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Geneva Global


Linking Wealthy Donors with Grassroots Charitable Projects in Developing Countries

Geneva Global (, based in Wayne, Pennsylvania, provides a unique and valuable service. As a philanthropic research and international grantmaking company, Geneva investigates local, grassroots humanitarian initiatives in Third World countries on behalf of wealthy American and European donors.

With over five hundred experts stationed strategically in the hardest places of the world, Geneva Global searches for those charitable projects that have a successful track record of performance, presenting its findings to wealthy individuals and family foundations that seek to give with the assurance that their money will be put to immediate and effective use. Based on a principle called “Performance Philanthropy,” Geneva’s donors are interested in philanthropic giving with an investment mindset. They are interested in giving to those undertakings that are based not only on “need” but also on “proven results.”

It’s my pleasure to generate media coverage for this important professional service.

Here is a partial list of media placements thus far arranged on behalf of Geneva Global’s CEO, Eric Thurman:  Superb article on "Performance Philanthropy" placed by Mike with Senior Editor Arlyn Gajilan, who assigned story to reporter Tara Weiss.  Article published on January 3, 2007.
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Financial Times.  Mike arranged an interview for Eric Thurman with Paul Sullivan, who writes on philanthropy for FT.  Sullivan penned article entitled, "Rapid Relief Where It Counts," published on May 19th.  Concerning Geneva Global, he wrote:

"As more donors look to fund programs in the developing world, particularly around health issues, questions about effectiveness continue to crop up: how can they be sure the money they are sending is being put to the right uses? And how can they measure the impact it is having?

Realizing this uncertainty, Geneva Global started selling reports six years ago that apply securities analysis to overseas non-profits. The Philadelphia consultancy bills its “delta reports” as “buy-side research” on foreign charities.

“These are private placements for philanthropy,” Eric Thurman, chief executive, says of the reports that are tailored for individual donors and often take a couple of months of research and site visits to compile. “Everyone who works with us gets a Delta report and a results report at the end.”

A 12-page report in December 2004 evaluated COE, a Christian volunteer organization that wanted to teach poor Ecuadorians to fight human trafficking. The report said the grant needed to be $45,000 to be effective and then rated three factors reflecting the likelihood of success: its magnitude of impact was “significant”, the second tier of a four-level scale; the risk of success was toward the low end; and its “delta score” was 9.58.

This last figure is the group’s signature statistic. The currency for the score is a child sponsorship, which has a rating of one and is computed as “one life changed in multiple ways for $360 in one year”. This project gave a donor more than nine times that yield.

In a follow-up report in March 2006, COE received an achievement rating of “achieved”, the second-best rating. It also exceeded its revised delta score.

Thurman says 79 per cent of foreign charities met or exceeded their forecasts. “Half of what we look at doesn’t get recommended,” Thurman says, who expects to advise on $30m of donations this year. He stresses that the key is donors coming to them, not charities that want to solicit donations.

“We work much more like an investment bank than a rating agency,” he says. They also charge investment banking-level fees. Their reports cost 10 to 22 per cent of the grant, which Thurman justifies as a way to 'raise expectations'."
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Harvard International Review.  Mike convinced the editors at Harvard International Review to take a by-lined article by Geneva Global's CEO Eric Thurman on Performance Philanthropy.  The article was published in the April 27, 2006 issue.  Mr. Thurman writes on the need for a new approach to philanthropy. “Much can be accomplished with relatively modest sums when giving is invested in results rather than need only. Philanthropists must demand nothing less than real, meaningful and measurable life change for those they seek to help.”

CNN and CNN International.  April, 2006.  Mike placed a story on "Inside Africa" about Eric Thurman's visit to Burundi, Africa, where Mr. Thurman met with the President of Burundi to discuss local charitable projects that Geneva Global had facilitated funding for, and potential new projects.  Prior to airing, Mike arranged for a taped remote interview with Mr. Thurman out of CNN's Washington bureau, by reporter Femi Oke out of Atlanta.  Mike also relayed footage taken in Burundi by Geneva Global.  One of the interesting Geneva Global-funded projects that the story highlighted focused on Mr. Thurman's visit to a community-based initiative funded through Geneva - describing the progress made by the pygmies.  Previously thought to be short in physical stature due to genetics, Mr. Thurman discovered that in fact the pygmies had been suffering from malnutrition for generations.  When their children received proper nourishment, they were found to grow to normal height. 

CNN domestic ran the pygmy story, with actuality by Mr. Thurman, on Wednesday, April 12th and Sunday, April 16th.  CNNI, which runs worldwide, ran a fuller story which included a discussion of Geneva Global's approach to philanthropy, called "Performance Philanthropy," on Saturday, April 15th at 12:30 PM Eastern and 7:30 PM Eastern. To view the CNN story, click on this link:

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The Economist.  Mike arranged an interview for Eric Thurman with The Economists' Matthew Bishop.  Story ran in the philanthropy issue on March 2, 2006.

The story stated:

”[Geneva Global’s] 140 employees work with a network of over 500 voluntary associates in over 100 countries. It mostly concentrates on small projects, which it thinks have a greater impact. ‘In philanthropy, the stuff that will deliver most often gets least,’ says [CEO], Eric Thurman.”

”[Geneva Global] challenges the big charities by finding a small, local group that is doing something well and is ready to scale up its operations. It sends potential donors a monthly catalogue with a choice of evaluated projects, and later provides feedback on what their money has achieved. ‘We want to be known for making a direct connection between the money…and lives changed,’ says Mr. Thurman.”

