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New Research Reveals Top Nonprofits in Climate Change and Microfinance


Jasmine Marrow

Over the years, microfinance has become a powerful tool for fighting poverty, and has grown to include savings, insurance, and many more supportive services. According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, as much as the industry has grown in scope and size, there is still a huge need. This is especially true for the 900 million extremely poor people who live in rural areas of developing countries.

The experts reviewed 119 organizations and identified 11 top nonprofits making an impact at the international level. The #1 expert-identified international microfinance nonprofit is BRAC! BRAC’s work integrates financial assistance with important health and social programming. The story of one of their clients, Annet sums their work up perfectly:

Annet was forced to drop out of school in 5th grade because her parents couldn’t afford her school fees. But with the help of BRAC and supporters like you, she is now a successful business woman.

Annet and her parents struggled to survive on their meager income in the Kasakoso village in Uganda. She tried to help out by getting a waitressing job at a local restaurant, which paid about 50 cents a day.

Frustrated with the situation, Annet became interested in energy saving charcoal stoves. “This clay stove consumes very little charcoal compared to the ordinary charcoal stove,” she explains. “With this stove, UGX 500 (25 cents) of charcoal can last for three days of cooking, which goes a long way to save both the trees and money for users.”

Annet joined one of BRAC’s clubs for adolescent girls, where one of our trained mentors provided her with life skills and financial literacy training that helped her build her business. We also gave her an $80 loan to expand her business.

Today, Annet employs four people who help her make more than 200 stoves a week.

“The BRAC adolescent program and loan have developed me financially,” says Annet. “I have become more responsible after gaining business and finance management skills.”

With a safe space, training, and a small loan, BRAC gave Annet the tools she needed to start a successful business that creates jobs and protects the environment.

Learn more at: http://www.brac.net/node/

According to experts, BRAC has an impressive history of growth, as well as a deep impact on the many clients they serve. They excel at replicating their operations, and now exist in 10 Asian and African countries with many branches. They offer integrated financial and non-financial services that benefit clients holistically. Read the entire expert comments related to BRAC’s work here.

BRAC is 1 of 11 top ranked nonprofits. To learn more about each of the organizations, meet the experts, and read the experts’ reviews, please visit: http://www.myphilanthropedia.org/top-nonprofits/international/microfinance/2012.

National Climate Change

The average temperature of the Earth’s surface has increased by about 1.2 to 1.4°F since 1900, and with that has come a host of changes in other aspects of climate such as precipitation and storminess (EPA). Climate change affects people, plants, and animals in a variety of ways, and scientists have observed that some changes are already occurring (EPA).

121 climate change experts reviewed 128 nonprofits and revealed the 18 top organizations making a strong impact at the national level. The #1 expert-identified climate change nonprofit is Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)! NRDC supports the climate change movement though advocacy, stakeholder engagement, research, and more. Read more about the great work NRDC is doing below:

NRDC was central to the national response to the Gulf catastrophe. NRDC was the first organization to urge President Obama to appoint a national commission to study the Gulf disaster; Obama created the panel and appointed NRDC President Frances Beinecke to serve as one of seven commissioners. NRDC Executive Director Peter Lehner wrote the first book on the Gulf oil spill to diagnose why the blowout occurred and what we can learn from it. Our top experts brought decades of collective experience to ensure a well-coordinated and effective response. Whether it was filing suit over the misuse of sonic exploration in the Gulf or working closely with government agencies to strengthen seafood risk assessments and provide real-time information to local communities on potential health effects of the spill or making sure that local voices were heard in nation press by establishing a flagship Gulf Resource center, NRDC led the response from the Mississippi Delta to Capitol Hill.

Learn more at: http://www.nrdc.org/about/annual/

According to experts, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an influential player in the climate change sector. Their excellent track record and ability to bring stakeholders together have helped them build a strong, trusted voice with policymakers and the general public. The organization has advocated for climate adaptation changes at all levels of government and across sectors. Click here to read all of the expert comments on NRDC.

Natural Resources Defense Council is #1 of 18 ranked nonprofits in this cause. To see the full list, learn more about each organization, meet the experts, and read the reviews, please visit http://www.myphilanthropedia.org/top-nonprofits/national/climate-change/2012.

Jasmine is the Manager of Philanthropedia Research at GuideStar. She is charged with leading Philanthropedia’s research efforts. Prior to her work at Philanthropedia, Jasmine spent time as Communications and Operations Coordinator at Great Oakland Public Schools, an education advocacy nonprofit. At the San Francisco Parks Trust, an urban greening nonprofit, she recruited volunteers, developed membership strategies, and connected with community members building community gardens.

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Topics: Impact