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A hand holding a globe.
Erin Hessler

What does it mean to give global?
We can all agree that giving to charity is a good thing, but it can be overwhelming to decide where and how to give. Local giving is great and it makes sense to think that it would have the best immediate impact and may even effect you or your family. However, “starting at home” does not always make the biggest difference. Our world is more interconnected than ever and giving worldwide uplifts us all. 

Donating time or money to international causes has a vital, far-reaching impact on empowering economic stability, promoting equality and building a better world. In the midst of a challenging year, it is clear that we are all in this together. The global pandemic reminds us that no matter where you’re from, some experiences are universally human.

While we have seen a lot of suffering this year, we have also seen an outpouring of compassion from people wanting to help. Now that we are looking ahead to GivingTuesday and the holiday season, we thought it was important to highlight why your generosity is so important and, especially, how far your generosity can go.

Why give global?
At least 736 million people around the world live on less than $1.90 per day and struggle to access basic needs like health care, education, food and clean water. Giving to international charities ensures a worldwide impact. Even a contribution of $10 per pay period can save and improve the lives of so many. Here are five reasons that we identified for why you should give global and how it will amplify your impact.

  1. Your dollar goes further 
    In the poorest parts of the world, your donation has a much larger value than it would in the U.S. For example, it costs much less to feed a child in a developing country, meaning your gift can give more meals to those in need. To the millions of people surviving on less than $1.90 a day, a donation of only a few dollars can mean a meal that would otherwise be missed, or medicine to prevent an unnecessary death.

    Poverty in developing countries is different from poverty in the U.S. and other developed countries because the access to resources isn’t the same. Of course, poverty is a difficult challenge no matter where you live, but in the poorest developing countries, basic human needs like clean water are not being met. Other resources like medication and access to education aren’t available in the same way, either. One effect of this difference that stands out is child mortality, which is most commonly caused by sicknesses like malaria that have been eradicated in the U.S.

    The combination of essential needs and cost differences make it so your dollar will be more effective when given to the right international charities.
  2. There’s a gap in funding for international causes
    In support for countries and our common interests, the U.S. provides development assistance in the form of foreign aid. However, the U.S. government doesn’t give as much overseas as you might think. Most Americans think that 25% of the federal budget goes to foreign aid, but in fact, foreign aid only makes up less than 1%. Most of the country’s citizens believe the foreign aid budget should be 10%. You can help make up that difference.

    In recent years, only 5% of individually donated dollars from the U.S. went to international causes. That means most of our charitable giving isn’t being used to fight poverty in the parts of the world where the most extreme poverty exists. 
  3. Giving overseas helps at home, too
    If we didn’t already know it, the COVID-19 pandemic proves that we are all globally connected. While there is plenty of evidence showing that foreign aid and international giving benefit the receiving country, we also see advancements for U.S. interests. For example, by supporting allies and promoting peace, we benefit from contributing to national security here at home.

    Lifting the global economy creates new markets, and investing in development helps individuals provide for themselves and their families. Life-changing support empowers people to lift themselves out of poverty and helps them invest in their communities and countries of origin.
  4. International giving is a wise financial choice
    As shown above, we are fortunate to live in a developed country where the world’s most extreme poverty doesn’t exist. In order for that to be the case everywhere, it is imperative to share our fortunes with effective anti-poverty relief efforts. 

    Donating can also be a great asset to your financial strategy. While the charitable tax deduction is not the sole reason you want to donate to charities, it is a nice fringe benefit. Tax rules and regulations can be confusing, but it is possible to make tax-deductible donations from the U.S. to charities working in foreign countries. One of the easiest ways to do it is through an IRS-approved 501(c)3 nonprofit like Global Impact. As an intermediary charity, we ensure that your gift funds the international charity of your choice and is tax deductible. 
  5. Experience matters
    Our Charity Alliance is made up of well-established international charities that have been creating a better world for decades. Their long-term experience paired with their expertise and connections should make you feel confident that your generous gift is going directly to those in need instead of administrative costs. These larger nonprofits have the infrastructure and grants so that when your donation is received, it is used directly for measurable improvements. 

    For example, our charity partner ChildFund International got its start 82 years ago and now benefits 20 million families around the world. ChildFund is just one of our Charity Alliance members that has grown to create millions of global touchpoints that you connect with anytime you give global.

We hope that what you’ve read so far has been inspiring and serves as a reminder of what we have to be grateful for. In our daily lives, we tend to zoom in on what we don’t have, but the reality of extreme poverty quickly puts into perspective how fortunate we are to live in the developed world. 

How can you take action?

  • Give global on Giving Tuesday. Give during Giving Tuesday on Dec. 1 to our COVID-19 Relief Fund. Our charities are making a real difference in the midst of hard times, putting in the work to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its secondary impacts in the world’s most vulnerable places. 
  • Give through your workplace. Support one of our incredible Charity Alliance partners during your employee giving campaign this year. You can find your workplace and learn more about giving at work here
  • Spread the gratitude and give global together. Your family, friends and coworkers may be interested to learn about the far-reaching impact a small international donation could make. Multiply your impact by inviting the people in your life to participate.

Any amount helps
Here are some examples of how your one-time gift or payroll deduction could make a real impact:

  • $25 provides 20 baby chicks that give families a sustainable source of nutrition plus supplemental income from selling extra eggs.
  • $50 supplies a low flow toilet for a family, helping to conserve water.
  • $85 delivers a relief bed to disaster survivors, refugees, expectant mothers and others struggling as a result of poverty.
  • $120 provides 47 mosquito nets to children in need, preventing the risk of contracting malaria.

To explore international cause areas further, check out our interactive infographic.

Erin Hessler

Erin Hessler

Erin Hessler is the Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Global Impact. She is responsible for developing, managing and implementing key marketing and communications materials. She was born in Maryland, raised in Virginia and lives in D.C. – she is a DMV local. When she’s not working, you can find Erin out for a jog, watching baseball, reading a good book or visiting new places. No matter what she does, she does it with a cup of coffee.

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