Rob Katz

Global Giving Olympics

GlobalGiving LogoSaima Zaman, a former colleague of mine, sent me a note the other day to tell me about her latest project: the Global Giving Olympics. For the next 3 weeks, project leaders at Global Giving will compete for cash prizes–whoever mobilizes the most support receives a windfall bonus. This unique contest brings a competitive, free-market feel to the world’s premier philanthropic marketplace.

GlobalGiving, founded by two former World Bank executives, is a platform that connects international donors directly to on-the-ground social, economic, and environmental development projects. The organization promotes transparency and accountability, and in its current contest, the power of competitive markets and networks. One of the founders maintains a great blog, often updating it with detailed from-the-trenches posts. We’ve written about GlobalGiving before and have even heard from Saima Zaman on-site. In the GlobalGiving Olympics, all recipient projects compete for $75,000 in prizes. There’s a prize for the project leader that raises the most money during the next 3 weeks of $50,000. There’s also a $25,000 prize for the country “team” that raises the most money (to be distributed across the team).

The winning project could help 250,000 rural villagers in India get access to clean water; it could fund 1,000 health clinics across Sub-Saharan Africa; or it could fund any of a number of other projects. Browse the project catalog, and you?ll get an idea of the full range of philanthropic opportunities available on GlobalGiving. The competition has been running since October 9, and will run through the end of the month. So if you’ve been thinking about donating, carpe diem, since your money’s effect could be multiplied by the Olympic prize pool.