Sonja Lehner Posts

Announcing the Winners of the 2016 Video Contest!

GlobalGiving is thrilled to announce the grand prize winner of this year’s video contest and our four runner-ups! We had the thrill of watching more than 60 fantastic videos submitted by our nonprofit partners and it was very difficult to choose just five to be featured.

Our grand prize winner is…Concern Worldwide USTheir incredibly moving video about the aftermath and clean-up of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal was chosen as the top film by our judges at Backpacker Films. Here is a short comment from our judges:

“Nepal – Responding and Beyond conveys to the audience why it’s necessary to be aware of devastating events across the globe and whom it affects most.  Moreover, we see why it’s necessary to contribute time and funds to help alleviate the challenges of those caught in the middle of disasters like the Earthquake in Nepal.   Congrats to Concern Worldwide for creating an excellent film”

Watch their amazing video:

The Winners

Food for Thought – Denver: By providing food for families that might not otherwise be able to afford a meal, Food for Thought – Denver is changing the lives of families in their community. Their touching video shows the impact of their work and how rewarding it is to give back.

3 Generations: The unique introduction in this video draws you in and makes you feel the power of telling your story. By providing a voice to the people around the world who need to be heard, 3 Generations is empowering people and inspiring communities.

mothers2mothers: This animated film takes you through the details of a complex problem throughout Africa. You really feel the impact of their program and how a mother can be uplifted through their work.

Women LEAD: This video takes you through the women’s leadership program in Nepal through the lens of all of the members of the community. It starts with the historical background and social context in Nepal so you know why their program is so crucial.  You get to hear from many of the the women in the program and even their mothers.

Congratulations to all of our winners! We are already looking forward to watching more amazing videos next year.

The First Bonus Day of 2016!

The First Bonus Day of 2016!

Get ready for the March Pro-Rated Bonus Day! GlobalGiving is putting up $75,000 in matching to help you mobilize donations to your projects. Starting at 09:00:00 EDT on March 16th, all donations until midnight are eligible to be matched at the Pro-Rated percent.

What is the Pro-Rated percent?

The Pro-Rated percent is based on the total amount of funds raised on Bonus Day, the amount your organization has raised, and the amount of matching funds that are available. This means we don’t yet know what the matching percent will be but we will find out at the end of the Bonus Day.  With this structure, GlobalGiving is able to offer matching funds for every online donation during the day.

Are you wondering how to figure out how much matching you will get?

(amount of funds you raise/amount of total funds raised on Bonus Day) x $75,000 = matching funds you receive

Here is a real life example from last May’s Pro-Rated Bonus Day

  • In the May 2015 Pro-Rated Bonus Day, Children’s Joy Foundation raised $52,505
  • The total raised on that Bonus Day was $289,476
  • There was $75,000 available, here is how the matching worked for Children’s Joy Foundation:
    • ($52,505/$289,476) x $75,000 = $13,603 in matching
    • That would a matching percentage of ($13,603/$52,505) x 100 = 25.9%

Each donation you receive until midnight will be matched at the pro-rated percent! This also means that your donors don’t have to give right away at 9am EDT. They can wait until later in the day or until the very last second!

We are also excited to announce that GlobalGiving UK will be joining this campaign! If your projects are listed on GlobalGiving UK, donations through GlobalGiving UK will also be eligible for their Pro-Rated Bonus Day. Additionally, donations made through GlobalGiving UK by UK citizens are eligible for GiftAid, an 25% match provided by the UK government. Keep in mind, the campaigns are separate and so their Pro-Rated percent will be different from GlobalGiving’s.

To get your project listed on GlobalGiving UK for the Bonus Day, just complete this form by March 7th.

If you have any questions or want some more information, we will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, February 25th at 9am EST and again at 3pm EST. We will be discussing the Pro-Rated structure and providing tips on how to communicate with donors to maximize this unique opportunity!

Register here for the 9am session and register here for the 3pm session.

