First of its Kind Program Enabling Schwab Charitable Donors to Support the World's Neediest Entrepreneurs by Guaranteeing Microfinance Loans
Public Company Information:
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Schwab Charitable, one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing national donor-advised fund organizations, today announced results for the inaugural year of its innovative Double Give Microfinance Guarantee Program.
According to the latest Microfinance Guarantee Quarterly Report, Schwab Charitable Donors have signed Program Participation Agreements totaling $10,000,000 in guarantees from their charitable gift funds.1 Since micro-loans are continually repaid by individual borrowers and “recycled” back to other borrowers, Schwab Charitable expects the $10,000,000 total commitment to result in more than 300,000 micro-loans over the next five years.
“In just the first year alone, we are helping tens of thousands of struggling entrepreneurs begin to work their way out of poverty,” said Kim Wright-Violich, President of Schwab Charitable. She will be discussing the program and the leverage that public-private partnerships have to reach millions at this week’s Microfinance USA 2010 conference, May 20th-21st in San Francisco.
The Schwab Charitable Double Give Program, the first of its kind among donor-advised fund organizations, allows donors to recommend that up to ten percent of their Charitable Gift Account balance be used to help guarantee microfinance loans in the developing world while donated assets continue to be invested for potential growth and future granting. The guarantees are managed by Grameen Foundation.
As of March 31, Grameen Foundation had closed guarantee transactions based on Schwab Charitable-backed commitments to benefit an estimated 116,468 borrowers in Egypt, Indonesia, and the Philippines. “We know that microfinance can have a transformative effect in many regions of the world,” said Alex Counts, President of Grameen Foundation. “A $200 loan can literally change someone’s life, providing entrepreneurs with the small amounts of capital they need to build businesses, pulling their families up by the bootstraps, and breaking the cycle of poverty.”
The Schwab Charitable Microfinance Guarantee Program is one of a series of innovations from Schwab Charitable. Schwab Charitable made its program accessible to a broader group of donors by lowering the minimum initial contribution to $5,000 and the minimum grant size to $100. In addition, Schwab Charitable was the first to enable high net worth donors to nominate an independent investment advisor to manage their donated funds. More recently, Schwab Charitable introduced its customized grant letterhead to enable its donor to better personalize their philanthropy.
“We’re always looking for ways to help our donors maximize their impact, and the Double Give Program is a great way to have more impact with assets held in charitable gift funds,” said Ms. Wright-Violich. “Microfinance has a strong and successful track record and it’s proving to be sustainable as it helps people move toward self-sufficiency.”
The Schwab Charitable Double Give Program is optional and available only to Schwab Charitable donors. Any funds set aside to help guarantee microfinance loans continue to be invested, and are only used if the microfinance program has losses in excess of reserves. Schwab Charitable reports back to participating donors on the social and economic impact that these microfinance loans provide to their various recipients.
About Schwab Charitable
Created as a national donor-advised fund with a mission to increase charitable giving nationwide, Schwab Charitable has raised over $4 billion and has facilitated more than $1.8 billion grants to charity since inception. Schwab Charitable is the tenth largest fundraising charity in the United States and the largest in the State of California. For more information about Schwab Charitable or the Schwab Charitable Double Give Program, visit www.schwabcharitable.org.
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world’s poorest people access financial services and technology solutions by providing financing, technology support and management strategies to the local organizations that serve them. It also spearheads technology initiatives that create new microbusiness opportunities for the poor, provide telecommunications access for the world's rural poor, and improve their access to health and agriculture information and other services. For more information, visit www.grameenfoundation.org.
Schwab Charitable and Grameen Foundation are non-affiliated organizations.
Schwab Charitable is the name used for the combined programs and services of Schwab Charitable Fund, an independent nonprofit organization, and Schwab Charitable Trust Services, a limited liability company owned by Schwab Charitable Fund. The Fund has entered into service agreements with certain affiliates of The Charles Schwab Corporation.
1 Because of the time it takes for local microfinance institutions—many of which are in remote areas—to report, quarterly updates usually follow period’s end by two to three months.
Communications Strategy Group
Morrison Shafroth, 720-470-3653