From a $100 million microfinance fund begun in 2005, Tufts University officials say they are now reaping the benefits. The fund has been invested solely in microfinance initiatives, and provides economic self-empowerment for the poor along with financial returns for the university. Just last year, Tufts earned $6.6 million in dividends, money that has “helped counter a decline in the school’s endowment and supported faculty research, student aid, and a program to help Tufts graduates working in government and nonprofit jobs repay student loans,” according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy post today.
The $100 million for the fund came from Pierre Omidyar, founder of Ebay and co-founder of the Omidyar Network with his wife Pam (see our earlier post on Pam here). Both Pam and Pierre are Tufts alumnae. According to the Tufts press release, the Omidyar donation “is the largest single gift in the history of Tufts University as well as the largest private allocation of capital to microfinance by an individual or family.”
Our hats are off to Pam and Pierre, two outstanding members of our GPF community.