Posts Tagged ‘Omidyar Network’

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.

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The Chronicle of Philanthropy published a nice profile of Pam Omidyar yesterday. Pam, co-founder of the Omidyar Network, created Humanity United in 2005 as a foundation to end slavery and mass atrocities, based just down the road in Redwood City. Noticing the disconnect between activists, policy experts, and scholars on these issues, Pam chose to work with all of them, and to encourage them to work together.

Here at the World Affairs Council and Global Philanthropy Forum (GPF), we’ve been thrilled to work with several of Pam’s investee organizations mentioned in the article, including Mark Hanis of the Genocide Intervention Network – one of her first projects, and Kevin Bales of Free the Slaves, who credits Pam and Humanity United for their approach. “They didn’t leap in and just say, ‘There’s a slave child. Let’s help them.’ They said, ‘This is a big problem, and let’s spend time thinking it through,'” says Mr. Bales. “You can’t solve a problem unless you understand it.” Pam has been a stand-out member of the GPF’s Advisory Council, and has helped us better understand issues of slavery and genocide.

Pam also worked with Jane Wales, our CEO & President and co-founder of the GPF, this fall to put together a joint commitment for the Clinton Global Initiative on Liberia. Humanity United, together with the Global Philanthropy Forum, the NoVo Foundation, Daphne Foundation, McCallMacBain Foundation, and Trust Africa committed 15 million dollars to collaborate with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to bring a group of foundations together to comprehensively coordinate their efforts to support Liberia’s reconstruction and development.

And, given that Pam is an avid surfer from Hawaii, she might be interested in a new film, Sliding Liberia, just out by Woodshed Films. It tells the story of Liberia’s first surfer, set against the backdrop of the civil war and the country’s struggle for reconstruction in its wake. Created by local Stanford alums, look for the film to be screened at an upcoming IF event at the Council.

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more about “Sliding Liberia Trailer“, posted with vodpod

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