impact Posts

Introducing GG Rewards!


Notice something different about GlobalGiving? This is a week of big changes! We’ve launched a new look and feel on that will make it easier and faster for donors to find and give to your organization. The improvements made to will allow the site to load much more quickly and will look great on tablets and phones. The new homepage, header and footer are just the beginning of the visual changes you’ll see over the next several months. Stay tuned for more, and please let us know what you think along the way!

Even more exciting for our nonprofit community is the launch of our new GG Rewards Program. GG Rewards is the product of a culmination of feedback we’ve collected from our nonprofit community—folks like you—over the past three years about how you’d like GlobalGiving to better work with and reward your organization.

You told us you wanted:

  • A Rewards system based on more than just your ability to fundraise on GlobalGiving
  • A more flexible way to move from Partner to Leader and Leader to Superstar
  • Better visualizations and an easier way to understand your fundraising and progress
  • GlobalGiving help as you raise more funds for your work, and help to have a greater impact with those funds.

Our Partner Rewards program, launched in 2011, ranked organizations as Partner, Leader, and Superstar. The higher an organization rises through these rankings, the more visibility it receives from donors through corporate recommendations and social media attention. In 2014, we experimented with the Effectiveness Dashboard as a first step in being able to track and reward your organization for not just fundraising on GlobalGiving, but also your efforts to learn and improve. You’ve given us invaluable feedback over the last year on this initial experiment with tracking effectiveness, and that feedback has been used to shape our new program which launched today, called GG Rewards.

This week, we’re proud to announce GG Rewards—a combination of Partner Rewards and the Effectiveness Dashboard—that provides a more streamlined, helpful, and easy way for you to track your organization’s performance and to continue to grow both your fundraising and your organizational effectiveness.


If you liked the old Partner Rewards system and you’re not interested in exploring any of the effectiveness tools we provide, that’s not a problem. You can choose to focus on fundraising and earn points exclusively for fundraising-related activities on GlobalGiving. But, if you’re like many of the organizations that we’ve heard from in the past three years and you want GlobalGiving to provide more flexibility in how you can grow from Partner to Leader to Superstar, the new GG Rewards program provides just that flexibility.

Instead of having to fulfill every requirement in a rigid way, your organization can now earn points in any category it finds the most helpful in order to achieve Superstar status. Earning 18 points from either Effectiveness and/or Engagement activities bumps your organization up to the Leader level. Once your organization earns 36 points in any combination of those two categories, you’ve reached Superstar Status! (Want to know how we came up with these point levels? Check out this blog for all the details.)


Engagement and Effectiveness
Since 2011, GlobalGiving has been rewarding organizations for engagement with the GlobalGiving platform – fundraising, reporting, and attracting new donors, among other activities. Those activities are still being tracked under the “Engagement” section of GG Rewards, but now we’ve added a way for you to get credit for your organization’s commitment to learning and improving as well.

Here at GlobalGiving we believe that in order for a nonprofit (including GlobalGiving itself!) to improve, it needs to listen to the people it serves, act on what it hears by testing new ideas, and learn faster and more efficiently. We call this the Cycle of Progress: Listen, Act, Learn. Repeat. CycleOfProgressThe “Effectiveness” section allows your organization to earn points by demonstrating a commitment to learning and improving the work you do on the ground. You can receive points for using different tools available online and completing the Listen, Act, and Learn components for each tool. If you listen, act, or learn from your community outside of GlobalGiving, you can add a tool using the “Create-Your-Own cycle” to receive credit.


We’ve provided a few options to get you started on your learning journey – options like the Feedback Labs Toolkit to help you listen to feedback from your community and the DIY Toolkit to help spur innovation in your programming.

We recognize you may already be using some amazing tools that help your organization learn. You can easily register those in the Create-Your-Own cycle to get points toward your Superstar status. No one knows your organization better than you do, so we want to empower you to identify the priority areas for your organization, and we want to reward you for doing the things that help you improve the most – whether your priority area is fundraising, listening to your community, strengthening your monitoring and evaluation activities, or anything else that you’ve identified as an area for growth. Don’t know where to start? Our staff is happy to set up a one-on-one consultation to help identify what tools could be the most useful to help your unique organization improve.

