Foolanthropy 1999 Campaign Update

By Selena Maranjian (TMF Selena)
September 27, 2000

If you've been around Fooldom for a while, you probably remember that last year we raised nearly $800,000 together for five worthy charities. Our Foolanthropy 2000 campaign is around the corner now, so a brief recap of what we accomplished in the last year is in order. (Here are the totals of our 1999 donations, as of January, 2000.)

I wrote to the five organizations we supported last year and asked them to report on what they've been able to do thanks to our contributions. Below are their responses. I urge you to read through this entire report -- there are some amazing details below.

Polycystic Kidney Research (PKR) Foundation (http://www.pkdcure.org)

PKRF's Scott Klann reports:

In 1999, the Polycystic Kidney Research (PKR) Foundation received more than $65,000 from The Motley Fool's Foolanthropy campaign. Thanks in part to the generosity of hundreds of Fools, the PKR Foundation was able to fund 30 polycystic kidney disease research grants totaling a record amount of more than $1.4 million.

Dan Larson, president and CEO of the PKR Foundation, stated, "Because of Fools and The Motley Fool making a program like this possible, we are one step closer to the discovery of a treatment and cure for PKD."

Currently, there is no known treatment or cure for PKD. It is the most common, life-threatening genetic disease. In the Unites States it affects more individuals than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, Down's syndrome, and sickle cell anemia combined, and more than 12.5 million people worldwide. Those in the scientific community all firmly believe a treatment for PKD is well within our grasp. Thanks to The Motley Fool's Foolanthropy drive, we are continuing to try to expedite the day when future generation of people afflicted with PKD will no longer need to worry.
Grameen Foundation USA (http://www.grameenfoundation.org)

Submitted by Alex Counts, president of Grameen Foundation USA:

As you know, we decided to use the funds contributed under this drive for two purposes. The first was to provide loan capital to micro-lending programs in the United States or in developing countries, which would allow them to extend more loans to women living in poverty -- often extreme poverty. The second was to provide technical assistance to these programs in order to help them improve their ability to deliver micro-loans more cost-effectively and in ways that benefit their borrowers even more.

In terms of providing loan capital, we are providing $47,000 to the PLAN Fund, a micro-lending program in Dallas, Texas, to provide approximately 60 inner-city micro-businesses with credit within the first year alone, and then another 50 businesses in each successive year. We are also providing $60,000 to Project Enterprise, a New York City-based program making loans in Harlem and Brooklyn (approximately 65 loans in the first year, and 50 in each successive year). Finally, we are providing $20,000 in loan capital to a new micro-lending program in Los Angeles (some 45 loans in the first year, and another 30 in each successive year).

One of The Motley Fool donors contacted us in early 2000 and offered to match up to $500,000 raised for micro-credit programs in India. We ended up raising $700,000, so we received the full match from the donor. We will be providing these funds as loan capital to the three Indian programs mentioned above. With an average loan size of about $75, this $1.2 million will fund more than 150,000 loans in the first year alone! There is no way we would have come in contact with this donor if not for The Motley Fool connection.

Very recently, a Mexican businessman who was inspired by the story above has notified us that he, too, is willing to match up to $500,000 for micro-credit programs in Mexico, so we are expecting to raise that money in the months ahead! So, you can see, our organization has benefited tremendously from our partnership with The Motley Fool.
(This report is abridged. Read the whole shebang on our Foolanthropy discussion board.)

Foodchain (http://www.secondharvest.org)

Submitted by Christina Martin, former executive director of Foodchain:

In April 2000, Foodchain finalized a merger with America's Second Harvest. While Foodchain's national network of food-rescue organizations focused on the solicitation and distribution of prepared and perishable foods, America's Second Harvest's network of affiliate food banks primarily focuses on soliciting and distributing surplus shelf-stable products. With America's Second Harvest being the largest domestic hunger-relief charity in the country and Foodchain being the second-largest domestic hunger-relief organization, the merger represents the largest charitable merger of human service groups ever undertaken.

