A candid description of my trip from NYC to rural India and finally to U. of Michigan, Ross School of Business. Go Blue!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Fundraising Letter

Dear friends and family,

This fall I plan to pursue my MBA at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Ross is one of the top business schools in the country and I feel blessed to have this amazing opportunity. While there, I plan to focus my studies and activities on the field of microfinance, an economic development initiative that provides financial services like low interest loans to people living in the poorest communities around the world. Access to this credit allows the poor to take advantage of economic opportunities like expanding businesses, sending more children to school, creating better living conditions and in general transforming households from every-day survival to planning for the future. You’re thinking lending to the poor sounds like an incredibly risky venture right? Well actually, Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) are popping up everywhere now that some of the oldest and biggest MFIs are seeing decent returns and loan repayment rates of around 98%. Even banks like Citigroup and Deutsche are getting involved in this effort to achieve decent returns through socially responsible investments. In fact, on paper it’s actually riskier to loan to me for grad school than to a couple of women in a remote village starting a sewing service!

This leads me to the purpose of my letter. Finance people like me are greatly needed to implement business improvements and standards within this fast growing arena of economic development. On a personal level, I want to spend my summer doing something that benefits the millions of people in this world who live on less than $2 a day. As a result, I have been accepted for a volunteer internship with a nonprofit organization that will send me to Udaipur, India. While there I will help a Microfinance Institution improve lending capabilities and empower business development initiatives for women in several villages. I am very excited to utilize my skills and knowledge base to benefit others in this way, but there are obviously costs associated with the program. My goal is to raise the $2600 fee through generous donations from family and friends. I will be paying for my flight. The money raised will cover in country travel, living expenses, visas, language training, administrative fees and finally a grant to the MFI to support my project work.

I would be extremely grateful if you would consider contributing to this cause. 52 donations of $50 each would pay for the trip, but whatever amount you can give will be immensely appreciated. All donations are tax deductible. Please note that the deadline for raising my funding is rapidly approaching as I will be leaving to begin the internship during the first week of June!!

If you would like to write a check please make it out to Foundation for Sustainable Development and send to me at: Jennifer Anderson
8 Ashland Road
Madison, NJ 07940

Include my name in the memo portion of your check in order to receive a letter from the Foundation acknowledging your contribution as tax deductible.

Alternatively, you can donate online by heading to my web blog, MicrofinanceGirl and following the instructions on the right side. Please make sure to drop me a note if you decide to donate on the Foundation’s website so that I may keep track of these donations. I will be writing about my experiences in India and posting pictures on my blog, so check there often to see how your funding is put to use.

For more information on the organization I will be volunteering through please see this link:
For more information on microfinance, please see these:
www.cgap.org or www.mixmarket.org

Thanks again and wishing you all the best,

Jennifer Anderson


At 1:10 PM, Blogger MBA Cutie said...

Hi Microfinance Girl!

Not sure if I met you, but shoot me an email at mbacutie1@yahoo.com, and I'll respond with my real name.

I will definitely add you, and I'll also add you to my "Ross Experience" blog, which is just getting started... i'm trying to separate between my story blog and my MBA School experiences..


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