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Grameen Foundation USA

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, Financial Institutions, International, International Development, International Economic Development, Microfinance


To enable the poor, especially the poorest, to create a world without poverty.

Results: Nearly 4 million families have started to break the cycle of poverty through microfinance provided by Grameen Foundation’s partners.

Target demographics: Micro Finance Institutions who serve the poorest people in their communities and countries.

Programs: Microfinance is designed to improve the lives of very poor people.  That goal, often called a “social” bottom line, is an important measure for microfinance programs, but is hard to gauge. Grameen Foundation has long recognized the need to develop a practical and accurate tool to measure social performance, just as there are financial tools to measure financial performance.

Our search for an innovative solution for the microfinance industry lead us to develop the Progress Out Of Poverty Index™ (PPI™) as an easy to use, flexible tool that is easily customized for a particular country.  It is a unique composite of ten easy-to-collect, country-specific, non-financial indicators such as family size, the number of children attending school, the type of housing, and access to drinking water. This country-specific PPI then serves as a baseline from which client movement out of poverty is measured. By using benchmarks and standards of measurement that produce reliable information, managers can build client profiles and track how they change over time. This tool is fast becoming an industry standard.

In addition to tracking a client’s progress, PPIs help microfinance institutions (MFIs):

  • Identify and select new microfinance clients
  • Understand what products and services meet its clients’ needs
  • Evaluate and change its programs to increase their impact

The PPI, when combined with measures of financial condition of the MFI, produces a “double bottom line”. The double bottom line is important to socially responsible investors who support microfinance. It enables investors and funders to see that their investments are being managed well and that people are truly moving out of poverty.

Currently, there are 36 countries with PPIs in four regions:  Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. Grameen Foundation is at work training MFIs and networks worldwide in the use of the PPI, and helping them to determine how to use the valuable data that results.

Grameen Foundation publishes a Progress Out of Poverty Index™ Series of case studies that describes the experiences of MFIs using the PPI in different ways.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

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



Rating: 5

I did an internship with GFUSA about a decade ago, and I've been involved with them helping in small ways and donating most every year since then. I'm continually inspired by the great work they do. They are top tier, and they do a good job of communicating with me about the organization's programs and goals.



Rating: 5

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.



Rating: 4

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.



Rating: 5

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.