August 5, 2010 – Grameen Foundation today announced it has received a $100,000 grant from the Citi Foundation to expand its global efforts to strengthen the human capital management practices at microfinance institutions (MFIs). The initiative helps MFIs address challenges with attracting, retaining, and developing the dedicated, talented staff they need to achieve their mission and attain more sustainable growth. The foundation also received an additional $25,000 to support its broader strategic initiatives.
Over the past few years, human capital issues have become one of the more pressing concerns in the microfinance industry. Globally, microfinance institutions are growing at increasingly rapid rates to keep pace with the demand for their services, with MFIs in some countries hiring as many as 1,000 new loan officers annually. Additionally, recent industry surveys have consistently ranked management quality, staffing gaps and other human capital challenges as major risks.
“The Citi Foundation has been one of our strongest supporters for more than a decade and we are pleased to continue this vital partnership with their support for our Human Capital Center,” said Alex Counts, President and CEO of Grameen Foundation. “Their participation will be critical in addressing microfinance institutions’ need for strong, strategic talent management and leadership development. Forward-looking human capital practices are extremely important tools in enabling microfinance institutions to expand and improve their services to growing numbers of the world’s low income segmentsest people.”
The most recent grant of $125,000 brings Citi Foundation’s 13-year support of Grameen Foundation to more than $3.3 million. Citi previously provided the initial funding for establishing the Human Capital Center, and with this funding is now its largest supporter. Additionally, several Citi staff have volunteered their expertise on projects designed to develop human capital key performance indicators and stronger recruitment and selection practices.
“At the Citi Foundation, we see philanthropy as more than simply writing checks,” said Pam Flaherty, President and CEO of the Citi Foundation. “Our relationship with Grameen Foundation is a vital component of our commitment to supporting the growth and development of the microfinance sector through funding, local partnerships, and employee engagement.”
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world’s low income segmentsest 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 low income segments, provide telecommunications access for the world’s rural low income segments, 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 Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation is committed to the economic empowerment of individuals and families, particularly those in need, in the communities where we work so that they can improve their standard of living. Globally, the Citi Foundation targets its strategic giving to priority focus areas: Microfinance and Microenterprise, Small and Growing Businesses, College and Careers, and Financial Capability and Asset Building. The Citi Foundation works with its partners in Microfinance and Microenterprise and Small and Growing Businesses to support environmental programs and innovations. Additional information can be found at www.citifoundation.com.