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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Wisconsin Microfinance (WMF) has an excellent system setup for providing microfinancing loans that requires little overhead, without sacrificing oversight, and has proved to be effective in helping climate disaster-stricken communities recover with dignity.
After Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, I was working with two other Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to identify ways to help communities recover. We learned about WMF, researched their business model, and after meeting with the Board President and Executive Director, decided to work together rather than try to create our own non-profit structure or do fund-raising that would donate to a large humanitarian aid organization. This has been a good decision.
The oversight of the Board President (also the UW-Madison Business School Professor who helped form the program with students after the 2010 Haiti earthquake) is a key component. His insistence on good record-keeping from the Haitian and Philippine recipients means that we know that our funds for microfinance loans will not be diverted.
Meanwhile, the solid work of the Executive Director (a UW-Madison student) has meant that details of funds management, website development, and outreach are being handled.
Their cooperation (focused on Haiti fundraising and overall program resiliency) with our subgroup (focused on Philippines fundraising) has helped families in the more remote areas of these countries receive funds to rebuild their small businesses.