UniversalGiving at the Commonwealth Club – Video Highlights!

by Steven Chang

On August 11, 2011, founder & CEO Pamela Hawley led a panel of Fortune 500 Corporate Social Responsibility executives in discussing the innovations and practical lessons learned from launching CSR programs all over the world. We’ve taken the highlights from this exciting event and created shorter videos for your learning and enjoyment!

Pamela Hawley on NGO Vetting

Here’s what founder & CEO Pamela Hawley had to say about NGO vetting through UniversalGiving™, which has even helped Fortune 500 companies ensure the success of global CSR programs.

Secrets to Success: Go Become Famous!

Mark Edmunds of Deloitte LLP gave an especially creative & insightful response when Pamela asked him to share his “words of wisdom” regarding global CSR. We’d like to share it with you!

Global CSR Benefits: The Bottom Line

Not only does CSR create positive social outcome, but it also contributes to a company’s bottom line. Here’s how Pamela and Gabriele Zedlmayer of Hewlett-Packard explained it.

Global CSR Challenges: Co-Chairs & Cross-Training

One of these challenges of CSR is operating global CSR programs led solely by employee volunteers. Pamela Hawley and Trisa Thompson of Dell, Inc. explored the topic of cross-training and co-chairs on a global level.

The Commonwealth Club of California has been hosting public forums with exciting speakers for more than 100 years. More information on the Commonwealth Club of California can be found here.

The Intersection of Business and Social: Making Meaning Matter

UniversalGiving has partnered with SOCAP12: Making Meaning Matter in San Francisco, a conference featuring the world’s pioneering impact investors, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, civic leaders and innovators. This year’s conference takes place October 1-4, 2012, and serves to create intersections where you – with friends and valuable strangers – mobilize resources and capital for good.

SOCAP believes that to create the world we want, we have to bring all of our selves to the tasks – from our passion, to our time and talent, to our investment dollars – that’s what it takes to make meaning matter.

The themes for this year’s SOCAP closely tie in with UniversalGiving’s vision to “Create A World Where Giving And Volunteering Are A Natural Part Of Everyday Life.”™ SOCAP is the market at the intersection of money and meaning; it’s a place where we put purpose together with capital. Similarly, UniversalGiving Corporate strives to make global Corporate Social Responsibility necessary for every company. By helping Fortune 500 companies establish and manage CSR programs, UniversalGiving Corporate helps companies strengthen their global brand; increase corporate employee giving and volunteer rates; increase employee retention and attraction; and build a stronger, more loyal client base. SOCAP also understands the importance of this intersection between business and “doing good”. SOCAP12 connects investors and entrepreneurs, public and private sectors, technology providers and technology users in an attempt to create better solutions to the world’s problems. Meaning is at the heart of the market; SOCAP is the place where people bring their intentions to make a difference and make connections to push their projects and goals forward.

This year SOCAP is offering both entry-level and expert-level workshops, with over 150 keynotes and panelists from across the globe, with a wide range of expertise in social innovation. Check out the event themes, confirmed participants, and register with 30% off today! Visit SOCAP12


“The Power of Giving”

by Charles McWilliams

“In order to get something, you first need to give” –Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad

Many successful businessmen and entrepreneurs practice this basic property of reciprocity. Those who we consider ‘rich’ are often capable of giving much more than those we may consider ‘poor’ and I’m not referring to monetary assets by any means. Those who are ‘rich’ are capable of giving value to others, and this is precisely why they tend to receive so much. Yet, one more important principle works imperatively with the basic properties of reciprocation, especially when applied to human interaction: one must give to give, instead of giving to receive.

When Robert Kiyosaki feels needy or short of something he gives what he wants first so that it will come back in buckets. This is true of money, a smile, love and friendship.

Robert Kiyosaki is an American investor, businessman, self-help author and motivational speaker. Kiyosaki is best known for his Rich Dad, Poor Dad series of motivational books and other material published under the Rich Dad brand.

A Good Idea Indeed

By Andrea Xu, Marketing Intern/Executive Assistant to the CEO 

In our busy society, it is so easy to forget how far a small, random act of kindness can go. In an age where everyone is glued to his or her iPhones, emails, and personal planners, we have become so absorbed in our own bubbles that sometimes we forget that we are still surrounded in a community, a community where issues such as homelessness are still prevalent.

And this is where A Good Idea steps in. A Good Idea encourages positive social change that connects people with others who want to help alleviate poverty and homelessness in their local communities. A Good Idea creates solutions through its team of experts and volunteers, using connections through service, education, and technology in order to help accomplish its goals.

Although San Francisco is the home base for A Good Idea, this organization is starting to expand and can now be found in New Jersey. Each year A Good Idea hosts numerous creative events that help fight against poverty and homelessness such as a Good Day in San Francisco, where over 100 volunteers help serve approximately 75 homeless individuals in the community, offering an array of services such as clothing, massages, and a gourmet meal.

What I really love about A Good Idea is its emphasis on compassion and empathy. While it is great that the organization hosts a variety of large-scale events, it does not forget the power of a simple act of kindness to a random stranger.

So, get reconnected with your community. Participate in A Call to Arms on August 18th from 7-9 PM to help combat homelessness. Or, go beyond your neighborhood and connect with the world. UniversalGivingTM offers hundreds of opportunities to donate or volunteer globally; $25 can help educate a girl in Sierra Leone, or you can spend 2 weeks in Cusco, Peru to work with impoverished children in rural households. Just get connected.

