Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Vote at GlobalGiving

The Internet never ceases to amaze. The people at GlobalGiving have created the first free market exchange for non-profit project funding, offering more efficient allocation of donor resources and better access to funding for those who need it. Any non-profit/NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) can list a project with the amount of money needed, what the money will accomplish, and any further details, plus links to their site, their partners, and even the recipients of their help. This is a far better system than having individual organizations pitch individual projects to individual donors, where nobody can find out what is going on overall. We have seen the same process for buying and selling (Amazon, eBay, Overstock.com, Cars.com,...), for finding jobs (DICE, HotJobs, BAjobs, Craigslist,...) and many other functions for years now, but the non-profit world has lagged behind. In large part this has come from being grossly underfunded and wanting to apply scarce resources directly to recipients' needs, and to some extent from reticence to embrace a market model.

Anyway, GG is testing a new process, where 150 or so organizations have been nominated to put in proposals for the public to vote on. You.

[Disclosure] Now the reason I know this is because I work with one of the nominees, oneVillage Foundation. It goes without saying that I would like you to vote for our project. We are working with Fantsuam Foundation in Nigeria to integrate best practices from around the world into a comprehensive program that we would then offer to every village in the world (with suitable local adaptations). Our program can operate at a profit to us and to the poorest of the poor, by including e-commerce and microbanking in the mix, so we can raise the money to expand around the world without depending on the current inadequate development funding mechanisms.

But I don't just want you to vote for us. Go and look at the breadth of the offerings at GlobalGiving, many of which address the issues of sustainability and replication in one way or another. You can search by theme among Democracy, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Gender, Health, Human Rights, and Technology, or by continent and country. My only complaint is that they would only let us pick one of these categories to list ourselves under, when in fact we address all of them.

Anyway, voting ends on Jan. 27, so go there today. We'll let you know how this works out for us.

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