Local Giving Gone Global
Allison Koch is chief marketing officer for GlobalGiving, an online service started in 2002 that connects donors directly to local social, environmental and economic-development projects worldwide.
Its mission, according to www.globalgiving.com, is to “build an efficient, open, thriving marketplace that connects people who have community and world-changing ideas with people who can support them.”
GlobalGiving works with a network of respected nonprofits that post specific projects online on behalf of social entrepreneurs; that is, individuals around the world who bring innovative solutions to challenging social problems at the local level. For example, the Himalayan Cataracts Project posts an appeal to generate donations for cataract surgery to benefit a specific number of people, along with a funding goal. Donors can browse through projects by geography or theme and give online.
Here, Koch talks more about GlobalGiving and its role in nonprofit fundraising.
FundRaising Success: How do you solicit contributions?
Allison Koch: GlobalGiving retains 10 percent of the donation that comes in, and then 85 percent to 90 percent is disbursed to the project level (a nominal fee to cover the cost of transferring funds overseas may apply). GlobalGiving aspires to become a self-sustaining, self-scaling entity based on the 10 percent we collect from donations. In the meantime, we rely on grant money to get us to break even, and we’re planning to achieve breakeven within the next five years.
FS: How does your organization go about getting grants?
AK: To bridge the gap between now and when we become self-sustaining, we seek grants from foundations who share our vision and have an interest in funding a major platform shift in philanthropy toward transparency and efficiency. Funders like Omidyar Network, Skoll Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) fit this category, and have provided significant support to help us build a scalable platform that can enable many projects to receive donations from many donors. We go through whatever processes these funders require in order to obtain funding, including providing a business plan and progress reporting.