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12 Reviews
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April 30, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

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April 30, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

A number of years ago I did extensive research on the impact various approaches have to cyclical poverty and global population growth, both of which I consider to be root cause factors in many of our challenges. Empowering small primarily women based businesses in a disciplined approach to business is perhaps the single most efective way of impacting things. FINCA's structure makes it very difficult to compare to other microlenders. While FINCA was once in a class all by itself, I cannot fault those who choose Accion instead. I still prefer FINCA because their approach not only fuels individual entrepreneurs, it also sets up what are in effect micro business management schools in the form of its local micro banks. Also, for those that are troubled by FINCA's overhead expense numbers, these are distorted much in the same way Accion's are. Both organization have umbrella organizations, and then local arms that are structured as separate entities. So for both, the overhead percentage of the umbrealla is grossly distorted upward. If you look at them on a consolidated basis, both are running around 95% +/- 1% of their funds going to their charitable purpose. IRS form 990 does not reflect this. So FINCA will continue to get my very strong support. I only wish I could give them more.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I guess I would like to see something done to make them more visible in the search results returned by Google and other search engines, espeically when keying in such obvious search strings as "micro lenders rated." FINCA is quite dramatically better than its visiblity would suggest.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

November 4, 2013
6 people found this review helpful

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November 4, 2013
6 people found this review helpful

I have read the reviews and I too do not want to donate to a charity where the CEO and board members receive way too high compensation.

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How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

November 9, 2012
14 people found this review helpful

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November 9, 2012
14 people found this review helpful

93% of donations goes directly to clients, providing micro-loans, primarily to women. Plenty has been written recently about unscrupulous microfinance organizations who tempt people to overextend themselves and then squeeze them dry. FINCA's rate for in-arrears more than 30 days is a very conservative less than 1.5%, of which less than 1% is eventually written off. In addition to the individual loans, FINCA's model is to build village banking organizations wherever they lend, with more and more of the lending done by locals over time.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 13, 2012
15 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
April 13, 2012
15 people found this review helpful

Like others on this review, I agree that the administrative costs, particularly for the director, have become excessive. I'd been giving for the last three years, but will refrain from giving more until they get these costs under control. Also, why pay board members?

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

January 25, 2012
10 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
January 25, 2012
10 people found this review helpful

I haven't donated to FINCA since I saw a financial statement several years ago. FINCA's administration appears to be quite fat. The admin expenses are high, the Executive Director's salary is very large, and at least one board member (founder J. Hatch) is paid a very large salary for part time work. I'd prefer to have my donations more efficiently leveraged in a leaner organization. Now that micro-finance is an established development technique there a number of more efficient alternatives.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

January 11, 2012
14 people found this review helpful

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January 11, 2012
14 people found this review helpful

I suggest that a bit closer assessment of their historical record reveals that it is not so much an “inordinate increase in administrative costs”, but that, after a surge in revenues – from the mid-$30Ms in ’02 –’03 to more than double in ’05 – ’07 (+$77M in 2007), revenues dropped abruptly in 2008 and ’09 (last year shown.) It would not be that much of a surprise if they had in the interim accordingly ramped up operations. It is presumptuous to assume that “administrative expenses” are all ‘office paper- pushing”. Note that they do not have any “payments to affiliates”; I.e. They develop and expand their own in-country core of on-the-ground program managers in the countries they serve, and would understandably be reluctant to strip down their organization too far-- too fast. In fact, their program outlays shows a smoother curve then their revenues; i.e. they did not immediately spend everything as received. With the result that the admin. expenses, as a percentage of program expenses has stayed relatively stable: 13% in 2003, 18% in 2002 vs. 19% in 2009 and 13% in 2008. Given the whipsawing this charitiy (and others) have received on the revenue side of things, it is amazing that they are maintaining business as well as they are.
I would ask you not to abandon these folks now. Keep an eye on the trends but don’t assume that they have abandoned their principles and fiscal discipline when they are having to navigate through this difficult stretch.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

December 30, 2011
6 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
December 30, 2011
6 people found this review helpful

I agree with earlier comments regarding the inordinate increase in administrative costs in what used to be a very efficient program. While I totally agree with their goals, I have a problem with internal costs. There are other charities that perform similar work that are far more efficient.

I have been a contributor for about 10 years and relied on past performance to decide on donations. Then, recently, oh, the spam! I started receiving an e-mail a day! No one ever asked me if I wanted to be on FINCA's mailing list. Then I checked their website, and it is all about donations and how I can benefit from tax deductions, etc. not what good my contribution is doing. Their whole focus seems to have changed. I have decided to donate elsewhere.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

N/A except news coverage

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Cut admin costs significantly. Never, ever send unsolicited e-mail, it just makes people angry.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

I agree totally with the concept of helping the poor in developing countries succeed on their own through their own businesses, and with accomplishing this through loans, and the very high repayment rate. It is far better over the long term than giving out money, etc. although after checking their website thoroughly, I am not sure of their overall program, there seem to be involved in a lot of things other than microfinance.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

Did not in 2011. Normally do all my charitable donations at the end of the year.

What would you tell others about this organization?

Great plan, great help to those in need by helping them help themselves, but takes way too much of my donation for administration. find a similar charity with lower overhead.

November 17, 2011

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November 17, 2011

I LOVE FINCA and all the great work they do! It really creates positive impact on a global level. What I like most is the fact that they really work towards longterm goals. They are not a simple charity, they give a HAND UP out of poverty and thus educating people how to manage the little they have. Their Village Banking model is something really amazing! Way to go FINCA!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing some of their clients in the branches throughout the world, and seeing their pure appreciation of what FINCA does for them.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

go to even more countries that need their help.

September 22, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
September 22, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

I am disappointed to see that administrative costs have jumped substantially, which has directly impacted the % going to programs. I fear that this once excellent and inspired program is now lapsing into greed of administrators, with a loss of vision of what this charity was all about: helping those less fortunate, rather than those most fortunate. Although I already partially donated my annual gift (before reviewing here), I will have to seriously reconsider whether to donate the balance of my customary donation this year. I'm sorry to have to say that. My ratings of the charity have diminished accordingly.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

only from the good feelings of giving.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Significantly reduce administrative overhead, which has skyrocketed, and put the money back into programs!

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unsure

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Administrative costs seem to be skimming off the top and are deleteriously impacting funds going to programs, so, although I gave a portion of my annual gift (based on the overall program design and concept), I may not fund the balance.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

Part of annual contribution.

What would you tell others about this organization?

Watch out! Much more of the funds are now going to lining the pockets of administrators. Be sure to evaluate through charity navigator before sending money.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 3, 2011

As an Alumni to the Junior Chamber of Commerce and a former Rotarian I have developed a knowledgeable understanding of the importance of Capitalistic application and service above self. As a Small Business Owner, I think it is wonderful to be able to help women in another country realize their dreams for their own business.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The acknowledgement of helping women to become self sufficient.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can not critique this organization, but, I think it was a wise business decision to use Charity Navigator and Paypal as means to have me donate with ease.

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