I first learned of this organization thru their Bankers Without Borders program. I was impressed they have such a well-run, innovative, effective organization that leverages the SKILLS and TALENTS of volunteers to use them effectively. (Volunteering with them also can give you valuable professional experience and help your own career -- How's that for win-win.)
I learned more about the organization, the very innovative work they were doing (this was 5 or 8 years ago) with cell phone technology to empower very poor people in remote places, and what they offer for microfinance organizations. It's a great organization with wonderful results. I'll continue donating money, and if possible, my time as well.
I'm a Volunteer AND Donor. Too bad this combination isn't an option below.
Review from Guidestar
Living and working in China, we wanted to support an organization that was making a profound difference in the lives of many in rural China. Grameen Foundation brings positive change to millions of rural women in China, and it's an honor to be associated with the Foundation. We had the opportunity to see first hand the positive affect GF has in China. We visited Inner Mongolia, sat with their MicroFinance Institution partner and visited with the women whose lives are changing because of small loans and services provided to help them help themselves. We serve on the volunteer committee in Shanghai and it's a pleasure to work with everyone involved at Grameen. They have the focus, experience and scale to be a significant force in eliminating poverty in the world.
Grameen Foundation (GF) is an organization that fundamentally provides microcredit to rural women in underdeveloped areas/nations so that they can (a) start a business; (b) generate income to feed, nurture and educate their families; and (c) become confident members of society. I have seen this in action by visiting these female loan recipients in Inner Mongolia, China. They use these micro-loans to lift themselves out of poverty. When no other formal banking institution will even acknowledge these rural women, GF and its microfinance institutional partners provide a platform for rural women to access capital and turn their lives around. Every woman in this world should learn more about GF.
I am truly inspired by the work Grameen Foundation does, especially for the China program. I recently participated in an Investment Readiness workshop that Grameen hosted and saw firsthand how the organization is introducing and integrating international business practices/expectations to microfinance institutions in a thoughtful and relevant training format. Working here in China, I was very impressed at how an international organization like Grameen was able to adapt so effectively into the local and oftentimes difficult working environment.