We also have one-on-one consultations available with our staff if you are interested in speaking with someone about your strategy. You can sign up for one here.

Get Ready for Your Close-Up!

Get Ready for Your Close-Up!

GlobalGiving is excited to announce our fifth annual Video Contest!  Each year our team has the pleasure of watching your inspiring videos to select one grand prize winner and four runner-ups to be featured in GlobalGiving’s outreach efforts to donors.

The grand prize winner will also be featured in one of GlobalGiving’s monthly newsletters. Our grand prize winner will be chosen by Backpacker Films, Inc. who have generously donated their time to help us. The newsletter will be emailed to more than 130,000 subscribers! Past video contest winners have received upwards of $6,000 in donations because of the newsletter.

Do you already have an amazing video on one of your projects? Great! Submit your entry here.

If not, don’t worry! We have some great resources to help you create an amazing video.

How to submit your video:

  • Upload your video to YouTube.
  • Embed your YouTube video into your project page. Save and submit your project edits by February 10th to be eligible. The GlobalGiving team will review and approve your changes within 1-2 business days.
  • Submit the web address for your project page and video in this entry form by February 12th.
  • Don’t forget, even if you don’t win the contest, you will still get GG Rewards points for participation!

Adding Music to your Video

Looking for some music to add to your video without worry about copyright issues? Check out the Vimeo Music Store. The Vimeo Music Store includes songs for commercial use and the site even provides some great songs for free!

Terms and Conditions:

  • Participating organizations must be current GlobalGiving Partners, Leaders, or Superstars.
  • Please note the project must be listed as “active” on by the entry form deadline for the video to be eligible.
  • Eligible videos must be between 00:30 seconds and 3 minutes long. Videos that are longer than 3 minutes will be disqualified.
  • Videos must be embedded in an active GlobalGiving project page in order to qualify for the Video Contest.
  • The submitted video must focus on the content described in the project.
  • Videos should be high quality and creative.
  • Videos may not contain any copyrighted element including music, videos, or photographs. Be sure that you have obtained all necessary legal rights for the content of your video.
  • All video participants must give informed consent of their participation in order to take part in the filming of your video.
  • Videos may not contain vulgar language or inappropriate content. GlobalGiving reserves the right to determine inappropriate content and disqualify a video.
  • Organizations may submit one video per organization.
  • Videos must be submitted by 11:59 pm EST on Friday, February 12th in order to be considered for contest participation.

Please feel free to email us at with any questions. We are very excited to see your videos soon!

GlobalGiving’s Year-End Campaign is Here!

GlobalGiving’s Year-End Campaign is Here!

It’s that time of year again – holiday fundraising and GlobalGiving’s Year-End Campaign!  The campaign begins at 00:00:01 EST on December 1st and runs through 23:59:59 pm EST on December 31st.

To sweeten this holiday season, GlobalGiving is putting up $10,000 in Bonus Grants to incentivize even more giving during December.

Check out these awesome bonus awards for the projects with the most money raised:

  • First place: $3,000
  • Second place: $2,000
  • Third place: $1,000
  • Fourth place: $1,000
  • Fifth place: $1,000
  • Sixth place: $500
  • Seventh place: $500
  • Eighth place: $500
  • Ninth place: $500

That’s a lot of chances to win.

Projects must raise at least $3,000 from 30 donors in order to qualify for a bonus award. Bonus awards will be given to organizations that have met the designated thresholds and raised the most funds respectively.

An organization can only win one of the Bonus Prizes. Therefore, organizations are only able to enter one project into the campaign this year.

The Year-End Campaign is designed to help you motivate your supporters to give throughout the month of December. When your donors are considering which organizations to support during the final weeks of the year, these bonus awards are a great incentive for your supporters to give to your project. They know that their donation will go a little further. And, the $3,000 and 30 donor thresholds encourage donors to give more and spread the word. Sign up here to join the campaign!

