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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, International, International Economic Development, Microfinance, Small Business Development

Mission:

Trickle Up empowers people living on less than $1.25 a day to take the first steps out of poverty, providing them with resources to build sustainable livelihoods for a better quality of life. In partnership with local agencies, we provide training and seed capital grants to launch or expand a microenterprise and savings support to build assets.

Results: • In 2011, nearly 7,279 new participants started or expanded microenterprises. • For every person who launches a Trickle Up livelihood, an average of 5 people benefit, which means that in 2011 over 40,000 people benefited from increased household income. • 98% of participants are women and 14% of participants are affected by disabilities. • Results from our programs worldwide based on the definitions of success: Definition #1: Less Vulnerable to Shocks and Trends: 86% of participants in Mali increased their income after one year. Definition #2: Livelihood Activities are Diversified, Dignified, Productive and Sustainable: 66% of participants in India diversified their income by expanding into more than one livelihood activity. Definition #3: A Fair and Effective Means to Save and Access Credit: In Guatemala, more than 1/3 of participants took out a loan, with 92% of the loans put towards starting or growing a business. Definition #4: Improved Access to Available Basic Social Services: In the past 18 months, 37% more participants in India are giving birth at health centers rather than at home, reducing maternal & child mortality. Definition #5: A Better Quality of Life: Over the course of three years, 88% of participants in Mali report eating three meals per day. Definition #6: Significant Progress Towards Economic and Social Empowerment: Four times as many Guatemalan women no longer need to ask permission to make purchases.

Programs: Trickle Up currently works in five countries and partners with 58 community-based organizations to implement our programs. We complement our partners' initiatives in the areas of community development, agriculture, women's empowerment, health (especially HIV/AIDS), and serving people with disabilities by providing training and critical capital to start a microenterprise, as well as helping participants form self-sustaining savings groups. Trickle Up participants start a wide range of livelihood activities, including producing and selling agricultural and food products, small animal husbandry, creating and selling crafts, and providing an array of personal care services. Every year, we help more than 10,000 participants start sustainable livelihoods with increased and more stable income, membership in a savings group and training in financial literacy and skills.

Community Stories

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been associated with Trickle Up almost from the beginning in 1979. It is a fabulous organization doing important work among the poorest of the world's poor. It is well managed; almost all the money goes to programs. Every year it grows a bit, as it certainly should. I can't rate it high enough or say too many good things about this wonderful work. Entrepreneurs everywhere should revel in it and give it their attention and financial support. It is a model for creating powerful motivation on the part of the world's poorest people, especially women, to take charge of their lives and their communities with start-up businesses to support families and send kids to school. Those who receive Trickle Up's modest grants (not loans) can truly say: "We did it ourselves!" ----ron nelson, carmel, ca.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as a volunteer with Trickle Up from the early 1980s, when I met the founders, Millie and Glen Leet. And I served on the board in the 90s. It was an amazing organization from the start, with total integrity and a powerful idea that the poorest of the poor should not fall into debt. Hence, the concept of the $50 grant rather than a micro-loan, funding the start of a business of the recipient's own choosing. At one point, Trickle Up was making grants and educating the poorest of the poor in basic business procedures in over 100 countries. Over its 34-year history, and with evolving leadership, Trickle Up has played a key role in helping the ultra poor get their foot on the first rung of the economically upward ladder, helping small groups, predominantly women, help themselves, each other, their families and children to a better and more secure life. Children pursued education while experiencing working in the Trickle Up business. Primitive shelter improved; nutrition got better. Today, Trickle Up continues the traditions of its founders while evolving with the times, focusing its efforts ever more successfully on the evolving realities of ultra poverty, and growing the assets which it annually applies to its mission: giving the ultra poor the opportunity of a lifetime to improve their lives and grow their self-respect. What a priceless gift is Trickle Up!

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Andrew35

Donor

Rating: 5

Trickle Up ROCKS!!!!!! The company I work for, Newton Running, is involved with Trickle Up and has had an incredible experience doing so.

Plan Tea Beverages

Donor

Rating: 5

We have worked with Trickle Up over the last two years and we have complete confidence in the organization. TU satisfies three primary concerns that often arise when examining an NGO's effectiveness: Have they identified the root causes of an issue? Have they developed a sustainable solution to overcome those issues? And finally, do they have a team that can manage the plan and evaluate progress? We have seen this on paper in TU's regular updates and in person from the beneficiaries of their programs. Trickle Up is focused and efficient in empowering the ultra-poor and their work has become model for similar programs. The overall social return of TU's programs has vastly exceeded the financial investments backing the programs. We looking forward to continuing our support of Trickle Up in 2013. Alex & Claire.

Donor

Rating: 5

I became involved with Trickle Up three years ago through a friend. My family and I donate to Trickle Up over other micro-financing/grant organizations because of its commitment to and success at equipping the ultra poor with the knowledge, skills and financial tools (i.e. savings groups and income diversification) needed to weather the inevitable periods of upheaval and scarcity that those in their position face. Through my involvement with the organization I have come to meet a number of its wonderful staff members all of whom exhibit the essential balance of professionalism and passion needed for a non-profit organization to be effective. The organization shows an equal commitment to improving the individual lives of those it works with and to developing ways to work with other non-profit organizations and government agencies so as to maximize its impact on global poverty.

Donor

Rating: 5

Trickle Up is a great organization completely dedicated to helping women, children, families out of extreme poverty. I'm honored to have been able to get to know these folks and to have witnessed their work being done. They are truly making positive differences in the lives of people who are desperately in need.

Ian A.

Donor

Rating: 5

Trickle Up has demonstrated an enduring and high impact system for causing long term change. Impressively they do this on a tight budget!

Donor

Rating: 5

The work that TUp is doing has a profound impact on the lives of women and children in some of the poorist communities around the world. Women have their own money to buy food and clothing for their children, and the children are able to attend school. TUp's approach is an example of true humanitarianism

Donor

Rating: 5

Trickle Up do the most amazing work where it is needed the most. They are leaders in the design and implementation of effective aid programs. I ran the Philadelphia marathon for them and was so proud to support them. In particular I love the passion of the people who run Trickle Up and their lifelong dedication to their work.