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Formation February 14, 2002
Headquarters Washington, DC

GlobalGiving is an online marketplace that connects donors with grassroots projects in the developing world.[1] 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.[2] A donor can contribute any amount using a credit/debit card, check, PayPal, or stock transfer. Gift registries can be set up for special events, and donors can "give" any project as a gift.[clarification needed] GlobalGiving funds itself by requesting the donor add a 15% donation to GlobalGiving to their gift or by taking a 15% transaction fee from the amount pledged to the charity.[3]

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.[4] 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.

All donations made to projects go through the GlobalGiving Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 entity, and are fully tax-deductible in the United States.[5]


The GlobalGiving Foundation (GGF) is a 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.[6] GlobalGiving was launched as 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.

Companies can 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.[5] And non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Ashoka: Innovators for the Public and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative use the system to load projects designed by grassroots groups that they stand behind.[7]

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.[8]


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.

In 2000, they took the concept and competition to the outside world. The Development Marketplace enabled any social entrepreneur to compete for Bank funds.[9] 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.

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.


  1. ^ A web of giving, Seattle Times
  2. ^ To Do: Be Generous
  3. ^, Explaining GlobalGiving's 15% Fee, accessed 6 June 2011.
  4. ^ Nongovernmental Group Making Personal Philanthropy Easy
  5. ^ a b Grassroots philanthropy; charitable tax deductible donations
  6. ^ Partners | GlobalGiving
  7. ^ Partners | GlobalGiving
  8. ^ Partners | GlobalGiving
  9. ^ Harvard Business Review | The World Bank’s Innovation Market

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