This Couple May Have Invented Modern Crowdfunding
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes or Google Play.
When Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle, 57, launched what became GlobalGiving back in the late 1990s, the term “crowdfunding” was not in use—and wouldn’t come into vogue for nearly a decade. These two are clearly on the short list of candidates for those who can credibly make the claim to have invented internet-based crowdfunding.
Today, the term crowdfunding means many things to many people. All those things have in common the idea of gathering funds from many people and most of those meanings include the use of the internet as a central feature. GlobalGiving gathers donations for international nonprofits.
According to Kuraishi, who married Whittle while both were working at the World Bank, before leaving together to launch the site, “GlobalGiving has delivered $332 million to nearly 20,000 projects in 170 countries supporting community-led projects since 2002. We’ve also helped 780,000 donors find vetted nonprofits.”
Upon founding the nonprofit, Whittle served as CEO. He left in 2010 and now runs Feedback Labs and continues to serve on the GlobalGiving board. He explains his restlessness, “I see new possibilities for how to make the world better – and then I mobilize people and resources to turn those possibilities into reality.” Kuraishi accepted the role of CEO following his depature.
Kuraishi and Whittle joined me for a recorded discussion, which you can view in the player at the top of this article. They share more details about their remarkable story.
Understanding its sources of revenue helps to explain its business model. GlobalGiving generates revenue four ways:
Revenue from project contributions (52%): The nonprofit earns fees and receives additional donor support as part of the project contribution activity that occurs via globalgiving.org as well as through corporate contributions.
Revenue from CSR advisory services (28%): GlobalGiving charges advisory service fees to corporations to support grant management, vetting, workplace giving, and cause marketing campaigns.
Programmatic grants (4%): It solicits and receives programmatic grant support to help fund and grow additional impact activities.
Unrestricted grants and contributions (16%): The nonprofit regularly receives operational support in the form of unrestricted grants, bequests, general contributions, and, undesignated gifts.
Global Giving Revenue by Source CREDIT: DEVIN THORPE
Kuraishi describes the financial goal of for the operation as “core cost recovery” or simply covering the typical operating costs with revenue. “Expectations for 2018 and beyond are to meet or exceed this objective.”
Kuraishi is a polyglot who speaks Japanese, Russian, Italian, French and forgets to list English, in which she is also fluent. She studied Sovietology at Harvard, but the country broke up as she finished her degree. She landed at the World Bank gaining valuable global perspective—in addition to finding a life and business partner.
Their site site’s impact shows up not only in the data but also in the results achieved for individual nonprofits and the people they serve.
Maria Karra, co-founder for Emfasis Foundation, says, “We run two projects focusing on refugee relief. The major tools are photography and videography – healing young children and youth overall to overcome the traumas of refugee life in a camp in Athens and somehow focus on the future and on a ray of hope for a better life after so many sacrifices and losses.”
She adds that “For small organizations like ours it is a lifesaver.”
GlobalGiving offers more than a platform that international nonprofits can use to raise money in the U.S., she says. “Not only do they help us to showcase our fieldwork but they also mentor and empower our teams of workers and volunteers to become more efficient. The networking with fellow organizations is priceless; the sharing and exchange is healthy and refreshing.”
Kuraishi has announced her retirement from GlobalGiving, bringing a close to the chapter of her involvement. The organization she co-founded with Whittle will be the legacy they leave behind.
Click here to get my free webinar showing the three myths that hamper and the two keys for nonprofit crowdfunding success.
Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!
Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!
The post This Couple May Have Invented Modern Crowdfunding appeared first on GoodCrowd.info.