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Founded 2002 (2002)[1]
Founders Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle
Type Non-governmental organization
Registration no. 30‑0108263
Area served
Method Crowdfunding

GlobalGiving is 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the United States that provides a global crowdfunding platform for grassroots charitable projects.[3] Since 2002, more than 800,000 donors on GlobalGiving have raised more than $340 million to support more than 20,000 projects in 170 countries.[4]


Before founding GlobalGiving, Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle were heads of strategy and innovation at the World Bank. While in that post, they created the first-ever Innovation Marketplace for Bank staff in 1998, an internal competition in which Bank employees pitched their own ideas for fighting poverty worldwide. The winners received grants to make their ideas happen. The competition resulted in some of the most innovative ideas and effective programs in World Bank history.[citation needed]

In 2000, they took the concept and competition to the outside world. The Development Marketplace enabled any social entrepreneur to compete for Bank funds.[5] The program was extremely successful — finalists from all over the world gathered in Washington, D.C., and $5 million was awarded to the 44 most innovative projects.

Based on the Marketplaces' success, Mari and Dennis created an Internet-based platform to facilitate a broader range of social and economic investments in developing countries. In October 2000, they left the World Bank and on February 14, 2002, GlobalGiving (formerly DevelopmentSpace) was launched.

Major funding for the launch and early stages was provided by the Omidyar Network, the Skoll Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Sall Foundation.[6] GlobalGiving was launched as a collaboration between the GlobalGiving Foundation and ManyFutures, Inc. In December 2008, ManyFutures became a formal subsidiary of the GlobalGiving Foundation, and all operations were placed under direct foundation management.[7]


The GlobalGiving Foundation is a US-based non-profit organization that individuals and companies can donate to through the website It is supported by a network of implementing, corporate and institutional partners.[8]

Potential donors can browse and select from a wide offering of projects that are organized by geography or by themes such as health care, the environment and education.[9] A donor can contribute any amount using a credit/debit card, check, PayPal, Apple Pay, stock transfer, DAF[disambiguation needed], or M-Pesa. Donors can purchase gift cards which recipients can redeem in support of a project of their choosing.[10]

These contributions directly support the entrepreneurial work of global project leaders who are bringing innovative, empowering solutions to challenging social problems at the local community level.[11] To create an interactive relationship between the project and donors, project leaders send regular updates to their donors regarding the progress and impact of the project and donors are invited to submit comments.

GlobalGiving funds itself by retaining a 5-12% nonprofit support fee plus a 3% third-party processing fee for each donation.[12] The nonprofit support fee covers the cost of providing support and training to nonprofits, conducting rigorous due diligence on organizations, and conducting field visits. GlobalGiving's administrative overhead is 3.0%.[13]

Companies can also use the GlobalGiving platform to allow their employees, customers, partners, or foundation entities to donate directly to grassroots social and economic development projects around the world.[14]

GlobalGiving as a web-based fundraising platform is fundamentally different from the World Bank Development Marketplace because it is based on social networks and real-time feedback between donors and grassroots social entrepreneurs or "project leaders." Each organization pitches one or more development projects to prospective donors on the website. The funding decision for each project is crowd-sourced to the public, rather than determined by a team of experts, as in the Development Marketplace. However, in practice, organizations that promote themselves through email and social media campaigns vastly improve their fundraising potential. Each project depends on evangelists (people who spread good news) to flourish. The funding and project update history for each project is public and acts as a form of reputation system for the organization implementing the project.

Disaster Relief

In response to natural disasters and humanitarian crises, GlobalGiving regularly launches relief funds to support nonprofits helping those in need. The Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving[15] deploys a "model of effective, community-led relief and recovery through locally focused grants, advocacy, and training programs." GlobalGiving's former Chief Program Officer describes the approach as:

Generally, we believe local organizations are best-positioned to assess and to respond to needs, so we listen carefully to what they deem to be most critical. Our view is that locally-run organizations can nimbly and effectively provide for immediate and ongoing community needs. Getting funds to them benefits communities directly and quickly.[16]

