In an isolated town 4 hours outside of Bangalore, there are women who are strong leaders working to make a difference in their community. "We asked ourselves, 'How do we connect these inspiring leaders on the ground to donors in other countries who want to aid their success?'" said Pamela Hawley, the Founder and CEO of UniversalGivingTM.
In an effort to wipe out global poverty, Ms. Hawley used business skills to create a free, web-based service providing giving and volunteering opportunities in more than 70 countries.
UniversalGivingTM is the direct connection for donors and volunteers to great leaders on the ground, across the globe. At a very young age Ms. Hawley witnessed extreme poverty in Mexico. From this experience grew her lifelong commitment to service through social entrepreneurship. "We strive to be a model as social entrepreneurs engaging in global corporate social responsibility," she explained.
Donors have the opportunity to search online by organization, projects and volunteer opportunities by issue or region. 100% of all donations go directly to the specified project.
Each giving opportunity is vetted through a ten-step Quality ModelTM that considers an NGO’s track record, financial information and management team to ensure effective and trustworthy philanthropy. In addition to the nonprofit marketplace, UniversalGivingTM provides strategy,and NGO Vetting Services to companies managing global Corporate Social Responsibility Programs. This is one way UniversalGivingTM is funded while still supporting their nonprofit mission.
Since its launch in 2003, UniversalGivingTM has worked hard to stay relevant in the changing times. According to Ms. Hawley, "Research on giving behaviors proved that the focus of giving is no longer about materialism – it is more about meaning." This observation led to the creation of Gift Packages – specific donation opportunities that allow the giver and the receiver to know exactly how they have made an impact: which country they are aiding and in what capacity. For instance, the Sulu education system is one of the most underdeveloped in Southeast Asia. The dropout rate is around 65 percent by the sixth grade, with children at risk of joining violent or extremist groups. The Art for Peace gift package for $10 will provide art supplies for a child for an entire school year, enabling children to express their feelings in a positive way. Now people have the ability to give a gift for a birthday, anniversary or holiday, that has meaning -- and impact.
Already, more than $1.5 million and nearly 10,000 volunteers have been matched through the UniversalGivingTM website. UniversalGivingTM has become the #1 destination to find volunteer opportunities—and the average donation is under $60.
From the UniversalGivingTM website, you can build a child’s immunity in Africa, provide safety to women in Guatemala or nourish a child’s love of play in Indonesia. "We want to create a world where giving is a natural part of life," Ms. Hawley says.
For more information, please visit UniversalGivingTM
Leader to Leader Journal Excerpt
Philanthropy, Self-Fulfillment, and the Leadership of Community Foundations
No.22, Fall 2001
by Joe Lumardo
What do you wish to give to? What do you feel passionate about? What do you love about your community?
When a donor first approaches the community foundation, he or she must feel complete trust in the ability of the organization to receive and recognize the asset, be it cash, real estate, stock, small business interests, retirement plans, intellectual property, tangible personal property, and so on. Most community foundations have grown steadily in their capacity to handle complicated assets. The following questions are key to evaluating the donor's initial and ongoing transactional experience and the community foundation's competence:
Are you available? How long does it take for you to get back to me?
Are you competent? Can you be a charitable giving resource to me and my advisers?
Are you honest? Will you tell me you don't know when you don't?
Are you ethical? A growing number of charitable tax scams are disguised as legitimate techniques. A related question is, Can you say no? Community foundations are judged as often by the gifts they reject as by those they accept.
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The Leader to Leader Institute, established in 1990 as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, furthers its mission by providing social sector leaders with the essential leadership wisdom, inspiration and resources to lead for innovation and to build vibrant social sector nonprofit organizations.
It is this essential social sector, in collaboration with its partners in the private and public sectors, that changes lives and builds a society of healthy children, strong families, decent housing, good schools, work that dignifies, all embraced by the diverse, inclusive, cohesive community that cares about all of its people.
November 13, 2009
Mission: To strengthen the leadership of the social sector
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