With the tremendous support from The Motley Fool's Foolanthropy campaign, Foodchain was able to provide planning grants of $5,000 to 18 communities across the country interested in starting a Community Kitchen. These grants are allowing the programs to do the critical feasibility and long-term planning necessary to create successful Kitchens, where rescued food is stretched to feed more people by folks who are gaining valuable job skills training. Fool dollars also allowed us to provide expanded services to more than 146 food-rescue programs across the country.

Your support has helped us transform people's lives. The most valuable part of the Community Kitchen is the student whose life is ultimately changed by learning a professional skill and helping those in need. Hundreds of the graduates of Community Kitchens across the country are leaving lives of desperation and entering lives where they are productive, confident, and self-sufficient. The Community Kitchens provide hope and marketable skills to single mothers who are leaving the welfare system, to homeless individuals, and to unemployed men and women who desire to learn a skill to provide for themselves and their families. Fool dollars will help ensure that nearly 1,000 individuals will successfully complete their Community Kitchens training and enter the working world.

The Motley Fool Foolanthropy Campaign was one of the most beneficial experiences I have had the opportunity to be part of in my professional life.
(This report is abridged. Read many additional impressive details in the whole shebang on our Foolanthropy discussion board.)


Heifer Project International (http://www.heifer.org/fool)

Mike Matchett, our main Heifer contact, was visiting Heifer operations in Nepal when he received my request for a report. Here are some highlights of his report:

The donations made to Heifer Project through the Foolanthropy drive are going to work in countries like Nepal, China, Tanzania, South Africa, Peru, Ecuador, Poland, Albania and here in the United States, among others....

Heifer Project International (HPI) takes a long-term approach to community development (quite a Foolish philosophy). It's about much more than just receiving an animal from HPI. Groups of 20-50 people from different deserving families in a village come together for extensive training on our 12 "Cornerstones" (see www.heifer.org for more info on them). [They] learn how to work together as a group, how to improve their environment and crop yields at the same time, how to properly care for their HPI animals, and how to lift themselves out of poverty in a sustainable way.... Each group member commits to "passing on the gift" of training and livestock they receive from HPI to another family in need, which makes for a multiplier effect on all Fools' donations.
Matchett offers a case study of one woman whose family income has gone from 5,000 rupees per year (about $70) to 7,000 a month: "She receives 27 liters of milk a day with plenty of milk for the family to drink and a reliable supply to sell for a steady income. The children are now healthy and in school and her husband is fully supportive."

He closes saying: "Amazing transformations like this are happening in communities around the world thanks to Fools like you and, on behalf of our project recipients, we want to say a heartfelt thank you."

(This report is abridged. Read the whole shebang on our Foolanthropy discussion board.)


Make-A-Wish Foundation� (http://www.wish.org)

Finally, here's the Make-A-Wish report from Andrea Miller:

The Make-A-Wish Foundation was overjoyed to see the giving spirit demonstrated by the hundreds of Fools who donated to the Foundation during the 1999 Foolanthropy Charity Drive. Your support made it possible for the Foundation to reach unprecedented achievements as we continue to help children with life-threatening illnesses to realize their one greatest wish.

For the first time, the Make-A-Wish Foundation granted more than 10,000 wishes worldwide in a single year. Every hour of every day, a wish is granted to a precious child with a life-threatening illness.

The Foundation is thrilled to report the recent addition of two new local Make-A-Wish offices to serve areas previously not covered by a Make-A-Wish chapter: the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Inland Empire (California) and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee. While the Foundation always ensured that medically eligible children in these communities have realized their one most heartfelt wish, we are thrilled to have a permanent, ongoing presence in the communities served by these offices to actively reach more children with life-threatening illnesses. We could not have made this progress without the generous contributions from 1999 Foolanthropy drive participants. In addition, Make-A-Wish Foundation affiliates were founded in Costa Rica and the Philippines. The Foundation now has a presence on five continents.

As supporters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, your contributions lead to life-changing experiences, not only for the wish children, but for entire communities. When you multiply the number of wishes by the number of lives each one affects, the numbers do indeed impress!
(This report is slightly abridged. Read the whole shebang on our Foolanthropy discussion board.)