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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Wisconsin Microfinance

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, Financial Counseling, Food, Human Services, International, International Economic Development, Job Training, Microfinance

Mission: We’re a non-profit organization raising money that is used for small loans in Haiti and the Philippines. These small loans (microloans) help disempowered entrepreneurs gain a small amount of control over their financial future.

Results: 1000+ loans made in Haitib, 99+% repaid on time, 1000 applicants in Haiti on a waiting list, expanded program to the Philippines in 2014, 100% repayment on Philippines loans

Target demographics: Individuals sustainably lift themselves out of poverty

Direct beneficiaries per year: 250 Haitians and 200 Filipinos

Geographic areas served: A small rural community in Haiti and in the Visayas in the Philippines

Programs: microloans to help people take the first step toward financial independence

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is staffed only by dedicated volunteers wholly committed to the cause. They raise seed-money used to make small loans in impoverished areas of Haiti and the Philippines. These loans are made to small (mostly women-owned) businesses, and when repaid, the money is loaned out again to fund new ventures. Loan repayment rates are high so a small investment keeps recirculating to help people. Since it is volunteer-run, fundraising goes almost entirely to help those in need. It is a remarkable organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

Wisconsin Microfinance provides micro lending services to those most in need. By specifically targeting communities with the least access to capital, it provides opportunities to individuals to get on their feet and escape the depths of poverty, without unjust interest rates and practices. Wisconsin Microfinance does micro lending the right way, and to the right people.

Donor

Rating: 5

Love this nonprofit. Run by students and supporting women in Haiti and Philappines with micro loans. Great success. Love seeing the difference they can make in peoples lives.

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization does important work in areas of the world that face significant economic hardship. By providing loans to individuals, Wisconsin Microfinance directly supports people who need financial support and enables them to create a sustainable source of income.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I’ve attended the Wisconsin Microfinance Gala at Harvest on the square in Madison Wi the last two years and it has to be one of the most impactful events I go to. Learning about the individuals and families that this organization directly helps is so unique. The speakers every year have been amazing and the meal and drinks are worth every penny. I haven’t even started on how good this organization truly is. With their loan repayment rate well above 90% there aren’t many organizations that match that. I would recommend attending and giving to this amazing nonprofit to everyone I know.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Microfinance is truly one of the best ways to empower people and help local economies. It has the benefit of helping people create something, rather than just distribute a handout which can actually hurt small economies if it takes away value from the local producers. Wisconsin Microfinance is exceptional in the way it deliberately seeks out communities who have been devastated by natural disaster to provide small loans to help rebuild their businesses and communities. The work that WI Microfinance does is truly needed and life changing!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5


WI Microfinance is an incredible nonprofit. They provide small loans to impoverished people whose countries have been devastated by natural disasters. This work is important, because when a natural disaster hits, the surrounding economies could be severely crippled. Traditional aid doesn't help build economies back up. They just aren't enough. Microlending provides access to capital to those who traditionally don't have access to banks or loans this allows people to work towards what they have lost. It gives people who wouldn't have much of a chance the means to recover after a natural disaster.

Lauren R.5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am so incredibly impressed by this small but mighty non-profit that is providing such a tremendous resource to individuals in Haiti and the Philippines, helping them get on their feet through small loans that make a huge difference.

Alana M.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

WI Microfinance is an incredible nonprofit. They provide small loans to impoverished people whose countries have been devastated by natural disasters. This is such important work, because when something like an earthquake or hurricane hits, the surrounding economies take a huge hit. Traditional aid doesn't help build economies back up, and in fact can have the opposite of effect of suppressing the ability of local farmers and merchants to sell their goods. Microlending - providing access to capital to those who traditionally don't have access to banks or loans - is an incredible and empowering way to help people to help themselves, and rebuild their local economies at the same time.

