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Dennis Whittle, chairman and CEO
Washington, D.C.

When you give to an ordinary charity, where does your "give" go? How many people is it helping? Is it going to have a long-term impact? Is your money being spent wisely, or is it stuck somewhere along the way?

Those are the questions that led ex-World Bankers Dennis Whittle and Mari Kuraishi to create GlobalGiving, "the eBay for international philanthropy." Since 2002, thousands of donors have contributed over $6 million to nearly 900 high-impact, grassroots projects around the world. The Washington Post has described GlobalGiving as "foreign aid at the speed of light."

GlobalGiving's mission is to "Unleash the potential of people around the world to make positive change happen;" it's doing so by connecting people who want to help to individuals doing amazing work in local communities. Though GlobalGiving's online marketplace for philanthropy, donors support causes ranging from education and the environment to health and human rights. Projects let donors know how it's going through regular updates — so donors can see the results their contributions have enabled. A new innovation is GlobalGiving Guaranteed: If for any reason donors are not satisfied with their giving experience, they can get refunds in the form of a voucher to apply to the project of their choice.

In addition, GlobalGiving works with corporations and other organizations (like HP, Gap Inc, and eBay) to support their strategic philanthropic needs, including developing custom giving websites, project sourcing and vetting, and retail-based giving programs.

GlobalGiving creates connections that bridge distance and culture — like the couple whose wedding registry generated thousands of dollars to reforest areas of Brazil, or the teenaged sisters who hosted a fund-raising dinner to support sustainable farming in Mexico. GlobalGiving enables individuals to help other individuals directly — it's peer-to-peer philanthropy. And with $4 million in fresh backing from the Omidyar Network, it is poised for bigger and better things.