The UniversalGiving Vision


The UniversalGiving vision is to “Create a World Where Giving and Volunteering are a Natural Part of Everyday Life.”™ We hope that our mission can inspire others the way it inspired Marina! Here is her testimonial:

I needed to have an internship because of my school, and when I saw the UG vision, I knew I would love to be part of it. Being able to work at a place where somehow I’m helping to create a better world is so gratifying. The process of doing the interview was really great, too. The people who I talked to were very nice and really happy when they introduced UniversalGiving to me.”

-Marina Maluf, Executive Assistant Intern


We’re so grateful to have you, Marina! Keep up the great work!

What Brings Me Here


A photo by Oliver & Hen Pritchard-Barrett.

At UniversalGiving, we are so grateful for all of our interns! Here is a quote from Madhuri, our Q&A/Web Intern about why she has decided to work with us to make the world a brighter place!


“My passion towards learning and contributing to the society brings me here to UniversalGiving. And knowing about the UniversalGiving’s vision really motivates me to come forward and contribute a bit for a great cause. As it is said, small drops make the ocean.”

-Madhuri Kalani, Intern

Perspective and Point of View Matter

By Pamela Hawley

One of the Top Things I Love About Our Interns: “I believe that perspective and point of view matter.”

Every intern at UniversalGiving as part of the hiring process, submits a writing sample.

That sounds simple, and yet it is so profound. Some interns post papers from school; I learn about a new international issue. Some submit creative writing.  Others provide a link to a blog.  Each writing sample I read thoroughly, and I learn from them and about them.

Below is one of my favorites from an intern this summer. This was a kind, good-hearted person who is already making a difference in her college. It’s heartfelt, true, real; encouraging. She believes everyone’s story is important. So let’s read her profound words below, and cherish what she has to offer. I think she’s courageous.    

I am an average women, Caucasian, blue eyes, blond hair, and of average height and weight. This is not the story simply where the story is contained. From the beginning my pen has been scratching at these never ending pages. Pages that have been stained with love, divorce, abuse, laughter, depression, anger, and kindness. 

My chapters have written of a fearless single mother who would do anything for her children, an estranged brother who over the years became a best friend, and a father who never knew how to be around. Some characters will stay through the end where others have made only guest appearances. The perfection of life is that our stories are not the same. 

Our skin, hair, or eyes may be similar. Some of my own words may have been written in your pages but it will never be the same entire novel, never the same chapters. I believe that this is what makes life, I believe that perspective and point of view matter. In life we must be comfortable in our own story so that we may accept others’ stories as real and true to them. 

My beliefs are my beliefs they may be similar to yours but they may not be. We were made for our own story not someone else’s. We were made to tell of our own heart, put into our lives and the lives of others for reasons we may never realize until we skim those words again. 

My book has been bruised and beaten sometimes put on pedestal, moved from place to place… Some have applauded it while others walked away from it.   My story would be nothing without the others who have taken the pen for a while, some of the words have been hateful and degrading while others spoke encouragement and love. 

In both moments I learned who I wanted to be and how I wanted to be with others. I learned who and what I wanted to fight for, I learned it was your story that was what I wanted most of all. I wanted your story to stand up and teach people about their own lives so even when it has faded with time it will never be gone for you inspired people to write their own. You made mistakes and you claimed them, you fell down but you always stood back up. Maybe yours has been a song, a poem, a short novel but realize that you have never stopped writing. 

Every moment inked into life, it is your story I believe in, it is your story that matters. 

How to Love your Summer Internship

By Morgan DeLuce

Two years ago, I spent my summer as an intern at UniversalGiving. I’ve now been on staff for over a year and recently came across a blog post I wrote reflecting on my internship experience in 2014. The importance of positive attitude and taking initiative are lessons that have helped me find success in my current role. I hope this can provide a few pointers on how to make the most of your job or internship!

Interns from UniversalGiving got together one night for a baseball game. We had a blast hanging out and cheering on the Giants!

This past summer, I had the privilege of interning with UniversalGiving™ in San Francisco. UniversalGiving is a website that allows users to find donation and volunteer opportunities all over the world. All of our non-profit partners are vetted using an extensive Quality Model process that fosters trust between donor/volunteer and NGO. The organization is an inspirational place to work; I learned how service can create a global community and– more than anything– I learned how to learn.

If we’re being honest, we all know that summer internships can be a bit dull. Most interns get stuck doing the grunt work. Add to that the fact that many internships are unpaid and it sounds like a pretty unfulfilling experience. Granted, I have been lucky enough to work for an organization whose mission I truly believe in, but there were other lessons I learned throughout my summer that helped me maximize my time at UniversalGiving. So how can you make the most out of your summer internship?

  1. Learn to create your own projects. Supervisors don’t always have the time to tell you what you should be working on every second of the day. I’ve found that everyone in the office appreciates it when an intern recognizes something that could be improved and takes the initiative to find a solution. Be observant and don’t be afraid to get creative!
  2. Make friends with other interns and coworkers! Having fun in the office is imperative to enjoying your summer. You are surrounded by smart, interesting people—get to know them! Once I reached out to the other people in my office, my experience did a complete 180°. I love the people I work with and look forward to going to work each morning knowing that I will have the opportunity to collaborate with so many creative and inspiring minds. They’ve become my friends—not just my coworkers.
  3. Remember the Big Picture. Your contributions can add up in a huge way. If you are excited about the work that your company or organization is doing, remember that you are contributing to that larger goal. For instance, I was tasked with rewriting the Frequently Asked Questions on our website, which may seem like a minor project, but I was really excited about it! Thousands of people would have their questions answered depending on what I wrote. This had the potential to significantly boost ratings on our website and even create new partnerships between UniversalGiving and other non-profits. There is no project too small.

My hope is that this blog post will help you figure out what your role will be at your internship—will you sit back and glide through the summer or will you take charge and create your own opportunities? As cliché as it sounds, it’s true that what you put into this experience is what you’ll get out of it.