Tom E.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

WI Microfinance was created to address the challenge to people in the developing world who have had their lives turned upside down because of a natural disaster. We have done great things in both Haiti and the Philippines, with well over 1000 people who have benefited from our loans. The organization is all volunteer run and all of the money you donate goes to new loans. Microfinance uses the power of commerce to help lift people out of poverty and is the only sustainable way to address the evil of poverty.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is unique, simply put. I have found few others anywhere that the same characteristics as Wisconsin Microfinance. First of all, microfinance as a whole is a different sort of charity, as it allows recipients to keep their agency and autonomy, something few others do. Often charities will give people set options or procedures for betterment that are rigid and uninspired, and the more I learned about the organization, the more I got into it. With microfinance, small business owners can keep control of their daily lives, of their checkbooks, and of their own destinies. Wisconsin Microfinance specific, the organization uses a loan pool, which means that once a loan is completed, the money is recirculated to new loanees rather than back to the organization. How cool is that! So, with a 98% repayment rate, one loan becomes two, then four, then so on without any additional funds injected. This organization is truly special.

Donor

Rating: 5

Once again Haiti was devastated by a natural disaster. I love that this organization comes in after aid is distributed to help the average person get back on their feet. Every country should have an organization that is committed to economic development, not just aid.

Tiffanie J.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love that this organization gives people an opportunity to make a BIG impact on someones life with what might otherwise seem like a small donation. A little bit goes a long way to empowering local entrepreneurs in communities devastated by disasters.

Donor

Rating: 5

Just recently attended their first fundraiser with a sibling and my niece. At the table there was another family that had three generations that attended (daughter, mother and grandmother). It was a great event. As an Asian with delectable taste for all types of food, this was a great compilation of cultural and urban flare in not only Filipino food but the unique concoction of cocktails. I loved the one with a slight bite at the end. It was a great family event; I would do it again and so would my niece. But next time, we would invite more family members.

Donor

Rating: 5

I recently attended one of their fundraising events with my brother and daughter. We were impressed of the fact, that the organization is 100% volunteered based and 100% of the donation goes to the micro-loan programs. We liked the fact that the organization partner up with the local country banking institutions as partners to screen the potential candidates. Wisconsin Microfinance really does maximize every penny received. Great JOB!!!

We look forward to receiving and attending more fundraising events with Wisconsin Microfinance.

Donor

Rating: 4

I recently attended a fundraiser event in Milwaukee for this organization. I was impressed by the way they operate and that all money raised goes to help people help themselves. It is the best kind of leverage you can get from your donations. All volunteers. Great cause, geat organization..

Board Member

Rating: 5

Wisconsin Microfinance pursues poverty alleviation through the noblest goals, namely, empowering individuals through self-employment. By providing modest loans for startup and growth capital, microfinance provides an opportunity for people to build their own path. With Wisconsin Microfinance, the communities devastated by disasters but out of sight from larger organizations build a base of self-sufficient businesses. With an all-volunteer administrative staff, Wisconsin Microfinance is able to directly improve lives through even the smallest donations. I cannot imagine a more effective way for a nonprofit to be impactful.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have invested in microfinance efforts with a number of organizations and understand how effective they can be in creating real change. I attended a wonderful event in 2015 in Madison Wisconsin where I learned about Wisconsin Microfinance's work in Haiti, a county that most definitely needs this type of program and one that it likely difficult to work in.

iowa

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an amazing group that all started because of a Haitian student at UW-Madison who wanted to help his country after the horrible earthquake. This is primarily run by students with supervision by an amazing faculty member at UW Madison. This is a great way for the students of Madison to learn the impact $25 can make!

Board Member

Rating: 5

This nonprofit has so many unique and amazing attributes. Even though they distribute small loans to impoverished people, it is set up as a fundraising entity, so that the money can continue to circulate throughout the Haitian community, instead of coming back into the U.S. In addition, other than the board of directors, it is completely run by students and young people in the community, providing an amazing opportunity for them to grow. Finally, last year they threw an AMAZING Haitian gala fundraiser. The food and company were both stellar.