At the age of 12, I witnessed extreme poverty in Mexico. It became unacceptable to me. From this experience grew a lifelong commitment to service through social entrepreneurship. In 1999, I expanded my commitment as well as my understanding of the sector through international service trips and volunteering opportunities with various NGOs. My community service has extended into the international realm. I have worked and volunteered in microfinance in remote villages of India; crisis relief work in the El Salvador earthquake; digital divide training in the Killing Fields of Cambodia; and sustainable farming in the countryside of Guatemala. I now lecture on Social Entrepreneurship, Corporate Social Responsibility; International Strategy and Expansion; Global Philanthropy and Volunteerism; Ethics; Leadership.
Also critically important to my story was going through my mid-life crisis at age 25. I was out of college and had four jobs in four years, essentially taking jobs just to get by. All of my colleagues were on track: MBA, Doctor, Lawyer and I was still trying to pursue a love-of-my-life calling. It took a process of over ten years to reach my true calling. I want others to find their calling as well, and for them to know that it does not happen in an instant. It takes time and dedication, exploration, patience and courage.
Finally my anchor story always includes the inspiration of my family,: They are my #1 priority. Both of my parents, Wally and Alex Hawley, are beacons of light to our community, so very positive. They’ve been married more than 50 years and they are just best friends with a spark. They constantly care, listen, and mentor other people in a natural, informal way. My nephew and nieces provide such joy as well and new perspectives.
Biography (via UniversalGiving)
Pamela Hawley is founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, a social entrepreneurship nonprofit organization whose vision is to “create a world where giving and volunteering is a natural part of everyday life.” UniversalGiving is an award-winning, web-based nonprofit allowing people to give and volunteer with the top performing projects and volunteer opportunities across the world. UniversalGiving Corporate is a customized version for companies, which helps launch corporate global philanthropy and volunteer programs across the world for companies such as Cisco and BEA. UniversalGiving has been featured in CNNMoney.com, New York Times, L.A. Times. Ms. Hawley was a co-founder of VolunteerMatch, a nonprofit which has matched more than two million volunteers with nonprofits. She launched VolunteerMatch Corporate (VMC), a customized version for corporations and their employee volunteer programs. More than 20 Fortune 500 companies became clients under her management (Charles Schwab, Coca-Cola, Dell, Duke Energy, Gap, Levi’s, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, Nike and Verizon) which contributed to 43% of the organization’s sustainability.
Ms. Hawley’s community service began at the age of 12, and has extended into the international realm. She has worked and volunteered in microfinance in remote villages of India; crisis relief work in the El Salvador earthquake; digital divide training in the Killing Fields of Cambodia; and sustainable farming in the countryside of Guatemala. Her studies include a political science degree cum laude at Duke University and scholarship in international/communications masters at The Annenberg School of Communications, USC. She is now a guest lecturer at USC School of Business and has spoken at Business for Social Responsibility, Ethical Corporation, Forbes’ Conference for Women and UCLA and Stanford Business Schools on numerous topics including Corporate Social Responsibility; International Strategy and Expansion; Global Philanthropy and Volunteerism; Social Entrepreneurship; and the Web. Ms. Hawley also loves improv, dancing and her two nephews and niece.