Learn more and give us feedback
You can now take a look at your organization’s GG Rewards Status by logging in to GlobalGiving. We are also sending out personalized emails to every organization about their GG Rewards Status, how it may change, and what benefits you can expect, so check your inbox!

Still have questions? Start by checking out the GG Rewards FAQ page. We also put together a video tutorial to help you learn how to navigate your new GG Rewards dashboard. As always, we’d love for you to contact a member of our Program Team at for general questions, and also take advantage of our one-on-one consultations by signing up here for a more in-depth conversation about your GG Rewards status. We will also be holding a webinar on Wednesday, August 5 at 9am EDT (sign up here) and 3pm EDT (sign up here).

We can only improve if you tell us what you want! Your feedback is vital to us at all stages of this process, so please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts. They’ll help us improve! Let us know what you think here. We’ll to continue to listen, act, learn, and repeat with this new tool so we can continue to get closer to driving more dollars to more effective organizations every day.

Effectiveness Tools on GlobalGiving

diy toolkitIn September, GlobalGiving announced some exciting improvements to GlobalGiving’s Effectiveness Dashboard, which was launched in early 2014. We began to offer points for taking advantage of other learning tools that are available on the web—including Nesta’s DIY Toolkit and Feedback Store.  Last month, we hosted a webinar in collaboration with our friends at Nesta to introduce the changes to the Effectiveness Dashboard.

Listen to the full recording of the webinar here and check out the summary below.

GlobalGiving is not just committed to providing fundraising tools for our partners, but in supporting a robust exchange of money, information, and ideas. In 2002, we took the first step by creating the GG funding platform, and in 2010, we began exploring how to fulfill the goals of information and ideas exchange. We added feedback tools such as the Storytelling Tool and new trainings for project leaders, and we received really positive feedback from you, our partners! We found that these tools were really useful in helping our partners increase their online funding capabilities.

So, we wondered if we could provide access to a similar set of tools for feedback to help partners not only increase fundraising capabilities but also effectiveness, and therefore impact. We think of this effectiveness as emerging from cycles of Listen, Act, and Learn:

  1. Listen to the community you serve, what’s working for others, and the best research out there
  2. Act: trying something new, see what happens, and measuring results
  3. Learn: what works, what fails, and what to do differently

Effectiveness Dashboard

We released the beta version of the Effectiveness Dashboard in April 2014, and after getting lots of feedback from the Leadership Council, surveys of PLs, and one-on-one meetings, we released the Effectiveness Dashboard 2.0 in July 2014. Some specific changes we made based on your feedback include:

  • Thank you notes- recurring donors counted only once
    • Overall % thanked and how quickly donors are thanked
  • New ways to get points
    • Creating and entering video and photo contests
    • Applying to be GG Ambassador
  • Movement between categories
    • Demonstrated learning (ex. Listen points for listening to webinar)
  • External Tools!
    • Example: Nesta DIY Toolkit
    • Feedback Store- access to 200 tools that provide advice and resources for collecting feedback, analyzing data, and returning info back to the community
    • Charting Impact: series of 5 questions developed by Independent Sector that takes organizations through a thought process to better understand why and how you are doing your work

Nesta DIY Toolkit

One of our new external tools that you can get points for using is the Nesta DIY Toolkit.  Theo Keane joined the webinar to tell us more about how to best use the toolkit to amplify innovative thinking in your organization. Developed in partnership with the Rockefeller foundation, the Development, Impact, and You Practical Toolkit contains tools to trigger and support social innovation. Nesta realizes that social sector problems are complex, and that effective organizations need to be agile and adaptable in their thinking, in order to be most innovative. This results in a greater capacity to solve problems more effectively and generate innovations that improve lives of communities.

The DIY toolkit is therefore collection of best and most practical social innovation tools out there.  In curating the toolkit, the creators asked themselves the following questions of the potential tools:

  • Is it practical?
  • Would you use it?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • Is there evidence of impact?

The result is a suite of 30 tools, each with an explanation, case study, and worksheet that can be used by your organization to tackle a variety of innovation, design, and business challenges. The online toolkit has gotten nearly 250,000 visits from 85 countries since its launch in March 2014, and the tools have been downloaded more than 70,000 times.

