Awards and Recognition
Though we are most proud of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize won by Professor Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank, Grameen Foundation has received numerous awards and recognition over the years. Our focus on accountability, transparency and excellence has earned us numerous awards from the philanthropic community, among them a Top-Rated Charity designation from the American Institute of Philanthropy, Better Business Bureau’s Accredited Charity designation, and a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for three years in a row, a distinction that fewer than 9% of nonprofits achieve.
2006 Nobel Peace Prize: Muhammad Yunus & Grameen Bank
Prof. Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 in Oslo, Norway, for their pioneering work in fighting global poverty through loans and other financial services for the poor.
Known as “the father of microcredit” and “banker to the poor,” Professor Yunus started the microcredit revolution with a loan of only $27 to 43 poor women in 1976. Since then, he and Grameen Bank have helped more than 8.3 million borrowers, 97 percent of whom are women. The Nobel Peace Prize committee sent a powerful message to the world: We cannot have peace if billions live in abject poverty. Recognizing Yunus’s accomplishment brings us closer to eradicating poverty as a global menace. In announcing its decision to award the prize jointly to Prof. Yunus and to Grameen Bank, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee cited microcredit as “one such means” to breaking out of poverty, and credited Prof. Yunus and Grameen Bank for showing “that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development.”
When the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded, one of the largest global viewing audiences in the ceremony’s history watched via satellite and the Internet. In the United States, events were held in 18 states and in Washington, DC. Other gatherings were held in cities throughout Europe, as well as parts of Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Arab World and in Bangladesh, Professor Yunus’ home. “Muhammad Yunus is a leader whose practical actions benefit millions of people not only in Bangladesh but in many other countries,” Grameen Foundation President Alex Counts said. “As people gather all over the world to celebrate his remarkable accomplishments, we hope it inspires them to take real action to support microcredit and its mission of empowering the poor, especially women, to build new lives for their families.”
Philanthropedia High-Impact Nonprofit
Philanthropedia, an online resource for donors, recently recognized Grameen Foundation as one of 11 high-impact nonprofits working in the field of international microfinance. Philanthropedia (which is owned by nonprofit-evaluator Guidestar) surveyed 77 experts working in the field of international microfinance to identify those organizations that are making the biggest positive impact. Out of 119 reviewed, the experts identified 11 top nonprofits making an impact at the international level, with Grameen Foundation ranked second of the 11 listed organizations.
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance
Grameen Foundation was first awarded the BBB Wise Giving Alliance Seal in 2007, in recognition of our outstanding industry practices, and continues to hold the designation. Before national charities can even apply to use the seal, they must undergo evaluation by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, which involves rigorous scrutiny of a charity’s governance, effectiveness, finances and solicitations and informational materials. The standards go far beyond what government regulators require.
Charity Navigator helps individuals give wisely by providing information on non-profit organizations’ efficiency, capacity, and operational expenses. Grameen Foundation is proud to have earned this prestigious independent charity rating for three years in a row, an achievement earned by only 9% of nonprofits.
2010 Forum for Innovative Financial Solutions
Grameen Foundation won in the category of Proving the Value of Mobile Money for Microfinance for our work integrating technology systems and processes to build a model for enabling microfinance institutions to fully leverage the power of technology in their operations, lower their overall costs and expand their client base and product offering.
2010 Global Mobile Award for Best Use of Mobile for Social and Economic Development
At the 2010 Mobile World Congress, Grameen Foundation's AppLab won this award recognizing initiatives, programmes, products and services that have had a tangible effect in bridging the "digital bridge," through the use of mobile communications. The award was received together with MTN Uganda and Google SMS.
2009 AfricaCom Award for Best Solution for Rural Services
Grameen Foundation's AppLab won the 2009 AfricaCom Award for Best Solution for Rural Services, which recognized an initiative taken by an operator or a telecommunications solutions vendor that significantly improved access to telecommunications in rural areas. The award was received together with MTN Uganda and Google SMS.
SEEP Network 2007 Member of the Year
Grameen Foundation was honored as the 2007 Member of the Year by the Small Enterprise Education and Promotion (SEEP) Network, the leading international network and promoter of best practices in enterprise development and financial services geared toward reducing poverty.
The Fast Company/Monitor Social Capitalist Awards is the only award program that quantitatively measures a nonprofit’s innovation and social impact, as well as the viability and sustainability of its business model. For three years in a row, Grameen Foundation was recognized for its groundbreaking work in expanding the reach of microfinance around the world while applying innovative technology to increase efficiency and provide new opportunities for the poor.
American Institute of Philanthropy Top-Rated Charity
Grameen Foundation is designated a top-rated charity from American Institute of Philanthropy, recognized for maintaining high financial standards, including low fundraising costs, reasonable asset reserves and an "open book" financial record policy.
Tech Museum Awards
In October 2004, the Tech Museum of Innovation announced the 25 laureates for the 2004 Tech Museum Awards. Grameen Technology Center was awarded one of five Accenture Economic Development Awards for its work on the Village Phone Program. The Tech Awards are designed to honor individuals and for-profit, public and not-for-profit organizations from around the world who are applying technology to profoundly improve the human condition in the areas of environment, economic development, education, equality and health.
Pro-Poor Innovation Award
In recognition of our innovation in providing access to financial services for very poor clients, Grameen Foundation was awarded the Pro-Poor Innovation Award by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) for our work on the Village Phone program. The Pro-Poor Innovation Challenge (PPIC) gives awards up to $50,000 to microfinance organizations that have developed innovative methodologies to deepen poverty outreach and impact.