Givology is a 100% volunteer-run nonprofit organization that partners with global grass roots organizations to support individual students and education projects to help students globally reach their potential.
Givology provides an online giving community that prioritizes person-to-person giving, where donors can add money to a virtual wallet, and from there they are able to allocate their money to students and projects of their choosing. It is a unique, easy and fun way to donate money. What makes Givology different from other similar organizations, in my opinion, is the opportunity for a truly personal experience that the volunteers and donors are given. Donors are able to send and receive letters from students they funded, and they can receive pictures and updated information from Givology volunteers in the field about funded projects. You can read translated letters from students on the website (the link is provided above). Givology provides the donor with direct evidence that their money is being used in the most productive and effective way, and they believe strongly in the idea of transparency; seeing what and who really needs help, seeing where your money is going, and seeing the results of that donation.
100% of donated profits through Givology go to projects and students. Because it is a 100% volunteer-run nonprofit, the donor's money does not go towards paychecks for employees, and all other fees necessary to keep the organization afloat are attained by separate fundraising events.
Since its foundation in 2008 by students at the University of Pennsylvania, Givology has raised nearly four-hundred thousand dollars, but the monetary amount is not the most important part. They have helped thousands of students in so many different ways, whether it be providing uniforms, building schools, providing lodging to students who live too far from their schools, or providing school supplies and electricity so that students in underdeveloped countries can continue their studies at night. Givology has had over five-thousand donors, and over eighty-one thousand logged volunteer hours.
Givology was a top-rated nonprofit organization in 2012 and 2013. You can read personal reviews from volunteers and learn more about Givology here.
"As young as they are, the authors have realized what took me years to learn: understanding, assessing, and optimizing impact is at the core of any truly effective philanthropic act...In this book, you will find encouraging stories of giving, practical advice from amazing organizations about how to create a successful culture of giving, and a framework for how to ensure your giving yields results. I have no doubt Givology will ignite a new generation of effective changemakers." - Bhavna Shyamalan, representing the M Night Shyamalan Foundation
A Guide to Giving
A Guide to Giving was published as an e-book in January of 2013. It was collaboratively written by members of the Givology team including Joyce Meng, Liu Jiang, Prash Srinivasan, Jennifer Chen, and Meghan Godin, among other contributors.
The first half of the book discusses the best practices for social enterprise, how to determine the "return on giving", what effective giving really means, and how to optimize volunteer engagement. The second half is a collection of stories, shared experiences, and practical advice of inspiring entrepreneurs.
"The social entrepreneurs featured in the book include the founders of:
- Shining Hope for Communities: Working in the Kibera slums of Kenya, Shining Hope runs a school for girls and a community health program
- Circle of Peace School: For the last two decades, the school has provided high quality education to underprivileged children in Kampala, Uganda
- DoSomething.org: Harnessing the energy and passion of young people, DoSomething advocates volunteerism as a platform for social change
- Emerge Global: In collaboration with women's protective shelters, Emerge Global provides a comprehensive education for girls, teaching them jewelry making skills to earn a living
- Rural China Education Foundation: Focusing on evidence-based metrics, the Rural china education Foundation pioneers new models of education in rural China to promote effective learning
- Peach Foundation: The Peach Foundation provides scholarships and mentorship to students in rural China, with identifying high-potential students under tough economic circumstances.
- Starfish One by One: Catalyzing education of rural Mayan girls in Guatemala, Starfish one by one invests in scholarship and mentorship to promote leadership and achievement
- More than Me: Working in the slums of West Point, Liberia, More than Me focuses on getting girls off the streets into schools
- The Yonso Project: Working in the Yonso community in rural Ghana, the Yonso Project implements community-driven development and education projects
- Colectivo TAN 473: As community art space in Guanajuato, Mexico, Colectivo TAN 473 encourages creative exploration with the goal of literacy and community development
- Tanzanian Children's Fund: Dedicated to improving the lives of marginalized children in the Karatu region of Northern Tanzania, the Tanzanian Children's Fund provides comprehensive education and care to students
- Kabultec: Championing the causes of women and literacy in Afghanistan, Kabultec promotes the development of civil society through educational and literacy programs"
Purchase the Kindle edition of A Guide to Giving . It costs very little and is an informative and inspiring read, not only for those interested and involved in nonprofit organizations, but for anyone interested in social entrepreneurial initiatives. here
#GiveInspiration- A Second Edition
The second edition of A Guide to Giving is available on Amazon, called #GiveInspiration: How to Give Effectively. This second edition includes a refresher of the first part of the book with lessons that Givology volunteers have learned over the past year, and it also includes more stories from Givology's global network and from external organizations that Givology looks up to, doubling the number of change-maker profiles from the first edition.
My Personal Experiences
I have only been involved with Givology since July of 2013, but I have loved every minute of my involvement with this organization. I am a Development Intern, and I had the honor of helping with the second edition of A Guide to Giving, including writing a chapter for the new book. I am also involved with Givology's social media updating.
One of the most inspiring things about being a part of Givology is the group of people I am working with. As I mentioned before, Givology is run entirely by volunteers. The people who work for Givology have full-time jobs, full-time classes and other responsibilities, yet they dedicate so much of their time to making Givology the effective organization that it has become. Consistent communication is essential to this organization, considering volunteers are working from locations all across the United States and internationally. I get such a sense of connection and cooperation in all of the work that Givology does. The people are hard-working, determined and selfless, and they continually amaze and inspire me.
My experience with giving through Givology has also been immensely rewarding. I donated money to a student named Benja Jerome, a nineteen year old student from Tanzania. Benja lost both of his parents, experienced years of abuse and neglect, and began skipping school to beg for food. Givology pledged to raised the money Benja needed to get back to school, and he now lives safely at the Rift Valley Children's Village, which was created in 2003 to provide a safe and loving community for orphaned children. I recently received an update on Benja, and I was so moved to hear that he was doing so well. Benja will be taking the Form 3 National Exam soon, and he recently traveled with his school to represent his region in soccer.
I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of this organization, and I encourage everyone to get involved in some way, even if you just share this hub, or share a student profile from the Givology page through social media, or donate $5. It all helps, and it helps directly and personally.