Editor’s Note: Hope Gibbs does a nice job highlighting this, one of the first peer-to-peer philanthropy site. Donorschoose.org is a cool concept, nicely boot-strapped and then scaled.
Editor’s Note: Our foundation only dreams of becoming as effective as Center for Community Self-Help, whose mission is “Creating and protecting ownership and economic opportunity for all.”
Editor’s Note: Our foundation continuously seeks to narrow its focus, keeping a constant diligence to avoid the natural tendency towards “mission creep.” This case study demonstrates the benefit of being single-mindedly devoted to a focused mission by telling the story of Rural Development Institute. The organization has helped 400 million poor farmers around the world take ownership of some 270 million acres of land – all on a modest budget.
Editor’s Note: Our foundation supported development of two functional CDFIs in Cleveland over the last two years. We have also recently been approved to formalize our microenterprise work in our little county of Ashtabula, Ohio, as a CDFI. That’s why I enjoyed this article and hope it could inspire a reader or two to pursue such a worthy cause. My favorite Muhammed Yunis quote is “poor people usually aren’t poor because their stupid – it’s more often because the system doesn’t allow them a chance to retain the product of their labor.”
Editor’s note: Below you’ll find a link to Kiva.org’s 2011 annual report. Started only in 2005, any person (me included) can go onto this site and “connect” to a third world entrepreneur to whom they wish to lend money which, over time, is paid back. All candidates are the very, very poor and the average loan is about $400. Using this method, they lent almost $100 million in ’11, their sixth year in “social business.” Read the whole report if I’ve piqued your interest. They are amazing.
Editor’s note: The video link below takes a look at how StudentMentor.org is helping college students achieve their dreams. StudentMentor.org, a ground-breaking national mentoring organization, has been invited to The White House to meet the President and talk to White House officials about the critical issue of college completion and career readiness.
Editor’s Note: The company referenced in the article below “Investing in the Bottom of the Ladder,” by Jody Heymann, demonstrates that for-profit companies can do better by paying and treating their lowest paid employees better. The two companies I’ve been most directly involved in are primarily impacted by their lowest paid workers (WorkPlace Media and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers). In fact, over 350 of our 400 workers live on the margins. Like Great Little Box, it seems obvious to us that the better your treat your “lowest rung of the ladder” employee, the greater your overall success – financially and societally.
Editor’s Note: As part of foundation’s work to establish a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institute,) we have been researching best practices to (someday) achieve scale beyond Ashtabula County. This paper looks at early practice in the area of distance-based business development services. Through a survey of practitioners and more in-depth conversations with early pioneers of this work, the paper provides lessons for those looking to embark or expand efforts in this area.