Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question? Wondering how the Microfinance Connection works?
Read below for full details.
We believe that microloans, especially when accompanied by the training classes and accountability groups developed and presented by the United Methodist Mission Collaborative and FINCA’s Village Bank strategy, can help borrowers develop sustainable businesses. We think that our approach to microcredit transforms lives and helps build stronger families and communities.
The subject of microfinance is both broad and deep. If you wish to study more, Wikipedia.org articles like Microfinance and The Impact of Microcredit will link you to useful articles, resources, and information.
But what could we do to assist these self-employed poor in their efforts to build up their own lives? The United Methodist Microfinance Connection exists to help you act on that challenge: offering an opportunity for you to fund a business-building investment and support a non-profit network that provides financial services to the poor.
1. Choose an entrepreneur — The Projects page profiles many qualified borrowers and the loan amount that will help each one achieve a set goal. Select a borrower and project to support according your own criteria such as country, gender, or type of business.
2. Make a donation — Complete your donation on the secure Microfinance Connection website. Your contribution will be sent to the local FINCA subsidiary where the small business owner you supported is a client.
3. Change a life — Borrowers use their small loans to start, or expand their businesses. Repaid loans become available for a subsequent loan to the same borrower or to another borrower in need, rotating perpetually through FINCA’s system as part of its pool of capital available to borrowers. Your donation becomes part of the loan capital of the FINCA subsidiary in that country and can then be lent to another borrower in need, and then another one, in perpetuity.
4. Repeat — Your donation provides a hand up, not a handout, to a hardworking small business owner in the developing world, and helps the United Methodist Church and FINCA alleviate poverty one person, one family and one community at a time.
We’re confident that once you’ve experienced the joy of supporting a Microfinance Connection entrepreneur, you’ll want to do it again. We’ll keep you posted on the funding status and loan repayment of borrowers you have supported. And, you’ll want to join a Group to encourage others to do the same.
Read more about the UMMfC’s Business Skills Training courses.
Actual interest rates vary and reflect a variety of factors such as the local costs of borrowing. See our lending partner FINCA’s FAQ about interest and microloans.
Economist Milton Friedman once said that “the poor stay poor, not because they’re lazy, but because they have no access to capital.” The United Methodist Microfinance Connection and FINCA provide them with capital to help them break out of poverty, and provide them with the knowledge and confidence that can help real families and real communities succeed.
When the loan you have sponsored is repaid, your donation becomes part of the larger pool of loan capital available to other borrowers in that country, funding additional loans through FINCA’s system in perpetuity.
Your donations to UMMC are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. Your personal account’s donation history will always link to a downloadable receipt for each donation.
When you donate to The United Methodist Microfinance Connection, you acknowledge that:
- The UMMC is a Kansas nonprofit corporation with registered 501(c)(3) status.
- The UMMC did not provide any goods or services to you, in consideration, in whole or in part, for your donation, other than the provision of intangible religious benefits.
- Your donation to The UMMC becomes the property of The UMMC, and The UMMC has ultimate control, authority and discretion with regard to contributions it receives.
However, you don’t have to be a Christian or belong to a church to open an account. Life-transforming change happens when your donation makes microloans available to entrepreneurs – no matter what you believe.
Here’s 2 great ways to spread the word about this significant ministry:
- download and print the 2016 Promo Brochure
- share the Microfinance Connection’s About Us video
You can watch the 3-min. video in the frame below – and download or share via your social media or email by selecting the Arrow icon (upper right in the frame = ).
About Us Video (approx. 3 min.)
But, we also humbly encourage you to contribute to UMMC to support the costs of administering this web site, and the costs of our training and missionary efforts. See the Ways To Give page for your chance to make a real difference with your contribution.
In Q3 2016, we completed a site redesign and redeployment that included a new donations processing method to replace the old method. Because we upgraded technologies, the methods aren’t compatible. So, a legacy project might be partially funded but not present the details of its donors.
Thanks for your support of the entrepreneurs and projects on the Microfinance Connection.
When you purchase a Gift Card, your donation arrives into the general donation pool for loans. You’ll designate a Recipient for your Gift Card, and we’ll notify them by email. The Recipient chooses which Project the donation funds arrive to. In this way, you are encouraging him to open an account and fund loans to entrepreneurs, and to spread the word about the Microfinance Connection by sending Gift Cards to others.
You can purchase one Gift Card or many – and when you send Gift Cards to yourself, you can print them and hand to a friend. Perfect for a holiday present or as a donation item to a charity event.