The Stock Doctors.  Mike arranged interview for Eric Thurman on this nationally syndicated investment radio show on March 29, 2006.  Mr. Thurman stated:

"[Donors are] faced with the choice of ignoring [needs] and being cold-hearted or giving money that feels like it's foolish because nothing changes," says Geneva Global CEO Eric Thurman.  "We're the third choice."

Listen with Windows Media Player

Mike presented the Geneva Global story to an editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, which led to a December 20th story by reporter Adam Fifield entitled, "Giving and Vetting." For the full story, go to: View Full Article

CNBC.  Mike arranged an appearance for Geneva Global's Eric Thurman on CNBC's "High Net Worth" on October 22, 2005.  Topic:  Performance Philanthropy.  Mr. Thurman was interviewed by CNBC's Managing Editor, and host of the show, Tyler Matheson.  To view the segment, go to this url: 

View Full Article

Wrote press release distributed by Business Wire outlining effective charitable giving guidelines as the second major hurricane hits the Gulf coast and leaves parts of Texas and Louisiana seriously damaged.  Entitled, "CEO of Philanthropic Advisory Service Offers 'Six Basic Questions' for Donors to Ask as Hurricane Rita Hurtles Towards Gulf Coast."  Picked up by Yahoo Finance and 

Here’s url: Article

Miami Herald.  Placed OpEd published on Sept. 16, 05 entitled, "Before Giving, Ask Questions."  It outlines six principles donors can apply when considering how to give in the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Read the article [PDF 122KB]

The Roger Arnold Show.  Arranged interview for Eric Thurman with syndicated radio talk show host Roger Arnold on Sept. 4, '05.  Discussion centered on how listeners can give wisely in response to Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Roger Arnold transcript [PDF - 130KB]

Plum Television Network.  Geneva Global interviewed on August 26, 05 about how private citizens can make their giving highly effective.
Download the transcript [PDF - 382KB]

Worth Magazine.  Arranged interview for Eric Thurman with Marilen Cawad, who wrote article entitled, "In The Wake of the Tsunami," published in the July '05 issue.  Article includes substantial mention of Geneva's work.
Read the article [PDF - 109KB]

PBS’s Wall $treet Week with FORTUNE featured a half hour interview with Eric Thurman on April 22, 2005. Topic: Performance Philanthropy.
To view the program, turn to this url: View Full Article

Wrote press release distributed by Business Wire on Eric Thurman’s PBS appearance. Entitled, “CEO & Philanthropic Expert, Appearing on PBS's 'Wall Street Week with Fortune,' Says ''Think About Charity the Way You Think About Investing'' Picked up by many websites including CSRWire and View Full Article

WHYY-TV (PBS in Philadelphia and Delaware), Evening Business Report, interviewed Eric Thurman on December 7, 2005

American Family Radio Network interviewed Eric Thurman on February 25, 2005 on its work it shutting down slave-trading networks in Third World countries.

Time Magazine Europe, in its February 21, 2005 issue, said "...Geneva Global, (is) a group that hooks up wealthy American donors with charities abroad.”

Eric Thurman appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends” on January 1, 2005 to talk about Geneva’s approach to helping tsunami victims.

The Philadelphia Daily News carried a tsunami story on December 30, 2004, saying "Geneva Global... specializes in international grant-making for private donors and foundations... Geneva Global arranges hundreds of grants and donations a year for American donors who want to give directly to local organizations in foreign countries."

Article in Wall Street Journal entitled, “Tis The Season To Be Giving,” December 21, 2004, stated: "... professional service firm that scouts out worthy causes for philanthropists... Geneva Global, Inc., in Wayne, PA., has 500 contacts in 90 countries."

Item in Institutional Investor Magazine, December, 2004, stated: “Geneva Global…resembles a Wall Street research shop, advising donors on specific projects.”

Item in Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2004, stated: "Geneva Global Inc., assesses the effectiveness of overseas charitable projects for its clients - mainly family foundations or wealthy individuals."

Article in Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2004, stated: "Geneva Global... advises philanthropic organizations on how to get the most bang for the buck for the money they contribute to worthy causes. It focuses its scouting efforts mostly on small but effective charities in some of the world's nastiest little corners of poverty. Geneva Global has channeled funds into some 90 countries, to groups fighting child slavery in India or sex trafficking in the Balkans, and claims it can change a life for as little as $25."

Eric Thurman interviewed on Voice of America, May 12, 2004. Narrator said: "Geneva Global raises grants for grassroots organizations - not well known charities."

Forbes Magazine profiled Eric Thurman in its May 10, 2004 issue, in a two-page article entitled, “Contrarian Charity.” Excerpt said: "Geneva Global... advises the rich and their foundations on where to place their philanthropic bets... [Geneva Global] searches for small, successful and unsung programs in the most turbulent backwaters around the world. Geneva Global takes a distinctly capitalist approach to this effort in good works. It looks for 'undervalued' charities in the poorest regions of the world, where a dollar goes an awfully long way, then sends in its own operative to check things out.”

Philadelphia Inquirer ran Op-Ed by Eric Thurman and Art Linkletter on April 9, 2004, entitled, “Hear The Children In The Streets.” (Mike Schwager ghosted that Op-Ed and enlisted the support of Art Linkletter as a co-author).
Here is link to that Op-Ed:

View Full Article