Terms and Conditions:

  • The Year-End Campaign will begin at 00:00:01 EST (midnight) on December 1, 2015 and last through 23:59:59 EST on December 31, 2015.
  • Projects will NOT be automatically enrolled in this campaign. Organizations must complete this simple online form by Friday, November 20 at 23:59:59 EST to participate in the Year-End Campaign.
  • Organizations can only have one project in the Year-End Campaign.
  • Donations made through cause-marketing campaigns and other corporate promotions are not eligible for the Year-End Campaign and will not be reflected on the leaderboard.
  • Projects participating in select corporate campaigns, such as the Safer World Fund, will be excluded from the Year-End Campaign. You will be notified via email before the campaign if your project is not eligible for the Year-End Campaign.
  • Projects must be approved and live on the website by Thursday, November 19th to participate.
  • Check donations must be received by December 23rd to qualify.
  • Gift card and text-to-give donations are not eligible for this campaign.
  • A project must raise at least $3,000 from at least 30 unique donors to qualify for a bonus award.
  • Should projects tie for the bonus awards, then the project that has the most unique donors will receive the bonus prize.
  • Only new recurring donations, initiated during the month of December, will count towards the $3,000 and 30 donor thresholds and the bonus prizes. All existing recurring donations, initiated before December 1, 2015 will not count.
  • Unique donors are determined using numerous criteria, including name, email address, credit card number, mailing address, and IP address. We are monitoring these and other parameters in our system to ensure that only unique, distinct donors are counted towards the thresholds.
  • Online donations made using PayPal or credit card must be made by the PayPal account or credit card holder.
  • All donations are final. GlobalGiving cannot change the time, date, or status of a donation after it is processed for any reason.
  • GlobalGiving will monitor and review all donations made through this campaign. GlobalGiving maintains the right to make a final decision on all matters concerning the allocation of bonus awards.
  • Donations made on or any GlobalGiving corporate sites (including Nike, Eli Lilly, Yourcause, etc) are NOT eligible for this campaign.
  • GlobalGiving is a registered nonprofit in the United States. Donations made on can only be claimed as a tax deductible contributions on United States tax returns.
  • Fulfillment fee for donations: GlobalGiving charges a 15% fulfillment fee on donations but works to keep the fees you pay as low as possible while providing you great services and resources. The fee covers all transactional charges such as credit card fees and helps cover the costs we incur to promote organizations and projects, provide them with fundraising training and tools, and maintain and improve our online technology in order to keep you connecting with new donors. With our add-on option, we also offer the donor the opportunity to make an additional donation to cover the fee.
Feedback Series, Part Four: The May Pro-Rated Bonus Day

Feedback Series, Part Four: The May Pro-Rated Bonus Day

We’re now in the fourth week of our Feedback Series! In our last two posts, we told you about different mechanisms that GlobalGiving uses to receive feedback: the Project Leader Survey and our Leadership Council. This week, we’re eager to share an example of how we have used your feedback to experiment within an existing program at GlobalGiving.

It all started with feedback…

This past May, GlobalGiving hosted its first-ever Pro-Rated Bonus Day. This is the biggest change we’ve made to our matching campaigns in almost 5 years!

Why did we make sure a drastic change? We have received feedback from Project Leaders and from donors that the Bonus Days would be so much better if funds didn’t run out and they could guarantee that the donations would be matched. Each time funds run out before the end of the day, donors get frustrated that they missed the opportunity to get the matching, and for organizations that plan their fundraising around Bonus Days and plan on getting those donations, this can be a real problem.

We have also received feedback that the start time of 9 am Washington, DC time is disadvantageous to certain donors who might still be asleep or may even be getting ready to go to bed! With donors all across the globe, a single start time that pleases everyone is just about impossible to find.

So…how can we do this without having unlimited funds? With the help of GlobalGiving’s 2014 Leadership Council, the idea of the Pro-Rated Bonus Day surfaced.  We worked with Project Leaders to design a campaign to counteract this drawback of the Bonus Day. Read our Leadership Council blog post for more details here.

