For the past four holiday seasons, Commtouch has opted to make a donation to an organization making a difference in the world, as our holiday gift to our customers. The positive response we’ve received from customers and business partners over the years is worth an infinite number of holiday knick-knacks or popcorn towers, as is the knowledge that our contribution on behalf of our customers is truly having an impact on people that need it.
For the first three years, we donated to a different organization each year, most recently, in 2010, to Acumen Fund. Throughout 2011, Acumen Fund has made a concerted effort to keep us updated with their progress, invite us to events, and to make us feel a part of the organization’s growth. They also happily assisted a local entrepreneur I referred to them since I felt that their knowledgeable advice could be relevant to her (and it was). A fruitful relationship developed during the past year, and as a result we have decided to donate to Acumen Fund for the second time in a row.
Why do we love Acumen Fund? Because the “patient capital” method they coined is proving itself to really work. Acumen Fund does not approach the poor as passive individuals needing handouts, but as capable forces for change, that can solve the problems of poverty through creative solutions together with a capital investment.
Whether it is investing in ambulance services in India, banks in rural Pakistan, fighting malaria in Tanzania, or increasing maize yields in Kenya, Acumen is creating jobs (55,000 new jobs and counting) and enabling crucial services to flourish in typically underserved areas.
Acumen Fund is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and as part of its celebration wrote “10 Things We’ve Learned to be True.” I encourage you to read these 10 things and internalize them – they hold true no matter what business you are in.
Images courtesy of Acumen Fund on Flickr.