Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Receives $9.5 Million from Gates Foundation

Philanthropy News Digest
June 9, 2010

New York City-based Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors has announced a three-year, $9.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch a program that will work with financial institutions in five countries to create savings accounts that are affordable for poor families and profitable for banks over the long term.

Made through the foundation's Financial Services for the Poor initiative, the grant will be used to launch Gateway Financial Innovations for Savings (GAFIS) program, which will partner with large banks in Latin America, Asia, and Africa to develop or expand savings products and approaches, including those using mobile phone technologies. Among other things, GAFIS will explore savings opportunities for the estimated hundred and fifty million people who make regular bank visits to collect government welfare payments and remittances.

The program also will support market, product, and business research to help develop appropriate distribution channels for savings products and encourage families to keep a diary of their daily financial lives and needs. The resulting data will help inform the development of new, large-scale, high-quality savings products by institutions participating in the program.

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