Philanthropy with a Fashionable Twist

By Andrea Xu, Marketing Intern/Executive Assistant to the CEO

As with the rest of the UnivesalGiving team, I love to give back, and have been taught the power of community involvement from an early age. One thing that really drew me to UniversalGiving was the fact that all of these nonprofit organizations that you can volunteer or donate to are top, legitimate organizations from all over the world.

Just like UniversalGiving, SelflessTee has shown a creative yet simple way to give back. Started by Danny B., one of the founders of SelfessTee, Danny raised over $11,000 from selling t-shirts, using the funds to provide 1,000 mosquito nets to families in Kenya. From that project, SelflessTee exploded into a successful organization that now serves to promote other nonprofit organizations and the great work they do.

The process is simple: a nonprofit is featured on SelflessTee’s website for two weeks, and a designer will help create a t-shirt design that promotes the nonprofit organization. Once 100 shirts are pre-sold, the shirts are ready to be printed! Moreover, SelflessTee will donate one quarter of its profits AND time to that specific organization, bringing back footage so individuals can see exactly how they are donating their time. It is a great way to give back and to serve as an inspiration for others to give back as well!

SelflessTee recently received a $50,000 grant from Pepsi and are now able to help domestic causes, whether it be supporting the Boys and Girls club or providing lunches for children who would otherwise go without. SelflessTee is a great organization that combines giving with a fashionable twist; definitely check them out and order a shirt!

If you are looking for other ways to donate or volunteer, check out UniversalGiving’s website.

  • $15 can provide one month’s supply of emergency supplies to one person in Africa.
  • Spend the summer or winter in Thailand to help educate men about HIV/AIDS.

More than a Track and Field Coach

By Andrea Xu, Executive Assistant to the CEO

There is always that one person who makes a lasting impact on an individual, whether he or she is a parent, teacher, friend, etc. That one person who helps shape your character, your values, your beliefs, your work ethics. For many, that person was Coach Buehler, a track and field coach at Duke University, an individual who initially to the majority of the world, was simply a coach who truly cared about his athletes.

Yet, he was so much more.

Coach Buehler has touched the lives of thousands of athletes, ranging from Olympian athletes such as Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Carl Lewis, to Duke icons such as Coach K and Grant Hill. Coach Buehler’s significance however, extends beyond the impressive line of powerful athletes he has coached. His career spanned four Olympics, including serving on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Teams in Munich, Los Angeles, and Seoul, as well as serving as the head manager for the U.S. contingent in Lisbon, Portugal for the World Indoor Track Championships.

More importantly, Coach Buehler has broken several boundaries in women’s athletics, race relations, and international sport throughout his entire career. He formed a lasting friendship with Dr. LeRoy Walker, Head Track and Field Coach at the all black North Carolina Central University during a time when segregation was at its peak, and was one of the first to realize that women could be athletes too, giving up every male scholarship at Duke University to start Title IX. Despite having an inoperable benign brain tumor, Coach Buehler still teaches his popular seminar called History and Issues of Sports at Duke University.

It is these moments in his career that have depicted him as beacon of inspiration for not only his athletes, but for everyone else as well. He serves as a model of acceptance and still continues to inspire individuals all over the globe, so much so that a powerful documentary has been made about him, detailing his life and his impact that has resonated on a global level.

Learn more about Coach Buehler’s incredible story here as well as a trailer to the Coach Buehler documentary.

Prepared to be inspired. I know I was.

The Fight for Right

By: Andrea Xu

Despite the monumental obstacles the world has overcome in recent decades in pushing for universal human rights, there are still some rights yet to be practiced by certain populations in the world, some which may be seen as a rudimentary and fundamental right. For the women in Saudi Arabia, the right to choose her spouse is exactly one right they have yet to exercise.

In Saudi Arabia, choosing a spouse is not solely up to the woman, but rather is dictated by her father and brothers, with them usually pressuring her to marry a cousin. This inability to choose a spouse not only demonstrates how patriarchal Saudi Arabia’s society may be, but also the lack of control women have over their lives against their sometimes abusive guardians. Under Islam rule, a woman is able to choose her partner as long as he is considered a moral and upstanding individual. Yet, under the guardianship system, which stems from tribal traditions and deeply entrenched Saudi Arabian culture, women must still get permission from their guardians to marry.

Take the case of Samia, a surgeon who is responsible for her patients’ lives; yet, ironically she is unable to control her own life. For years her father withheld her salary, giving her only a small monthly allowance, a motive as stated by Hussein Nasser al-Sharif, manager of the Jeddah branch of the National Society for Human Rights, common in abusive guardians. When her father and her brothers forced her to marry her cousin, Samia’s refusal resulted in a beating and an imprisonment in her room that lasted for weeks. Her living situation for the past five years? A government-funded sheltered for battered women. Samia has taken her case to two courts, both of which have ruled against her, and is now taking her case to the country’s Supreme Court.

While Samia’s story tragically illustrates how prevalent and serious gender inequality is in certain countries, the fact that Samia is challenging this traditional system serves as an inspiration for all. As more and more women are now challenging their abusive guardians, there can be nothing but hope for women all over the world, to fight for the right to control their own lives.

To learn more about Samia’s story, see the full story from The Christian Science Monitor.

If you would like to help promote women empowerment: