Grameen Foundation

The Foundation was founded in 1997 to facilitate the expansion of banks modeled after the Grameen Bank beyond the borders of Bangladesh and increase the access of poor people to microfinance by millions worldwide. Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank

Mission Statement:

Grameen Foundation’s mission is to empower the world’s poorest people to lift themselves out of poverty with dignity through access to financial services and to information.

With tiny loans, financial services and technology, we help the poor, mostly women, start self-sustaining businesses to escape poverty. Founded in 1997 by a group of friends who were inspired by the work of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, our global network of microfinance partners reaches over 3.6 million families in 25 countries.

Our team is guided by our values and our Grameen heritage, and our work is made possible by supporters who share our passion and commitment for defeating poverty through microfinance. We invite you to learn more about our work through our annual reports.

  • Our People – The cadre of staff, board members and volunteers that help to nurture new ideas, innovations, and strategic thinking for fighting poverty.
  • Our Supporters – Individuals and organizations that share our passion and commitment for defeating global poverty through microfinance.
  • Annual Reports – They detail how we operate and where we work and spotlight the many people around the world we serve.
  • Our Grameen Heritage – The inspiration for the work we do.
  • Values – A compass that guides our decisions and programs
  • Awards and Recognition – External recognition of our work.
  • Partnerships – Strategic alliances that help to increase our impact.

Report to Our Stakeholders:

Each year Grameen Foundation releases an annual report. This is part of our bond with our partners, donors, other stakeholders and the microfinance community. You will find a summary of our audited financial statements accompanied by information on our accomplishments for the year. As strong advocates of transparency and accountability, we are pleased to invite you to learn more about our operations through our annual reports.

Financial Highlights:

We have changed the financial reporting period for the Foundation to a fiscal year which begins April 1 and concludes March 31. For this reason, our audit covers a 15 month period ending March 31, 2007. Our new fiscal year runs from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008. This change reflects our naturally occurring revenue cycle and will improve our annual planning process.

Grameen Foundation’s funding comes primarily from individuals and foundations and is efficiently procured with the use of less than 6 cents per dollar for fundraising. Over the past 15 months $9 million in program services from Grameen helped our partners serve families in need. We made an additional $34.3 million available to our partner MFIs through loans, Growth Guarantee Program and other credit facilities.

Pledges to the Growth Guarantee Program are retained by the guarantors even as they are put to work leveraging multiples of the value of the guarantees themselves for the benefit of our grassroots partners. For this reason, a standard accounting treatment does not allow us to include the guarantees deployed or the resources they leverage in our “programmatic activity” even though they are one of our highest impact programs.

As a result, our overhead rate looks misleadingly high (though still comparable to our peers and in the range considered appropriate for non-profit institutions). If one considers the value of the guarantees alone, and includes this in our programmatic activity, our overhead rate would be 14.54%. If one adds not the cash value of the guarantees but the amount leveraged, our overhead rate drops further to 8.08%.

The CPA firm of GELMAN, ROSENBERG & FREEDMAN has audited the financial records and statements of Grameen Foundation for the period that ended March 31, 2007 and expressed their unqualified opinion thereon.

 Grameen Foundation