Each of us—even the poorest citizens of the world—can reach our full potential if given access to the right information and resources. Grameen Foundation believes that people everywhere have an inherent desire to improve their lives. Anchored by the strength and ingenuity of the poor, our work arms them with the information and tools essential to transform their lives and alleviate the problems of poverty in developing nations.

Grameen Foundation recognizes that the multidimensional and complex nature of challenges facing the poor requires a global movement of organizations working together to eradicate global poverty. In this spirit, Grameen Foundation offers an array of products and services—originally designed for its own use—to help other organizations with similar missions be more effective. Grameen Foundation believes these tools will help organizations strengthen their programs, deepen their impact on poverty, and create lasting change.

Throughout its history, at any given time, Grameen Foundation has engaged numerous volunteers working in a variety of capacities, from field-level operational work with grassroots partners to pro bono legal counsel or fundraising activities. However, Grameen Foundation lacked a consistent organization-wide framework for volunteer engagement and management, project definition and implementation, and impact analysis and follow-up. This put added pressure on staff, lessened the impact of volunteers’ contributions, and resulted in many missed opportunities where qualified and willing volunteers were not deployed.

In 2008, Grameen Foundation launched Bankers without Borders (BwB) to create an efficient, operational framework to mobilize, engage and leverage the talent and skills of the private sector to help support both its own mission and the missions of other poverty-focused social enterprises. We partner with Fortune 500 companies and individuals to source some of the world’s top talent and brightest minds and strategically connect our volunteers with high-potential social enterprises and nonprofits fighting global poverty to improve their scale, sustainability, and impact. Starting with just 100 volunteers at the time of our launch, today more than 19,700 business professionals, academics, and students from 170 countries are ready to contribute their time, skills and expertise to strengthen organizations fighting global poverty. This talent pool of volunteers – who donate their time pro bono – enables us to provide top-notch consulting, coaching, and training services at a fraction of the market price. Since inception, BwB has consulted on 1,128 projects for 178 pro-poor organizations in 39 countries, helping them increase their organizational capacity and transferring skills and knowledge to their workforces. BwB also continues to support the direct needs of Grameen Foundation, working as a business partner to Grameen Foundation’s programs, support functions, and leadership team. 

Learn more about Grameen Foundation.

High Five! Bankers without Borders is Celebrating Five Years of Success

In 2013, Bankers without Borders celebrated our Five Year Anniversary!

Over the course of our first five years, we’ve invested a lot of time in trying to perfect our model and learn what’s working and what’s not. We’ve applied a rigor to evaluating our efforts that many volunteer-based programs have not, in large part because they often lack the funding or technology to do so. And now that we have enough experience to speak with more authority on the real, tangible benefits and outcomes we’re seeing (or not), we feel it’s our duty to share what we know with others who just might care because the problem of global poverty is far too large and complex for Bankers without Borders or even Grameen Foundation to solve on our own. Please download our Five Year Impact Report to read more about the key insights and lessons learned from our first five years.