Schwab Charitable announced today that it's launching a
program that enables donors to help guarantee microfinance loans to the
world's poorest entrepreneurs. The announcement came on a day when more
than 3,500 advisors and others are attending Schwab's Impact 2008
conference here in Atlanta.
Schwab Charitable's microfinance
guarantee program will allow donors to set aside a portion of their
charitable gift accounts to guarantee microfinance loans to poor
entrepreneurs to start, maintain or expand small businesses. The new
program is designed to allow donors to maximize their charitable impact
by putting donated dollars to use as a microfinance guarantee while
they are still held in their charitable gift accounts and invested for
growth and future granting.
The program will be
launched in phases in response to interest. The first phase will begin
with an estimated $20 million to $30 million in guarantees and could
help make possible well over 100,000 microloans. The program is being
launched in collaboration with Grameen Foundation, a leading
microfinance network, and as it grows will evolve to include Developing
World Markets, a leading lender to microfinance institutions.
Charitable says it expects the program to increase the availability and
reduce the costs of microfinance loans in more than 25 developing
The Schwab Charitable
microfinance guarantee program is optional and available only to Schwab
Charitable donors. Donors who agree to participate will recommend that
up to 10% of their charitable gift accounts be set aside for a period
of 24 months to 36 months to help guarantee microfinance loans. Any
funds used to guarantee microloans will stay in their accounts, will
continue to be invested for the entire period and will be applied to
the guarantee only if the microfinance program has losses in excess of
reserves. In addition, Schwab Charitable will report back to
participating donors on the social and economic impact that these
microfinance loans provide to their various recipients.
"They have secured a tax deduction by making a gift
to a donor-advised fund and now they can double their charitable impact
by putting the funds to use once as a microfinance guarantee and then a
second time as a grant to a completely different cause, said Kim
Wright-Violich, president of Schwab Charitable.."
Schwab Charitable has more than $2 billion in assets and $350 million in annual grants.
For more information about Schwab Charitable or the Schwab Charitable microfinance program, visit www.schwabcharitable.org