Program Provides Skills-Based Volunteers for Microfinance and Other Pro-Poor Organizations
January 20, 2011 - Grameen Foundation’s Bankers without Borders® initiative today announced the second round of funding for its Alliance Program which is designed to expand skills-based volunteerism in the microfinance and technology-for-development sectors. The $150,000 in seed capital will support microfinance associations and other pro-poor organizations interested in bringing Bankers without Borders volunteers to their regions. The program is open to applicants from Africa, Asia, Latin America/Caribbean and the Middle East, with a special focus on Sub-Saharan Africa in this second round.
Bankers without Borders is one of the first initiatives to strategically use skill-based volunteerism as a vital resource in the microfinance and technology-for-development sectors. Since its launch two years ago, it has already managed more than 150 pro-bono projects and built a volunteer corps of more than 5,700 highly-skilled active and retired business professionals from diverse fields. Collectively, more than 440 volunteers have contributed more than 50,000 hours of donated service worth an estimated U.S. $4 million. J.P. Morgan is the presenting sponsor.
The Alliance Program aims to establish a global network of local organizations that will help identify and place skilled volunteers with the organizations that can benefit most from their expertise. The first round of competition focused on Asia and Latin America with Promuc (Peru), Contactar (Colombia) and Access Development Services (India) being selected as the inaugural Alliance members.
“The response to our first round of selection for Alliance Program members demonstrated that microfinance and other pro-poor organizations are clearly interested in and have a great need for the services skills-based volunteerism can provide,” said Shannon Maynard, director of Bankers without Borders. “Our goal is to help such organizations build these high-value, pro-bono ‘skill-anthropists’ into their business planning and execution and overcome many of the strategic and operational challenges they face.”
The vetting is done through a competitive process and the selected organizations will receive an initial investment of up to $30,000, along with operational support from Bankers without Borders. This will enable them to build their capacity to market the program locally; work with beneficiary organizations to identify their critical needs; and structure ways for skilled volunteers to address them through training, technical assistance, and advisory services.
A formal request for proposals can be found at http://www.bankerswithoutborders.com/mfis-networks. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2011 and selected organizations will be announced at the end of March, 2011.
Bankers without Borders will hold three technical assistance conference calls for organizations interested in applying to join the Alliance program:
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
8:00 a.m. -9:00 a.m. U.S. EST
Thursday, February 03, 2011
2:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m. U.S. EST
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. U.S. EST
Conference Call in Number: 1-404-920-6650
Participant code: 21285456#
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world’s poorest people lift themselves out of poverty by providing access to financing, technology solutions and management strategies to the local organizations that serve them. It also develops mobile phone-based solutions that address “information poverty” among the poor by providing tools, information and services in the fields of health, agriculture, financial services and livelihood creation. Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, DC; Seattle, WA; Colombia; Ghana; Hong Kong; the Philippines; and Uganda. Microfinance pioneer Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, is a founding member of its Board of Directors, and now serves as director emeritus. For more information, please visit grameenfoundation.org.