Sunday, January 08, 2006


On Thursday, the WSJ ran an article about "microfinance loans" and, specifically, about how one could invest in companies that help make those loans. The article has a table that lists some of these organizations. The table is reproduced on a blog called The blog lists other organizations involved in microlending as well.

The body of the WSJ article also refers to organizations not listed in the table. The point of the article is that microlending is moving from the not-for-profit sector to the profit sector. (The WSJ website is a subscription site, as you probably know. My subscription allows me to email individual articles. Let me know if you would like me to email you a copy of the WSJ article. )

The blog I mentioned called the organizations that give you some return on your money or, at least, give you your principal back, as "ROI" organizations. "ROI" refers to "return on investment" or maybe "return of investment".

World Vision is one of several not-for-profits that have a microloan program. You simply make a contribution and they take it from there. Using World Vision for this sort of thing makes sense to me, because you have some assurance that the money will be used as promised. On the other hand, the presence of the blog I refer to above also gives one the opportunity to find out more about this innovative way to do good, whether its in the secular or Christian world.

[Footnote: I looked at the Calvert Foundation website, referred to in the WSJ article, where one can invest in "community investment notes" with a $1000 minimum. The site has a button that lists "our friends", meaning, I think, investors in their products. Among Calvert's friends is the "Gay Financial Network". That deflected my interest in this organization. Do you think it should?]

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