GlobalGiving is a virtual fundraising platform, founded in the United States in 2002, with the objective giving non-profit organizations and social entrepreneurs the opportunity to raise the funds necessary to better their communities. To learn more about this organization, we talked with Michael Gale, who works to connect social entrepreneurs and innovative non-profit organizations around the world.
What is the mission of GlobalGiving?
The mission of GlobalGiving is to catalyze the global market of ideas, information, and money, that democratizes giving and philanthropy. Basically, this means that we are a crowdfunding platform. Nevertheless, we don’t just want to be a platform that only works with money, but also with diverse ideas and information. GlobalGiving tries to significantly connect nonprofit organizations with donors and with communities.
What are the criteria for organizations to be enrolled in the website and start fundraising? What does the process consist of?
The process is completely open. The GlobalGiving platform is open to all nonprofit organizations around the world. Currently, there are projects of 148 organizations. GlobalGiving reviews applications, checks that the organizations are registered as nonprofit entities, that they have a basic financial management scheme, and that they can demonstrate that they have conducted previous projects or programs. These are the basic criteria for selection.
The organizations that meet these criteria can participate in the Open Challenges. GlobalGiving organizes four challenges a year. The objective of the challenge is for organizations that want to join GlobalGiving to raise $5,000 USD for a project from 40 different donors in a period of 30 days. GlobalGiving provides training and support to the organizations so that they can reach said objective.
The organizations that successfully complete the objective win a permanent spot in GlobalGiving’s website, which means that the project can continue to be chosen to receive funds, and are also able to publish new projects. Also, the organizations have access to GlobalGiving’s trainings and can be associated with a donor company. On the other hand, the organizations that do not complete the objective are unable to join GlobalGiving, but they receive the money that they have collected and are able to participate in the next challenge.
Do organizations have to pay a fee to enter or participate in the GlobalGiving Platform?
No. However, there is a 15% cost that donor must pay when making a donation. This is to say, if a donor wants to make a donation of ten dollars for a project, they will be told, “Thank you for your donation of $10. $8.50 will reach the project, but $1.50 will go to GlobalGiving to cover the costs of banking, credit cards, and the platform. But if the donor desires, they can donate this additional 15% to cover the cost so that the full $10 can go to the project.” Since GlobalGiving incentivizes the donors to cover this rate, the majority do so.
How can people or companies donate?
On the one hand, individuals can sign in and register on our website, search for a project that interests them and make a donation with a credit card, PayPal, or by sending a check from the United States. On the other, companies can donate in many ways. One of them is to become a corporate partner of GlobalGiving. This way, large companies donate an amount of funding to GlobalGiving, who the gives them gift cards of $25 USD each to cover the amount donated. The companies can give these cards as a gifts to their clients or employees, and they, with these cards, can sign into the GlobalGiving website and choose which project to donate to. This is a way for companies to democratize and make the distribution of charity funds more transparent. Also, employees and clients are motivated to become engaged with donations.
GlobalGiving works with more than 60 companies. In 2013, GlobalGiving received $22 million USD for organizations, and half of this amount came from corporate partners.
What methods are used in relation to transparency and accountability?
Primarily, to ensure transparency and accountability, GlobalGiving asks organizations for quarterly reports. GlobalGiving receives these reports and, automatically and without editing, they are sent to the project donors. This presentation of reports is fundamental to maintaining the commitment of the donors and encouraging them to keep donating. We conducted research which found that when donors know where their money is going and are when they aware of transparency in the donation process, they are more likely to donate a second, third, or fourth time.
What are the advantages of online donation platforms over traditional donation methods?
In the first place, it’s important to clarify that it is important that organizations choose the fundraising method while keeping in mind their potential donors. Through GlobalGiving, we believe it is important to use a combination of tactic to reach the largest audience possible.
Keeping in mind the young donors, specifically millennials, and the donors that spend a lot of time online, online donation is something very natural. The benefit is that organizations can conduct a fundraising campaign for a particular project in a fast and efficient way. Through the GlobalGiving platform and the organization’s promotion of the campaign through mailing or social networking, the campaign can be quickly shared and achieve a wide reach.
What are the challenges facing online donation in Latin America?
I think that in Latin America, there is less familiarity with and confidence in online donation. People prefer to write a check and take it to the organization or donate equipment, food, or clothing instead of money through online donation. However, I think that a change is occurring, albeit slowly, that favors online donation. Throughout this process, organizations that can validate others are important. This is the case with GlobalGiving, an organization that inspires international confidence, as well as HelpArgentina (Argentina) and Filantrofilia (Mexico). For GlobalGiving, our five-year plan is to increase the global presence and improve the experience for non-English donors and organizations.