GlobalGiving's community of nonprofits, donors, and companies has funded relief work in response to a wide range of disasters, including Hurricane Maria in 2017, the Nepal earthquake in 2015, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, among others.[15] GlobalGiving is regularly recommended by USAID's Center for International Disaster Information to donors looking to support disaster relief efforts.[17][18][19][20][21]

Vetting and GG Rewards

GlobalGiving runs a vetting program for nonprofits participating in its community. Nonprofits are judged on characteristics such as transparency, accountability, financials, and compliance with local regulations and international philanthropic guidelines. The vetting also factors in GlobalGiving-specific criteria such as engagement with the GlobalGiving community, ability to crowdfund on the platform, and ability to manage the programs fundraising on the platform. Through a rewards program called GG Rewards, GlobalGiving ranks nonprofits as Partners, Leaders, or Superstars based primarily on engagement with the GlobalGiving community and a demonstrated commitment to effectiveness. GG Rewards also offers badges like "Site Visit Verified", "Effective Nonprofit", and "Project of the Month".[22][23][24] The ratings themselves but not the supporting data are visible on nonprofits' profiles on the site. Nonprofits can see details of their own GG Rewards in their account's dashboard. GG Rewards ratings are also posted on nonprofits' Charity Navigator profiles. As of November 2017, approximately 53% of GlobalGiving partner nonprofits were rated Partner,[25] 22% were rated Leader,[26] and 24% were rated Superstar.[27] Approximately 27% had earned the Site Visit Verified badge, and 19% had earned the Effective Nonprofit badge.[27]


GlobalGiving earned Charity Navigator's highest rating of four stars in the latest ratings published by the charity evaluator.[28] The Better Business Bureau's 2015 review states that GlobalGiving meets all of its charity accreditation standards.[29]


  1. ^, GlobalGiving - About Us, accessed 29 September 2014
  2. ^, GlobalGiving - Our Team, accessed 19 July 2018
  3. ^ A web of giving, Seattle Times
  4. ^, GlobalGiving homepage, accessed 19 July 2018
  5. ^ Harvard Business Review | The World Bank’s Innovation Market Archived 2009-04-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Official Documents & Annual Reports - GlobalGiving".
  7. ^ Hybrid Model for Nonprofits Hits Snags, New York Times
  8. ^ "How It Works - GlobalGiving".
  9. ^ To Do: Be Generous
  10. ^ "GlobalGiving - Gift Cards".
  11. ^ Nongovernmental Group Making Personal Philanthropy Easy Archived 2008-02-01 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^, Explaining GlobalGiving's 15% Fee, accessed 9 October 2017.
  13. ^, [1], access 19 July 2018.
  14. ^ Companies
  15. ^ a b "Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving". GlobalGiving.
  16. ^ "GlobalGiving's Disaster Response Approach - GlobalGiving Blog – News and Updates".
  17. ^ "Ecuador Earthquake - USAID CIDI is an education organization that is focused on effective public donations in support of disaster relief".
  18. ^ "El Niño Fact Sheet - USAID CIDI is an education organization that is focused on effective public donations in support of disaster relief".
  19. ^ "Horn of Africa Crisis - USAID CIDI is an education organization that is focused on effective public donations in support of disaster relief".
  20. ^ "Iraq Crisis - USAID CIDI is an education organization that is focused on effective public donations in support of disaster relief".
  21. ^ "Syria Crisis - USAID CIDI is an education organization that is focused on effective public donations in support of disaster relief".
  22. ^ Vetting, accessed 24 February 2018
  23. ^ GG Rewards FAQ, accessed 24 Feb 2018
  24. ^ Charity Navigator Learn About Nonprofit Impact, accessed 24 February 2018
  25. ^ Charity Navigator PATH profile, accessed 24 February 2018
  26. ^ Charity Navigator UNICEF USA profile, accessed 24 February 2018
  27. ^ a b Charity Navigator All Hands and Hearts Smart Response profile, accessed 24 February 2018
  28. ^ Charity Navigator Rating - GlobalGiving, accessed 9 October 2017
  29. ^ Better Business Bureau GlobalGiving Foundation - Charity Reports -, accessed 30 April 2015

External links

  • Official website
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