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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Oldest Crowdfunding Site For Nonprofits Looks To Future

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

GlobalGiving is one of the oldest crowdfunding sites on the web, having been launched half a decade ahead of industry giants Kickstarter and Indiegogo. GlobalGiving is a highly curated platform–an application process is used to screen fundraisers–that services only nonprofit organizations.

CEO and co-founder, Mari Kuraishi, explains its vision, ”The whole reason the GlobalGiving community exists is not only to connect local world-changers to people around the world who have funding to support them, but also to provide access to information, ideas, and tools so that nonprofits can use their funding more effectively. We’re so glad that the GlobalGiving network is becoming so valuable for vital organizations that would otherwise not have access to corporate or foundation funding, or resources like donated smartphones and a custom-made app.”

“The full promise of crowdfunding lies in the crowd, not the funding. Mission-driven crowdfunding platforms have the ability to leverage the deep networks they’ve created to crowdsource not just money, but also world-saving information, ideas and connections,” she adds.

Kuraishi is working to increase her platform’s impact on the nonprofits it serves. “The next decade at GlobalGiving will be about helping every single organization on our crowdfunding platform by providing the tools they need to work smarter. Every week, some 40 percent of the partners we work with log into our system – think of us as a laboratory where thousands of non-profits worldwide can come and test new tools to improve their effectiveness. And like a real behavioral lab, we can offer incentives in the form of access to different funding streams. This combination of performance improvement with funds offers us an opportunity to engage non-profits to learn with us.”

On Friday, January 23, 2015 at 1:00 PM, Kuraishi will join me for a live discussion about GlobalGiving’s impact on the world. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.

More about Global Giving:

GlobalGiving is the first and largest global crowdfunding community for nonprofits. GlobalGiving’s mission is to catalyze a global market for ideas, information and money that democratizes aid and philanthropy. Since 2002, GlobalGiving has helped raise more than $163 million from more than 421,000 donors for more than 11,600 projects in more than 160 countries through GlobalGiving.org and GlobalGiving.co.uk. Each of the nonprofits on GlobalGiving.org has been vetted, and has committed to providing donors regular updates about how donations are put to work.

Mari Kuraishi

Mari Kuraishi

Kuraishi’s bio:

Mari co-founded GlobalGiving with Dennis Whittle, and currently leads the organization. In 2011, Mari was named one of Foreign Policy’s top 100 Global Thinkers for “crowdsourcing worldsaving.” Before GlobalGiving, she worked at the World Bank where she managed and created some of the Bank’s most innovative projects including the first ever Innovation and Development Marketplaces, and the first series of strategic forums with the World Bank’s president and senior management. Mari also designed a range of investment projects in the Russia reform program, including a residential energy efficiency project, structural adjustment loans, and legal reform project. She currently serves as chair of the board of Guidestar US as well as of the Global Business School Network. She also serves on the board of Benevolent and DataKind. In addition to her native Japanese, Mari also speaks Russian, Italian, and French. She has an undergraduate degree in history from Harvard University and did graduate work in Russian and Japanese history and politics at Harvard and Georgetown Universities. Mari also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

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