Super Supporter of the Month: GlobalGiving

Village of Makuach Rual, where GlobalGiving’s first well was drilled in 2012.

Village of Makuach Rual, where GlobalGiving’s first well was drilled in 2012.

Water for South Sudan is pleased to highlight GlobalGiving, the largest global crowdfunding community connecting nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country around the world.

With an organizational mission to transform aid and philanthropy to accelerate community-led change, GlobalGiving’s impact is about more than moving money to where it’s needed most; it’s also about helping nonprofits access information and ideas that will help them listen, learn, and grow.

Since 2011, GlobalGiving supporters have donated over $42,000 to WFSS, helping to deeply impact lives in South Sudan. You can find Water for South Sudan’s project on GlobalGiving here.

We interviewed Alison Carlman, Director of Impact and Communication at GlobalGiving to learn more about the organization and their beliefs about the global community.

WFSS: How did it all begin?

AC: By 1997, Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle were convinced many key innovations in global development weren’t getting the attention they deserved. Believing there had to be a better way to provide aid, they started an experiment. In February 2000, they invited any social entrepreneur to pitch his or her earth-changing idea at the World Bank. The 300+ participants ranged from a group of NASA scientists to a woman who’d never before left her Ugandan village.

The event was a success, and Mari and Dennis realized good ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, at any time. They also realized there were many others who wanted to support good ideas. So they left the Bank to launch the world’s first crowdfunding community in 2002. Today, GlobalGiving connects nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country around the world. We make it possible for donors of all types and sizes to give to nonprofits of all types and sizes, anywhere in the world. We also give nonprofits access to the tools and training they need to raise more money and to become more effective at improving their communities.

WFSS: What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about the projects supported by GlobalGiving?

AC: We believe everyone in the world should be able to access the money, knowledge, and community input to make the world a better place. We believe in community-led change. People themselves, especially those closest to the front lines, know what they need. We start with trust. And we hold ourselves and our partners to an expectation of systematic curiosity, feedback, and learning: We call it Listen, Act, Learn. Repeat.

WFSS: What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating?

AC: GlobalGiving makes it possible for you to give to community-driven organizations that are working to educate children, preserve our environment, build houses, train women (and men) with job skills, and do hundreds of other amazing things. We also give nonprofits access to the funding, tools, training, and support they need to be more effective at making our world a better place. GlobalGiving is a top-rated charity on Charity Navigator, Guidestar, and BBB. Each of the nonprofits on GlobalGiving.org has been vetted, and has committed to providing donors regular updates about how donations are put to work. Find out more at www.globalgiving.org.

WFSS: What do you think will change about funding global projects over the next five years?

AC: I think we'll continue to see donors understanding why community-led approaches are best. Community-led means being accountable to the vision and priorities set by a community. Community-led approaches put the people most affected by the work in the lead, ensure diverse representation in decision-making, mobilize the community’s own resources, and use feedback to improve. They are more sustainable and a better "solution" in the long term. GlobalGiving makes it easy to give to vetted community-led organizations in 170 countries!

WFSS: What is it like working for an organization that is helping to improve the lives of people around the world?

AC: It's a true privilege to work with a team of folks who care about creating access and resources for people who want to change things in their own communities. We're committed to learning and improving as we go, and I love learning from organizations around the world every day!

Thank you to Alison, the staff at GlobalGiving, and supporters from around the world for helping to water the seeds of change in South Sudan. Your support will continue to impact lives for years to come.

Super Supporter of the Month: Medtronic Neurovascular

Villagers in Parot Aker village in South Sudan where Medtronic Neurovascular's first well was drilled this year.

Villagers in Parot Aker village in South Sudan where Medtronic Neurovascular's first well was drilled this year.

When John Zehren’s wife came home from a school event talking about the book A Long Walk to Water he instantly wanted to read the book. Inspired by Salva’s story, John shared it with one of his trainers, Michelle Malinowski, who had just returned from a medical mission.

John, who is Vice President of Sales at Medtronic Neurovascular, and Michelle, who is a Field Education Consultant, conceived the idea of live streaming Salva into their National Sales meeting. Following Salva’s live stream presentation an astonishing $18,000 was raised in 20 minutes from Medtronic’s field representatives.

Medtronic’s Mission in Motion for global outreach programs sponsors initiatives that support the community and also help to ensure sustainable solutions to key societal challenges.


“Providing a platform where we can do something bigger than us, and with a global perspective, is pretty great. It also aligns with our values as Medtronic employees and our global outreach efforts,” John commented.  


Medtronic Neurovascular sponsored a well that was drilled during the 2018 season in the Parot Aker village in South Sudan, and they are well on their way to funding a second well. To date, Medtronic’s employees have collectively donated more than $28,000. “Everyone should have access to clean water. We are so fortunate here in America,” said John.

“Corporate partnerships are a win-win; they strengthen our overall fundraising program and give employees a meaningful way to make a global impact,” said WFSS Director of Development Cindy DeCarolis. "This partnership with Medtronic has been very fortunate, and has allowed us to do great work in South Sudan."

Water for South Sudan is so grateful to John, Michelle, and the dozens of Medtronic employees and friends who have donated to make clean water a reality for the people of Parot Aker village in South Sudan.