Connecting nonprofits with resources to make the world a better place


Connecting Nonprofits with Resources to Make the World a Better Place

In 1997, two World Bank employees joined forces and brainstormed strategies to help innovators get the support they needed to implement their ideas for global betterment. Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle soon realized that there was no shortage of great concepts nor supporters willing to back them. The real challenge was bridging the gap between those great ideas and the resources needed to make them a reality. In 2002, Mari and Dennis created the world’s first crowdfunding community—what is now known as GlobalGiving.org

Today, GlobalGiving.org has the distinction of not only being the first, but also the largest crowdfunding organization—connecting nonprofits, donors, and companies to amplify the impact of their social good missions. The organization, a 501 non-profit organization based in the United States, provides a technology platform that delivers robust crowdfunding tools, enabling donors to contribute to non-profits of any size and location. Its mission is to transform aid and philanthropy to accelerate community-led change.

In a blog that looks back on the first ten years since the organization started, Co-founder Mari credits its growth and success to the people who supported the dream. “We’ve come this far due to the incredible devotion that all of the staff, interns, and volunteers have given to GlobalGiving—believing in the little dream that Dennis and I had about creating a ‘space’ where ‘development’ could happen at its own pace, driven by the bravest and most passionate. We’ve come this far thanks to the unwavering support that our project partners, donors, corporate partners, and funders gave us along the way. We’ve come this far because we have improved over the years how to convey with greater fidelity the amazing work that is undertaken every day, in every country we serve, by people who don’t just live with the status quo.”

GlobalGiving allows donors to connect directly with social and environmental projects around the world. It enables donors to choose from a wide and diverse clearing house of worthwhile causes, many that are small-scale grassroots and not well-known. In fact, directing more money to local groups is one of the top priorities for Alix Guerrier, CEO of GlobalGiving. “The goal of GlobalGiving is to give a voice, to give visibility, and to have access to community-led solutions,” Guerrier said. “Donors are already receptive to that. When you look at news articles telling people where they should give, people are realizing that we’re the best place to donate if you’re interested in local organizations.”

The GlobalGiving.org website gives each venture a homepage with information about the project, people involved, photo galleries, donation link, and even publishes email addresses of project coordinators to encourage ongoing exchange and updates. This format brings each mission to life and serves to connect people around a passionate cause they share, making it a rewarding experience for everyone. As a crowdfunding platform supported by global partners and serving an expansive community base, GlobalGiving relies heavily on its website to feature each organization and help them achieve their various missions.

When the organization rebranded from its original name DevelopmentSpace back in 2002, its founders initially decided to become GlobalGiving.com, believing that the .com domain was more common and more easily used by site visitors. However, the .com created a lot of confusion for users who were left with the impression that GlobalGiving.com was a for-profit company. Donors had also voiced the opinion that if the organization we were really a not-for-profit company, it should leverage .ORG for its online home.

However, at the time, GlobalGiving.org was already owned. Undeterred, the organization compiled a series of testimonials from donors and nonprofits detailing the life-changing impact of the work being accomplished by the organization and sent it to the domain name owner, who ultimately had a change of heart and decided to sell the .ORG domain for a nominal fee.

Since becoming a .ORG, GlobalGiving has seen marked increase in conversion rates, donations, and trust from donors. When visiting the website for the first time, or even when viewing the results of a Google search, people immediately recognize it as a nonprofit. As GlobalGiving Chief Product Officer, Kevin Conroy explains: “I honestly cannot imagine us hitting this level of success, or continuing to grow, with any other top-level domain (TLD).” And that level of success has indeed been great. Through its website, GlobalGiving provides a platform and online tools that serve as multipliers of donors and sponsors for nonprofits and causes so that even small donations can add up and create big impacts for communities and people around the world.

GlobalGiving started because the founders noticed that smaller social good initiatives were being overlooked by major funders. To solve this problem, the organization adopted the many-to-many concept, which is based on the theory that there needs to be many more people and groups in order to support the many communities throughout the world. This theory has proven to be true. Inspirationally grown from a World Bank project providing funding to the best solicited ideas to fight global poverty, it has since raised $400M from nearly 1M donors and more than 280 companies, sponsoring more than 20,000 projects in 170 countries. GlobalGiving brings together the people and resources needed to make the greatest impact for social progress— “one donor, one project, one community at a time.”


GlobalGiving help local nonprofits access the funding, tools, training, and support they need to become more effective. 


  • GlobalGiving earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating of four stars in the latest ratings published by the charity evaluator
  • The Better Business Bureau’s 2015 review states that GlobalGiving meets all of its charity accreditation standards