Basic overview of World Vision’s strategy and structure and our U.S. GIK operations

This post was written in response to Response to GIK discussion, and 100,000 reasons to love the Super Bowl

The intent of this post is to provide a basic overview of World Vision’s strategy and structure and our U.S. GIK operations. Over the following week we will address the following key issues:

  • The financial costs and benefits of sending GIK overseas.
  • The use of GIK in development programming.
  • Evaluations of projects with direct provision of goods, including GIK.
  • Standards for GIK implementation and accounting, including fair market value calculations
  • The influence of overhead rate calculations on organizational decisions.
  • The use of GIK as grant match.



World Vision’s strategy and structure

In 2006 World Vision went through a process of refining our strategy as a development organization (Principle Level Choices).  This refinement further emphasized our need to focus on addressing the causes of poverty over relieving the symptoms of poverty.  It also reinforced that our marketing efforts and funding must be driven by our identified priorities in the field.

World Vision’s federated model gives our national offices the primary responsibility to make decisions regarding programs and resources.  These offices work with communities to identify opportunities and needs and to develop strategies and design documents.  World Vision U.S.’s role is to support strategies and designs through the strategic acquisition of resources.  All resource acquisition decisions are driven by these strategies; GIK is no exception.

An overview of World Vision’s work with GIK

As part of our journey towards continual improvement of our work, World Vision has developed and implemented GIK standards that dictate minimum requirements for the use of GIK in World Vision. Aside from questions of the efficacy of GIK in supporting development― which will be addressed in a post next week ―World Vision has expectations that part of good aid is operating an effective, efficient supply chain, starting from a needs assessment, planning, procurement, all the way through to implementation, end-use reporting, and monitoring and evaluation. Our monitoring activities thus far show that most of our offices meet the minimum standards, and several exceed them.

World Vision works with corporations to refine the GIK that is offered to World Vision U.S. to match up with the requests from the field. We continue to work to educate corporations on what GIK would be best aligned with our requests from the field, so that we receive only valid donation offers.  When the GIK offer doesn’t align, we do not accept the donations.

We recognize in the past, prior to our standards implementations, that some of our offices received GIK that they did not need or was not appropriate.  We have made many process improvements to correct this to ensure we spend our time, money, and energy to procure and ship only the resources requested.

Now let’s look at some statistics.  Forty-eight percent of GIK by volume donated by U.S. corporations to World Vision is used to help children and families in the U.S.  This includes the provision of supplies for students and teachers in the U.S.’ own underfunded school systems in New York, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and other major cities. Although we will focus exclusively on the use of GIK in overseas projects in future posts, we encourage you to look at the links above for domestic examples of how GIK is distributed and used by U.S. teachers and organizations.

Thirty-three percent is shared with domestic and international NGOs to help further their work because the product better fits their mission and program objectives.  World Vision evaluates partner NGOs using a strict set of criteria based on their mission, their ability to meet or exceed the same standards we follow, and their need for the products within their development strategies

The final nineteen percent is used by World Vision in our own international programs.

World Vision has shipped 22,079 pallets of GIK goods overseas between 2008 and 2010 and 0.3% of this has been NFL related apparel.  World Vision works not only with the NFL but also hundreds of donors across industry sectors in support of our national office needs in health, education, economic development, and basic needs.  The chart below shows the shipment levels by sector.

In posts next week, we will talk about how clothing and shoes assist and support our development programs.

Chart: Breakdown of GIK by sector using number of pallets shipped (2008-2010)

We know this is just the beginning, and we look forward to your comments.

Our next blog post will cover our viewpoint and calculations on the financial costs and benefits of sending GIK overseas.

Read our latest updates to this discussion GIK and development programming, The financial costs and benefits of sending a shirt overseas, and Response to GIK discussion.


    Great. Look forward to the posts over the coming weeks. You may find most interest in the 8,000-odd pallets of 'Basic Needs'(clothing, shoes, etc) so I hope the future posts disambiguate to at least this level of detail.

    Leveltech Consulting Group is proud to work with such a great organization as World Vision and sponsering a child named Gambo in Niger! Thank you! We look forward to more projects together!

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