Last Friday the GlobalGiving office looked like a college freshman boy’s dorm room, albeit with fewer beer bottles around. We were in this stacking, dumping, pizza-box mode as we prepared for a move to our new office space. We are moving because we have outgrown our existing space – thanks to increasing donation volume, support from our capital funders, and because we have been able to attract an amazing number of free or almost-free “interns” who are in transition.
ZimKids is not a 501(c)3, and had never done any formal fundraising before last month. Dennis is a sculptor whose wife was on a Fulbright in Zimbabwe when he started volunteering his time working with orphaned and sick kids…and morphed into an amazing social entrepreneur. When they started the Challenge they just hoped they could find 50 people and $4,000 worth of donations and get on the site permanently. What they ended up with was more than $30,000 and over 120 donors, and third place in the Challenge.
But the real gift of Dennis’ visit was not hearing about how they succeeded in the Challenge. It was in hearing about his experience in Zimbabwe, and his love for the kids he works with. Rather than being in constant survival mode these 160 kids now have a radically transformed day-to-day existence, lengthened life expectancies, and more chances for economic self-sufficiency.
Dennis is the type of social entrepreneur that motivated Mari and Dennis to start GlobalGiving, especially representing those who have no other way of raising tax-efficient charitable funds in the U.S., and his visit was a welcome break in the packing. More importantly, it reminded us why we do what we do – whether in our old crowded dorm room space, or our new, slightly nicer home.