Some important features of the toolkit include:

  • Tools can be found based on user need statements (i.e. “I want to collect inputs from others”)
  • Practical worksheets to easily understand what to do with a tool and put it into action, so that better results can be delivered more quickly
  • Share, rate, and feedback of each tool (online)
    • Build a community of practice
    • Learn from people actually using the tools
    • Downloadable PDF, with different sizes, which are conducive to individual and/or collaborative working
  • Case studies from innovators in the field, generated during user testing
  • How to’s for each tool: diagrams, video tutorials, case studies

Effectiveness Dashboard and the DIY Toolkit:

You can earn points on GG Effectiveness Dashboard for using different tools from the Nesa DIY Toolkit. The steps are below!

  1. Log onto the Effectiveness Dashboard
  2. Check the “How to improve your score” box on the right side of the screen
  3. Click the DIY Toolkit link (and all of the external tools!)
  4. Once you use a tool, click the “Earn Points” link
  5. You can get Listen, Act, and Learn points for each tool used:
    1. Listen: 1 pt for telling which tool you used- simply enter the URL of the tool from the DIY Toolkit
    2. Act: 5 points for uploading a file of the worksheet (scan, PDF, smartphone pic), and the content is not factored into the points
    3. Learn: 5 points for telling what you learned!

It is probably easiest to submit all that you plan to do at once, but not necessary. Right now, ED points don’t count on GG. Rather, they should be used to help you see how you are doing compared to other organizations, and discover what tools are most useful for you. These points will start to count toward your overall rating in early 2015- don’t worry, we notify you with plenty of lead time.

We’re still collecting feedback! Please send a message with your thoughts and questions to: or for feedback on the DIY Toolkit.


  • Is a higher or lower score on dashboard better?
    • Higher- you want to earn as many points as possible! More points demonstrates greater interaction in LAL
  • What if we do some of these activities, but not through DIY?
    • Unfortunately, right now we can only give points trough this system. On our side, if you have filled out worksheets (such as a SWAT analysis), you can submit copies of those, as long as it is the same tool. For other tools/business docs, please email us. You could think about adapting what you already have to the DIY templates.
  • Three most popular tools?
    • Fast Idea Generator
    • Innovation Flowchart
    • Business Model Canvas
    • Theory of Change
    • Blueprint, Personas tools
  • Are the templates adaptable to orgs working in different areas?
    • Yes! We conceived of tools to support specific project tasks, no matter the sector. Problem solving and innovation applied to a variety of traditionally accepted tasks.
    • Please remake and reuse as is useful! Please share them with us ( if you do, so we can learn too.

Listen, act, and demonstrated learning for organizations

In 2014 GlobalGiving made significant upgrades to our tools and training. Most of these improvements came directly out of the feedback organizations gave in our annual survey. We added web analytics. And now we measure organization behaviors and put them on a dashboard, giving personalized feedback on your performance:
And for the first time, organizations that strive to be better get credit and recognition for learning:
We now award points for using external tools that can help organizations grow:
external learning tools
The process involves three steps – Listen, Act, Learn – and demonstrating that this has happened with a little feedback form:
LALR storytelling form

Our formula: Demonstrated effectiveness => more visibility => funds raised

Later this year, everything that organizations do to listen, act, and learn will increase their visibility on GlobalGiving, as it will soon factor into our partner rewards criteria:


But before we make drastic changes, we’d like to hear from everyone. Please take our ‘learning how you learn’ survey:

Learning Organizations

A learning organization is one that transforms continuously based on evidence and helps its staff grow. We believe that learning organizations are going to drive change in the world in the future. But no two learning organizations look the same, or need the same things. This is your chance to help us learn what you need, so we can provide it. And if you are already doing something that makes you effective, we want to hear about it so that we can award more credit for doing what matters.

Changing the world

Dennis and Mari started GlobalGiving in 2002 because they believed most of the money was not making it to organizations that were doing great work. And in the decade ever since, we’ve moved over 100 million dollars to thousands of these great organizations. But that is not enough. We also need to demonstrate how and why these “other” organizations are a better investment, so that bigger deeper pockets will open and join us. That begins by tracking behavior and using market mechanisms to get more organizations doing more of what matters. We’ve explained our world view in this infographic.

