Pamela Hawley is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving™, an award-winning nonprofit that helps people give and volunteer with vetted, quality opportunities all over the world. UniversalGiving™ offers a variety of ways to become involved through Projects, Gift Packages, and Volunteer Opportunities. Visitors simply choose a region (such as Africa) and an issue (such as education or the environment) and receive a list of quality ways to give and volunteer. 100% of each donation goes directly to the cause. UniversalGiving™ performs due diligence on all its projects through its unique, trademarked Quality Model™. 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 profiled on CBS and in Fox Business Network, and has also been featured in BusinessWeek, WomenEntrepreneur,, NBC News, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, The Financial Times, and UniversalGiving™ was the 2006 Webby Award honoree. UniversalGiving™ is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, whose vision is to “Create a World Where Giving and Volunteering are a Natural Part of Everyday Life.”™

Ms. Hawley was a co-founder of VolunteerMatch, which has matched more than 4 million volunteers with nonprofits.  During her time there, Ms. Hawley also launched VolunteerMatch Corporate, a customized version for employee volunteer programs. More than 20 Fortune 500 companies became clients, providing 43% of Volunteer Match’s sustainability.

Ms. Hawley’s community service began at the age of 12, and has extended into the international realm. Her global experience includes volunteering in microfinance in remote villages of India; crisis relief work in the 2000 El Salvador earthquake; sustainable farming in Guatemala; digital divide training in Cambodia; and indigenous community preservation in Ecuador. Ms. Hawley has a political science degree cum laudé at Duke University and a Masters on scholarship at the Annenberg School of Communications, USC, in International Communications.

She speaks on a number of topics including global philanthropy and volunteerism, corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship and revenue generation, and leadership at Harvard, Stanford, and USC Business Schools. Ms. Hawley has been awarded the Jefferson Award for Public Service and was accepted into the Colburn S. Wilbur Fellowship Program. Additionally, she was recently selected as a semifinalist in the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Ms. Hawley also loves improv, dancing and her two nephews and niece.

Why I am involved: “At the age of 12, I witnessed extreme poverty in Mexico. 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.”

Contact Pamela at


Improv and Acting
Pamela Hawley is an accomplished actress, improviser, dancer and singer with over 100 performances in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. She is trained by The Groundlings, a graduate of Upright Citizens Brigade, at advanced level Second City Los Angeles, and a BATS improv player. Pamela’s expertise is as a character actor.

Pamela’s focus is on improv: short form, long form and musicals.  Experience includes solo/group singing, voiceovers, sketch, theatre and television. Pamela performed with Opening People’s Mind’s (OPM) winning the award for Best Sketch Comedy in 2009 San Francisco Fringe Fest and praise from LA Weekly. As part of the improv group Fosse Posse (based on choreographer Bob Fosse) she performs 40-minute improvised musicals, winning 9 out of 10 competitive shows. Pamela founded the improv troupe The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Improv, inspired by The Sound of Music.  Pamela is represented by STARS Agency.

Pamela donates a portion of every show’s proceeds to UniversalGiving™ ( a global nonprofit making a strategic difference to end poverty. For more information on Pamela, visit

5 thoughts on “Bio

  1. param

    namaskar Phawley,
    its nice to know you. I am impressed to know about your short background and your real passion to work for the poor community.
    I pray for your better inlife through your contribution.


  2. Peter Jesella

    You seem such a positive person in such a hard world of profits (desire for high profits), advertising, deception, and unemployment, climate change effects. I try to stay positive, but find that smiles, politeness is easy mask to create, but sharing thoughtful, meaningful, nuanced communication a rarity.

    Look forward to hearing you speak tonight about corporate social responsibility and its relationship with the current financial/economic reality our culture has created.

    I believe I spoke to you 5 years ago about my campaign for a volunteer National Youth Service System with enhanced registration/feedback rules, using a internet portal site like volunteermatch. At the time I was saying it would cost 25 million to build the website, and you educated me that with the right motivated people it could be done for 1 million. Will I am still trying and failing, as we create a future that is descending rather then ascending. I hope I can stay positive tonight so we can have a long-term learning relationship. Peter Jesella


    1. Pamela Hawley

      Dear Peter,

      Thank you so much for your gracious message. In this world, it is so important to do our best to stay positive, keep striving forward, and step by step make our way through to progress. Even a little progress each day is something to celebrate!

      Peter, you can’t fail. You, I and everyone else…are on a pathway of learning. Keep learning, growing, striving, and your unique talents will come to light and shine the way.

      Thank you for your comments and I hope to hear from you again.



  3. Dalaya

    Hey Pamela,
    Very interesting work you do.I really want to encourage you to keep on doing what you are doing especially in a world where people always expect something in return whenever they do something.We human beings are given great things though we don’t deserve it and why not pay it forward to those in need.If you ever make your way to Ethiopia please look me up.

    God bless….


    1. Pamela Hawley

      Thank you, Dalaya, for your heartfelt comments…and I certainly hope to continue to express goodness wherever I can! I’d love to hear more about Ethiopia…how are the people there? How does philanthropy work there, and what does that word mean; how does it translate? Please also feel free to share on my blog more about your country; I can’t wait to hear.

      Lovingly, Pamela



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