Grameen Foundation Expanding Volunteer Program for Microfinance and Technology Initiatives
J.P. Morgan Supports Bankers without Borders® with a Three-Year, $3 Million Grant
February 4, 2010 - Grameen Foundation today announced it is expanding its Bankers without Borders® (BwB) initiative, which taps senior working professionals for short-term, field-based or remote skills-based projects supporting microfinance institutions (MFIs) and technology-for-development initiatives. The program will be supported by a three-year, $3 million grant from JPMorgan Chase Foundation, an inaugural sponsor of the program in 2008.
Since the program’s launch, approximately 3,000 professionals from around the world have registered with BwB, and many have supported high priority needs of MFIs or networks on projects in areas such as: portfolio risk management, human capital development, social performance management, and information and communication technology innovations. Volunteers have contributed more than $2.3 million of in-kind service to Grameen Foundation and MFIs in nine countries, including Haiti, China, India, Ghana and Tunisia.
Grameen Foundation currently has over 50 active BwB projects for which it is recruiting or to which volunteers are currently assigned. J.P. Morgan funding will enable the program to expand globally, help build the capacity of MFIs, and advance broader private sector support for volunteerism to improve the lives and livelihoods of the poor.
“Bankers without Borders’ volunteers are helping to give poor people greater access to financial services and information technology by helping microfinance organizations and technology-for-development initiatives improve their operations, develop new products, and reach more clients,” said Alex Counts, president and CEO of Grameen Foundation. “J. P. Morgan continues to be a strong ally in helping us strengthen the vital role that volunteers play in the fight against poverty.”
Today, many microfinance networks rely on volunteers, but often on an ad hoc basis. Bankers without Borders® offers an effective and skills-based volunteer engagement framework. Grameen Foundation is leading discussions with corporations, networks and MFIs to offer BwB as a solution for recruiting specialized expertise and support.
"We are very proud to be Grameen Foundation's inaugural sponsor for Bankers without Borders," said Jes Staley, CEO of J.P. Morgan's Investment Bank. "The way to break the cycle of poverty is to enable people to build a livelihood for themselves. Extending credit and teaching skills are two essential components of that and this program helps drive both."
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world’s poorest people access financial services and technology solutions by providing financing, technology support and management strategies to the local organizations that serve them. It also spearheads technology initiatives that create new microbusiness opportunities for the poor, provide telecommunications access for the world's rural poor, and improve their access to health and agriculture information and other services. Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C., Seattle, Washington, Hong Kong, Ghana and the Philippines. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, is a founding member of its board of directors, and now serves as director emeritus. For more information, please visit www.grameenfoundation.org.
About J. P. Morgan
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.