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Global Giving Olympics
Robert Katz, 23 Oct 06

GlobalGiving%20Logo.jpgSaima Zaman, a former colleague of mine, sent me a note the other day to tell me about her latest project: the Global Giving Olympics. For the next 3 weeks, project leaders at Global Giving will compete for cash prizes – whoever mobilizes the most support receives a windfall bonus. This unique contest brings a competitive, free-market feel to the world’s premier philanthropic marketplace. (Long-time Worldchangers may recall that Alan AtKisson wrote about the organization once before, calling it "the eBay for small-time philanthropists".)

GlobalGiving, founded by two former World Bank executives, is a platform that connects international donors directly to on-the-ground social, economic, and environmental development projects. The organization promotes transparency and accountability, and in its current contest, the power of competitive markets and networks. One of the founders maintains a great blog, often updating it with detailed from-the-trenches posts.

In the GlobalGiving Olympics, all recipient projects compete for $75,000 in prizes. There's a prize for the project leader that raises the most money during the next 3 weeks of $50,000. There's also a $25,000 prize for the country "team" that raises the most money (to be distributed across the team).

The winning project could help 250,000 rural villagers in India get access to clean water; it could fund 1,000 health clinics across Sub-Saharan Africa; or it could fund any of a number of other projects. Browse the project catalog, and you’ll get an idea of the full range of philanthropic opportunities available on GlobalGiving. The competition has been running since October 9, and will run through the end of the month. So if you’ve been thinking about donating, carpe diem, since your money’s effect could be multiplied by the Olympic prize pool.

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Congratulations to all projects who participated in the GlobalGiving Olympics! The three week competition was a huge succes, with donations during Oct. 9-31 totaling over $120,000. Read on for results, successful fundraising strategies, or click here to see the updated Olympics webpage.


GlobalGiving would like to congratulate Ray Umashankar and his project "Educate 100 slum Children of Sex Workers in India" for a gold medal performance-- this project raised $43,357 in three weeks to top all other projects and take home the $50,000 grand prize! Close behind in second place, and recipient of the $10,000 silver medal prize, is the project "Helpline for Women in Distress" headed by Inderjit Khurana which raised $37,110.

India takes home the country prize with donations to India projects exceeding $94,000! The $25,000 country award will be shared among India projects who participated in the Olympics.


Ray Umashankar and the ASSET India team were true Olympians during the competition, employing a variety of fundraising strategies that helped them earn first place. From emailing all ASSET supporters to contacting corporations and major donors and even driving around Tucson to pick up checks personally, Ray promoted his project and the Olympics opportunity nonstop. ASSET India was featured in a variety of newspapers and publications targeting the Indian diaspora community, such as this article on Yahoo India. When asked to share a tip for successful fundraising, Ray emphasized persistence and said, "The real reason for success is in the follow up, not in the e-mail message."

Inderjit Khurana, her son Anoop, and her organization Ruchika have been members of the GlobalGiving community for four years, and they put these years of experience into practice to earn second place in the Olympics. Ruchika had an anonymous donor offer to match all contributions to the Helpline project, and they sent an email to all Ruchika supporters encouraging them to take advantage of the matching opportunity and help Ruchika's project win the Olympics. Inderjit and Anoop also posted progress reports on the Helpline project and their previous project, "Train Platform Schools for Children in India," offering an update on Ruchika and encouraging donors to give again for the Olympics program. You can see their progress report here.

Many thanks for your participation!

Posted by: Saima on 3 Nov 06



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