Global Giving and International Crowdsourcing

Yesterday, WIS ER was given a 15 hour window in which to rally supporters.

For 15 hours, Global Giving, an organization dedicated to uniting donors and causes, would match 30% of every donation to WIS ER , with bonuses for highest number of individual donors.

For WIS ER , when every $25 means textbooks for a graduating student, and every $10 means healthcare for a year, any and all donations can be crucial. So, a “match day” looked to be a frenzy of passionate and persistent outreach. And it was.

In just 15 hours, WIS ER received over $11,000 in support, the 8th largest amount out of over 3000 eligible organizations. In that same time, WIS ER amassed the single highest number of individual donors, at just over 140.

Passionate outreach met with passionate response.

But while the support received is stunning, it’s the globality of it all that resonated throughout the day. WIS ER received support from:

  • Students at Duke University, Harvard University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Cornell College in Iowa, and Oxford University

  • WIS ER alumni in the United States and in Kenya

  • University professors in multiple states

  • Professionals in the fields of law, engineering, marketing, energy research, and computer science

  • Researchers and non-profit workers in Mongolia, Paraguay, and Sri Lanka.

All of above-mentioned instances of support came within the same three hour window .

Clearly, the notion of “fundraising” has drastically evolved through the years. On a small scale, the days of festivals and bake sales are fading fast. On a large scale, corporate donations may soon be rivaled by the titan that is crowdsourcing. It’s a simple concept: when lots of people unite for one cause, incredible things can happen.

But, for this particular incredible thing to happen to this particular organization is an astonishingly impressive credit to the evidence-based program that is WISER International and the WISER Secondary School for Girls.

Imagine Muhuru Bay ten years ago: a small, rural fishing town on the shores of Lake Victoria. Communication can be difficult, few to no computers are accessible without a long journey to a larger city. Mobile banking through the mpesa program, and even crowdsourced fundraising through the corresponding mchanga are popular, but ineffective in an area where the average income hovers at just over $1 per day.

It is the girls from this community that helped produce the idea for WIS ER . It is these girls that would go on to receive $11,000 for education and health in less than a day entirely by digital means.

It is the girls of Muhuru Bay that are the unifying factor creating an international community that is proving it can rally in the name of opportunity. So when we say that WIS ER benefitted this week from crowdsourcing- we can say it literally: WIS ER contacted a large international crowd from which it was able to source support. But in order for this to be possible, we have to reflect in wonder on the fact that WIS ER means something worth supporting to a large international community.

As we go on, the crowd will only grow, and so will, hopefully, the sources. But it’s important to remember that the crowd grows alongside the WIS ER girls- and that the expansion of one is inextricably linked to the other. This is why we rally- to better ourselves as a community, and to better the opportunities available for the girls of Muhuru Bay.

Because in more ways than one, the girls source the crowd.