. In his characteristically organized and well-prepared way, Kevin has been fully-equipped, supplied, and geared-up for months. I was much the same way with Miles. Yet, no matter how prepared you are, there are amazing surprises nearly every day. Everyone here is excited and proud to welcome a new member to the GlobalGiving family, and we can’t wait to meet her. We ring a gong at GlobalGiving when something good happens, so here’s a big GONG for the Conroys!

We’re Looking for a Few Good Ninjas

Posted by Donna Callejon on February 6th, 2008

Are you an incredible web developer, Java programmer, or user interface ninja? If so, we’d love talk to you. GlobalGiving is growing fast and we’re looking to expand our team. We’ve got openings in web development, marketing, and business development. So even if HTML isn’t your kung fu, we’ve got lots of opportunities for you to check out. For those techies out there, here’s the web developer job description:

Java Web Developer Ninja

Do you love to use your kung-fu skills to design and program engaging web sites? Do you have a black belt in creating beautiful code as well as interfaces? Do you want to work on a site that actually makes an impact on people’s lives?, an online marketplace for international grassroots charities, is looking for a black belt Java web developer. We’re looking for someone who loves to take charge of a project and see it all the way from a few loosely defined requirements to interface design, implementation, launch, and maintenance. Day-to-day tasks involve Java programming, user interface design, graphic development, and some server administration.

Although we’re small, we’ve got our fingers in a lot of cookie jars. You’ll have the opportunity to work with a lot of cutting edge technologies. We have a fast paced yet casual environment and are located in the U Street area of Washington, DC. We seek socially responsible team members who have an interest in leveraging their skills to improve the world and make an amazing dot-org web site.

Benefits include flexible work hours, a fully loaded MacBook Pro with secondary monitor, a convenient downtown DC location, and a meaningful job where you can go home at night and say “today, my work helped rescue 97 girls from bonded labor in India.” (One of many true stories.) And don’t worry – we’ve also got the usual benefits like 401K, health care, and paid vacation.

If you’re up for the challenge and are passionate about our cause, please send resume and cover letter to “jobs at globalgiving dot com” with the subject line “Java Web Developer”. Principals only. Salary range dependent on skill and experience.

Required Kung Fu Level Skills

  • Java programming (Java 5+ EE) that actually uses sound OO principles (owning a copy Design Patterns or Head First isn’t enough)
  • Experience with MVC frameworks and persistency frameworks such as iBatis or Hibernate
  • Ability to write beautiful web pages using cross-browser compliant HTML, CSS 2.0, and a Javascript framework (e,g. jQuery, Prototype)
  • Solid graphic design skills are ideal, but we only require familiarity with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Enough knowledge of Linux, Apache/Tomcat, and MySql to be trusted with super user level access
  • Sense of humor, love of music, and desire to change the world

A Race to the Finish

Posted by Donna Callejon on January 30th, 2008

The covers of the New York Times and the Washington Post are about the race to the White House, but there’s something much more exciting going on right now in the world of philanthropy. Right now, several grassroots fundraisers are battling it out for the top fundraiser spot in America’s Giving Challenge on GlobalGiving. The top fundraisers will get $50,000 from the Case Foundation, which is sponsoring the Challenge.

On GlobalGiving, we have several fundraisers which are trying to get top position. In the last few days, there’s been a major shake up in fundraising efforts, with several long standing leaders dropping down as new fundraisers have mobilized their bases and gotten over 500 donations in the last week. I’m including links to the top six fundraisers who have gotten over 700 donations as of the time of this posting, but the Challenge doesn’t end until tomorrow, January 31, 2008, at 3 pm, so anything can change. Be sure to check out the leaderboard for the most update to date standings! Good luck to all of the fundraisers!

Non Formal Education for Tribal Children in India

Invest in International Development Leaders

Fuel Efficient stove for 300 Hondurans in need with SHH

Route Out of Poverty for Cambodian Children

Education for 900 Rural Girls in Burkina Faso

Computers for children of women trafficked for sex

GG Giving Season Stats

Posted by Donna Callejon on January 29th, 2008

Earlier today, Allan Benamer wrote a very interesting blog post, “Who Won the Giving Season…” on his Non-Profit Tech Blog. In it, he compares year-end web traffic data of four players in the online giving/lending space. We’re one of those four, so i thought I’d just add a little bit of additional data to the mix.

From our perspective the real winners of the giving season are the people who live in struggling communities around the world, whose lives may be a tad better because of the nearly $800,000 of donations that came through the GlobalGiving platform in December. About half of that came through our website, or the special “co-branded” site we created for the Parade/Case Challenge that Allan refers to. The data don’t lie – our traffic went up in December. And in November. Here’s what we know worked in generating traffic at year end:

  • Banner Ads. Through the generosity of a number of corporate partners, we had banner ads running on a bunch of websites. We also bought a tiny bit of “sponsorship” on NPR. Those ads kicked in at higher levels right after Thanksgiving, and account for about 30% of the traffic increases.
  • The Parade/Case America’s Giving Challenge – which accounted for some of the velocity but not all, and accounted for ~11% of traffic in December. (The real story on this is January…stay tuned)
  • Repeat traffic from visitors who know of us through word of mouth (consistently 50+% of traffic throughout the year)
  • Our own online marketing strategies – via Care2, StumbleUpon, blog outreach about our gift card, and of course search marketing
  • PR – we actively pursued print and radio earned media that resulted in over two dozen traditional media stories that Allan duly noted and linked to
  • Our own email marketing efforts (One e-comm/week, each segmented in various ways) and a “tell-a-friend” campaign we ran in early December.

Having said all that, the giving season story for us is always more about conversion rate than traffic. This chart shows the story in stark relief:

For most of the year, unless we are running special campaigns/incentives our conversion rate pretty consistently hovers between .75% and 1%. In December, it was 2.7%. This is due to higher conversion rates for the Parade Challenge, to be sure. People are more highly committed by the time they get to us via Parade.

But it’s more about how philanthropy works – year end, year end, year end. Gifts and tax deductions. People literally tell us in post-checkout surveys that “I remembered reading about you in Nick Kristof’s article in the NY Times in the Spring,” or “I heard an NPR story in the summer.” And this year we launched a physical, biodegradable gift card. It was a hit. We “sold” about 1,800 them. People knew what they were coming to buy.

So, we drove more traffic, we saw higher conversions. More projects get funding. A good giving season all around.