Double Bottom Line

with Pamela Hawley

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10x more value

Pamela Hawley

Philanthropist, Social Entrepreneur, Founder, Improv Star

Lessons Learned

Philanthropy is too often equated just with money.

When you donate money to a cause, you receive 10x more value back. Enter the relationship humbly.

Local leaders are experts in their field. Defer to them.


Lesson: Double Bottom Line with Pamela Hawley

Step #4 Giving: 10x more value

The definition of philanthropy as it exists by a lot of people in their mind, what philanthropy is really equated with money. And that is something that makes me very sad and I'm doing everything I can to overturn it because to me philanthropy, if you look at the definition, is the love of humankind. That means that you're loving someone. You are helping someone, anyone. And what should be everyone. And that is a grand call in life and it's not easy to do. Especially if someone gets stressed or you're very busy or you're trying to do good things. For example, pick up your child at a car pool. Or get to an important meeting.

But the question is "Are you cutting someone off on the road on the way to get to the meeting? Are you speaking kindly to your partner or your husband on the phone when you're on the way to go pick up your child? Are you speaking kindly to your team member at work even though you're under deadline to get a proposal done?" That's the crux of philanthropy. It's not money.

Now when we do get into the love of people and giving money, it's equally important that that great attitude follows in with philanthropy. It is not, "I'm so great coming in here to give you money." It is you are humbly entering into their space to say, "Is this the right place that you need these funds? And I'm humbly giving it to you as a steward of these funds. I look forward to seeing the results, I'd love to help you."

But this isn't just "I'm in a power position.” I am very firmly convinced that people who give money and volunteer are the ones who receive ten times more that the nonprofit. Because you are learning, you are growing, you are learning about other cultures. You have to be very sensitive. You don't know what you're doing. That's why you're giving this money. Because they know what they do. That entails a tremendous amount of respect. For their experience and especially on the global level we see this with UniversalGiving all the time. Those local leaders know what they're doing. They know what they're doing, they're absolutely experts. We need to defer to that.

Giving circles are circles that allow people to come together and collaborate on giving. Now, in the past they used to be really, really high network circles that were very, very prominent people who came together and gave anywhere from 10K to 50K and they would pool their money and then decide and even vote on where it should go. Now what we're seeing is a huge scaling of that and leveling of the playing field.

Anyone can start a giving circle. You can even start it with everyone contributing $10. And the importance really is not just about the money. A lot of giving circles are also starting to give up their time as well which is wonderful. So it's giving of your money and your time. And they think what it does is it creates a sense of community where you're not this one-off donor. You're also someone who is collaborating with others, you're using shared wisdom, and you're making great grants for donations or what you would call impact grants that really make a difference and work thoroughly with a nonprofit. It's not just drop it off at the doorstep.

With UniversalGiving, on our public site, we have several ways that you can give and volunteer. So first of all, in the giving, we try to make as many possibilities for you according to what your interests are. So, when you give on UniversalGiving, you can get a gift package. This is one of our favorites. So the gift feature is that I can give a gift to my mom of $15 to sponsor a chimpanzee which is one of our most popular gifts. And give it to her for mother's day, her birthday, her anniversary. So that's just a gift 100% goes directly to the cause. And it's just someone you can just shoot off quickly to your friend or your mom, whoever it might be.

Now we also have projects. Projects are longer term, they're more in depth. The nonprofit lists a project, perhaps its cleaning up a river. That might take three months, that might take three thousand dollars so people can contribute to that project one person can fund it or many can fund it. So whereas a gift is just one person does it, a project can be ten, 20, 50 people giving to that project it's a longer term solution.

Then you also have Raise for a Cause. This is a fundraiser that you can raise for. We're seeing for your birthday, people saying, "Well, sure I'll take some physical gifts, but what I really want you to do is to donate to my favorite causes." They create their own page it says "Alex's Birthday" or it could be a wedding or it could be so many different things. You just list on there, pick all the projects you want on UniversalGiving. And you just put them up there and then people can give, and give to those projects or gift packages on there.

And then finally, we do volunteering. So people can come on and volunteer even as little as one day versus two weeks, a month, six months, a full year. We have a full range of volunteer opportunities and they can go all over the world. And so you're really dealing with a site that allows people to give in many different ways and volunteer in many different ways.

The projects on UniversalGiving that people are funding and the volunteer opportunities are all through our credited NGO partners. This is really important to our work. We select these nonprofit partners very, very carefully. We are not a marketplace that just allows any nonprofit to register you need to be vetted, you go through our vetting process and out quality model which is trademarked and proprietary and we work with you very strongly. We're very hands-on, we're very personal, and we know all of our NGO leaders.

But not only that we also promote you out on social media. So for example, with our NGO partners, we have great partnerships for example with Build Change or Daraja Academy and those groups we help promote out. Not just encourage their giving and volunteering but we'll mention them on social media or we'll bring out a great even that they’re having so the key is again those long-term relationships but what's really important is that when you're looking at these you've got to find two things. Number one, top notch leaders, and number two, we try and find the local experts on the ground. And that's what our vetting comes from in order to select our NGO partners.

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