As we go into the 2009 holiday giving season, I am highlighting and funding four organizations that I believe are well aligned with my career mission to “Improve the lives of underserved populations through sustainable distribution of products and services related to 1) health, 2) education and training, 3) financial services, 4) food, clothing, and shelter.”
Health: Living Goods
Education and Training: Room to Read
Financial Services: Unitus
Food, Clothing, and Shelter: One Acre Fund
I have funded Room to Read and Unitus in the past, and I continue to be impressed with both organizations’ ability to scale their programs to reach more people in the developing world. Living Goods and One Acre Fund are both startups whom I have not funded previously, but I’m impressed with their management teams, strategies, early results, and their commitment to financial sustainability within three to five years.
Below is a brief description of each organization listed above. Italics denote that the content was pulled verbatim from the organization’s web site:
Living Goods operates Avon-like networks of door-to-door Health Promoters who make a modest income selling essential health products at prices affordable to the poor. The model combines the latest and best practices from the fields of micro finance and public health to create a truly sustainable system for improving access to basic health products and defeating the diseases of poverty. Living Goods is also a vital force of economic development, improving livelihoods by providing rural women a reliable source of income as Health Promoters, by keeping wage earners healthy and productive, and by averting costly medical treatments through prevention. Living Goods has a goal to become financially self-sufficient within five years.
We partner with local communities throughout the developing world to provide quality educational opportunities by establishing libraries, creating local language children's literature, constructing schools, and providing education to girls. We seek to intervene early in the lives of children in the belief that education empowers people to improve socioeconomic conditions for their families, communities, countries and future generations. Through the opportunities that only education can provide, we strive to break the cycle of poverty, one child at a time. Since 2000, Room to Read has touched the lives of 3.1 million children by building 832 schools, establishing 7526 libraries, publishing 334 children’s books, and providing scholarships to 8786 girls who otherwise would be unable to attend primary and secondary school.
Unitus, an international nonprofit organization, fights global poverty by accelerating the growth of microfinance—small loans and other financial tools for self-empowerment—where it is needed most. Unitus works with 23 microfinance partners in
Our mission is to empower chronically hungry farm families in
Congratulations to the 2009 Riches For Good Award winners!