Support Haiti Recovery Effort Through Microlending

I received this e-mail today from Microplace, which provides loans to low-income entrepreneurs around the world. I think it’s a great idea, although of course you should remember that you are lending money and it may or may not be repaid. You may consider augmenting your charitable contributions with this type of investment.

Haiti earthquake increases need for microfinance to support rebuilding

Dear Jonathan,

A massive earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 hit Haiti on Tuesday near the capital, Port-au-Prince, and is feared to have killed thousands. This disaster requires both immediate emergency relief and longer term rebuilding efforts. Microfinance will support the financing needs that inevitably arise from this type of catastrophe as Haitians look to rebuild their country.

You can help today by investing on MicroPlace in Fonkoze, the largest microfinance institution in Haiti.

Even better, I see that Microplace is still running their Buy-1-Get-1-Free promotion, where if you buy a $20 gift certificate towards any fund, you get another one for free. That’s $40 of microlending funds for only $20. To find the Fonkoze Haiti fund, click on Find a Gift Now, and use the Geographic filter > Latin America > Haiti.


  1. Microlending is actually not a particularly effective way of improving people’s lives in the third world.


  2. I think donating directly to Grameen bank is more effective. There have been a lot of copy cats of Grameen bank that have popped up that are not necessarily out for the best interest of those they lend to.

  3. Andrew, I would have to respectfully disagree with you and that article. I personally believe in the merit of supporting self-sustainability despite the criticisms.

  4. It’s only more effective if Grameen can effectively use more funding to expand its own operations instead of just regranting your donation to one of the aforementioned copycats. It’s my impression that Grameen does a lot of regranting these days.

  5. Yes, I disagree as well. Recent studies show very high returns on microlending.

  6. I tried to give the gift and support the haitian woman, however, AZ seems be limited to several lending institutions. Anyone else share this experience?

  7. I offer this blog by a 2004 Thailand tsunami recovery expert:

    “As a leading expert in the post-2004 tsunami recovery efforts in Thailand, I have seen the impact of aid from all perspectives: villagers, government officials, religious leaders, aid agency staff and directors, the United Nations, and various donors. Through these interactions I found that donors are key to improving the delivery of aid, yet they lack the knowledge necessary to make funding decisions that positively impact that delivery. The goal of this blog is to help individual donors give in ways that match their good intentions.”

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