Vijana Amani Pamoja’s Learning Journey

VAP Training Session

Nancy Njeri (VAP Program Director), Zipporah Sangiluh (GlobalGiving Storytelling Coordinator), and Enouce Ndeche (VAP Founder and Executive Director)

At GlobalGiving we get excited when we see an organization coming up with new attempts to address real problems that the community itself has identified.   Generally, GlobalGiving believes that this spontaneous generation of possible solutions is what’s missing in how development generally happens.  We get excited when we can observe an organization evolving solutions over time after listening to the people it serves, acting on that feedback, learning from the results, and repeating the process.

In May of 2010, I visited a great organization in Kenya called Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP) which means “Youth Together in Peace” in Swahili.  It started as a football club in 2003 and has evolved into an instrument for social change.  We originally met VAP through a Nike-sponsored sports for social change network and conference held in Nairobi in 2007.  VAP works with youth in the Eastlands area of Nairobi, which can get pretty rough.  Eastlands is home to a large community of Somali refugees, and has been a fertile recruiting ground for terrorist groups linked with the Somali Al Shabaab organization.  Eastlands is the perfect place for a great organization to make a huge impact on a very vulnerable youth population.  VAP uses soccer as a tool to engage youth in programs relating to life skills, HIV/AIDS, and reproductive health with a focus on helping vulnerable girls.

My visit in 2010 was in connection with VAP’s participation in GlobalGiving’s Storytelling Project.  We approached them to be a part of our early experimentation, and they were enthusiastic and engaged.  I attended a session for coaches getting trained up in collecting short narratives from program participants.  In the end VAP collected over 100 stories from girls participating in their program.  From those stories VAP learned that sexual violence was an even more prevalent problem than they had imagined and that girls were willing to talk about their experiences.  In response, VAP launched a program to enhance girls’ self-esteem – the Miss Mrembo Tournament – a combination soccer tournament, beauty pageant, and educational program involving peer educators and counselors from Nairobi Women’s hospital.

VAP continues to demonstrate its commitment to learning and improvement.  I recently became aware of the scorecard VAP created to monitor and evaluate its programs.   They worked with an umbrella organization called Grassroots Soccer to establish a monitoring and evaluation framework to capture changes in behavior among the girls participating in their programs.  The scorecard is engineered in Salesforce and captures metrics in a way that helps VAP move from counting outputs to capturing outcomes.

VAP continues to evolve its programs based on feedback and community needs.  They launched a vocational training program in 2013 to help girls obtain marketable hairdressing and beauty skills and they consistently look for ways to validate their approach.  In a recent newsletter to donors VAP described how it is linking up with researchers evaluating the potential of HIV oral self-testing.  Yet again, VAP is demonstrating its commitment to experimentation and learning.  They are considering including HIV oral self-testing in its annual Kick & Test soccer event and they are willing to work with evaluators to maximize learning and to share results.

Currently VAP works with more than 2,700 participants in its HIV “Skillz” program and 1,200 girls in its “Mrembo” program.  They have participated in various funding opportunities with GlobalGiviung, but they are still a small organization with modest funding needs.  GlobalGiving’s existing Partner Rewards system ranks them as Leader – one step below the top ranking of Superstar.  In GlobalGiving’s new Effectiveness Dashboard, VAP ranks very high in Listening, Acting, and Learning.  In early 2015, GlobalGiving will link these two ranking systems in a way that creates more visibility and status for organizations like VAP that demonstrate a commitment to the Listen, Act, Learn, Repeat cycle.

GlobalGiving has helped VAP at various points in its learning journey, but VAP independently seeks out learning opportunities on its own.  VAP provides a great example of the organizational behaviors that GlobalGiving believes will ultimately lead to better human outcomes.  While we don’t know for sure what kind of lasting change VAP causes in its community, we do know that more and more individuals are being helped with issues that the individuals themselves have identified as problematic, and those efforts link nicely with what development experts believe to be key levers for improving human development.   GlobalGiving is placing its bet on organizations like VAP to be the drivers of real change.

What you’d be surprised to learn about 30% and 50% fundraising matches

After the success of 2009’s Give More Get More extended matching campaign, we decided to try more in 2010. Most of the feedback we received from Give More Get More centered on the complexity of the matching tiers. So we decided to try simplifying the concept with Bonus Day – 24 hours of blitz fundraising where donations were matched at a certain percentage.