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DEVELOPMENT REPORT - GlobalGiving: Connecting Personal Donors to Local Projects

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This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

A little money can go a long way, especially in the developing world. This is one of the main beliefs of the non-profit group GlobalGiving. Two former top officials at the World Bank launched GlobalGiving seven years ago. Mark Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle wanted to connect personal donors to projects in mostly poor countries using the Internet. So far, the group has raised over five million dollars, mostly through its Web site, globalgiving.com. The money has paid for or helped finance about seven hundred projects around the world.

Joan Ochi is a spokeswoman for the Washington D.C.-based organization. She says donors can search the GlobalGiving Web site to find projects that interest them. Right now, for example, donors can give to a program called "Reach the Unreached...Delivering Care in Africa." This project provides nurses in Zimbabwe with motorcycles and safety equipment. Miz Ochi says the nurses can now provide better care and health services to more people, especially in rural areas.

In Uganda, children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS receive care at the Nyaka School
In Uganda, children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS receive care at the Nyaka School

GlobalGiving and about forty other non-governmental organizations help identify social leaders or small local groups. After the projects are approved, Miz Ochi says a description is added to the GlobalGiving Web site. Donors can give any amount of money to a project using different methods of payment. These include credit card, the PayPal system or a stock transfer. All donations are fully tax-deductible. GlobalGiving also works with large companies and private foundations that support socially responsible giving.

Miz Ochi says about ninety percent of all donations to GlobalGiving go directly to the project selected by the donor. The organization uses ten percent for operating expenses. GlobalGiving urges its project leaders to provide progress reports every few months about how donor money is spent.

Joan Ochi says GlobalGiving hopes to double its donations every year. However, this is difficult because so many organizations are collecting money for important causes. Still, she says GlobalGiving is a way for small solutions to have a big influence in the developing world.

And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jill Moss. You can read and download audio of Special English programs at our Web site, www.unsv.com. I'm Shep O'Neal.

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