global giving Posts

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. 🙂


Coming Soon to a (Small) Screen Near You…

As GlobalGiving’s marketing director, I’m responsible for getting the word out about GlobalGiving. But with a tiny marketing budget – that can be a real challenge. We frequently hear from GlobalGivers who say “Hey, GlobalGiving is a great idea, but why don’t more people know who you are? Why aren’t you doing more marketing?” Etc.

Well, in a few weeks we’re trying something we haven’t done before that we hope will reach a whole lot of new people who will be inspired to check us out. We’re producing a public service announcement (PSA) that is scheduled to be shown on Lifetime TV and potentially a bunch of other outlets (let us know if you have airtime to offer up, or ideas about who might!)

Our friends (and pro bono partners) at Leo Burnett pulled out all the stops to create what we think will be an awesome PSA. These things usually cost a lot of money – we learned that TV commercials are, on a cost-per-second basis, the most expensive kind of production – but the Burnett folks, led by our producer Vincent Geraghty, did an amazing job of convincing a lot of people to donate their time and talents to help us out.

The result – Donna and I were in Hollywood last week (ok, it was actually a warehouse up in the San Fernando Valley) to see the whole thing come together and watch the PSA being filmed. It was a great experience. Industry veteran and award-winning director Jim Gartner (you’ve probably seen his work…) liked the storyboard developed by Burnett’s creative team of Sarah Block and Eric Routenberg so much that he agreed to direct the PSA pro bono. We got to meet the “talent” – all card-carrying SAG members who showed up enthusiastic and energetic despite the late-Friday-night call time and LA traffic. Roger the producer’s friendly golden retriever even made a cameo appearance. And the crew of ~40+ others – including our very own team of “grips” and “gaffers” – transformed an otherwise nondescript warehouse into what became, for that one night, a manifestation of the GlobalGiving “marketplace for good.”
Our PSA is now in post-production mode and should hit the airwaves early in 2008. We’re pretty excited. And hopefully the TV-watching masses (and potential GlobalGivers) will be, too.

From California, it’s a wrap…for now. – More Goodness Online

Check out what the guys at are doing. Here’s their mission:

Quantum Shift TV is a 21st Century storyteller renewing the cultural values of community, care and interconnectedness through the use of leading edge technology and citizen journalism. Here’s the kind of stories you’ll see there – ones of:

  • Human cooperation and survival
  • Solutions to combat global warming
  • The positive impact of aid workers around the world
  • Perspectives and contributions of philanthropists
  • Corporate social responsibility progress
  • Environmental improvements and breakthroughs
  • And all other stories about those making a positive difference on this planet.

A great companion to what we are trying to do here…and in the spirit of full disclosure, I just found them today when my Google Alerts let me know that they had posted this cool video about GlobalGiving gift cards as an alternative to “stuff:”


The second part of the video is about Google + Specialized’s “Innovate or Die” contest. Also very cool. They are giving away money and bikes to pedal-generated ideas for good.

Here’s a project that links the two pieces of this story together:
Get great free widgets at <a href="">Widgetbox</a>!

Like we said, guaranteed goodness.