Quick overview of the Bonus Day:

The Pro-Rated structure created a way for us to match all donations on Bonus Day at a Pro-Rated percentage. This percentage was determined by using the following formula:

($75,000/Total amount raised) x 100 = Matching percentage

That matching percentage was then applied to all eligible donations on Bonus Day. This meant that the matching percentage was unknown at the beginning of the day.

On the May 13th Bonus Day, 300 organizations received matching funds with a total of $289,476 raised in just 15 hours. The matching percentage was 25.9%. More donors got matched than in May 2014 and more organizations receiving matching funds than in the May 2014.

We’re not done with feedback yet!

In the past few months, we’ve been collecting feedback from our nonprofit partners about their thoughts on Pro-Rated structure and how it went for their organizations. We received comments in the Facebook group, received email replies to our call for feedback, and we asked our Leadership Council for feedback.

What we heard was that, generally, one of the biggest benefits of this Bonus Day was that all donations were matched at the Pro-Rated percent and funds never ran out.

  • We wanted to again let you know how much we loved yesterday’s bonus day… We’ve tried reaching out to donors in various ways for other bonus days, but have run in to trouble – donors giving before matching begins, or after funds have run out, etc. To be frank, we had kind of given up on trying to mobilize all but a select few donors on bonus days. Seeing this pro-rated system, we decided to publicize this bonus day and the results were fantastic. Of our 20 active projects, 14 raised funds from a total of 24 donors. Before matching funds, we raised just shy of $4,000! 
  • I like that everyone has been matched since we’ve had donors very upset in the past that within 15 minutes of campaign opening that there

We also heard that the guarantee of getting matching funds made this Bonus Day enticing. The chance that funds would run out before donors could give, turned organizations off to other types of Bonus Days.

  • Yes, [the Pro-rated Bonus Day] was great! Personally, to me, the results look satisfying, and every organisation has got a good amount of matching bonus for the donations made from their patrons…The model is well-balanced and avoids the gambling kind of feeling which we would always want to avoid. 

GlobalGiving received mixed feedback regarding the communications to our nonprofits about the Bonus Day. Some felt that most of the information as clearly communicated and understood by the organization, but others thought certain information was missing or misleading.

  • Thank you very much for that Bonus day! We and our donors found it very useful and interesting to participate! All information about the campaign was detailed, the only thing we lacked in description is that each donation more that 1,000$ will be matched only in amount of 1K$. We didn’t tell this to our donors and received 2 donations more that 1K$. But nevertheless thank you very much again for you job, its great!
  • Also, you could clear up how when you put in the donation does not determine the percentage rate you receive.

Finally, one of the largest hurdles for our partners was communicating this match opportunity to their donors. Not being able to provide the matching percent upfront was a challenge and condensing the information into manageable pieces was also difficult.

    • For our donors though, they found it a little misleading to call it a “match” and were definitely put off by the uncertainty of how much it would be. The main comment I got was that it was too confusing. We prefer not having an uncertain match amount, but respect that there is likely a plethora of different opinions on this!
  • Trying to summarise it into a social media posting encouraging people to give was too complicated
  • I like the concept of the pro-rated bonus day, but it was hard to explain to donors and to our board.

Our donors weren’t silent on the opportunity either. We received some feedback from donors following the checkout process about Bonus Day.

  • I love that GlobalGiving helps Mickaboo with matching donations…We give what we can and having the matching funds really helps them continue to do the good work they do.
  • I am confused about the matching fund vs.the amount given to AHA. 

Based on this feedback, the GlobalGiving team is determining now if we will host another Pro-Rated Bonus Day in 2016. What do you think? Should we host another one? What would you change? Continue to share your feedback here.

Thank you to everyone who provided their thoughts, comments, and suggestions for improvement.

Photo courtesy of Green Shoots Education Services.