A world pioneer in microfinance, Boston-based nonprofit ACCION International was founded in 1961 and issued the first microloan in 1973 in Brazil. Since then, it has led the evolution from simple microloans to a full range of financial services for the self-employed poor such as savings, insurance, housing loans, and remittances.

Since 2002, AFC has helped represent 74 people facing the death penalty. Eight have been released outright and 32 have avoided death; the other cases are still pending.

This year, every single Aspire school exceeded its state target on California's state testing program for the second straight year -- a 100% achievement rate compared to the state rate of 65% in 2005 and 63% in 2004.

BELL educated more than 7,500 children at 44 school sites in four cities last year. Of these students, 81% improved literacy scores to "proficient."

For ten years, Calvert Foundation has been working to make community investment a safe, logical, high-social impact option for all investors. Calvert's investments have created 146,000 jobs, built or rehabilitated more than 8,000 homes, and financed 8,400 nonprofit facilities.

Ceres is a leading North American network of investors, environmental groups, and other public interest organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges, such as global climate change. After joining Ceres, Dell agreed to support legislation to require electronics recycling.

Citizen Schools serves 3,000 students in 15 cities. In a longitudinal study, 72% of its eight graders enrolled in college-track high schools, more than double the norm.

Prior to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, City Year was in early stages of a three-year start-up process for the launch of a site in Louisiana. After the hurricanes, the process was expedited to have a team in place within 60 days. In its first program year, corps members served in five schools in the East Baton Rouge Paris school district, where approximately one-third of the students were displaced.

By year-end 2007, Civic plans to have in development or completed a ten building, 432,000 square foot $199 MM portfolio, serving 4,459 students in poor urban neighborhoods.

Experience Corps, a national service program for people over 55, has served 20,000 students in 19 American cities since 1995. Members serve as tutors and mentors to children in underserved public schools where they help teach children to read and develop the confidence and skills to succeed in school and in life.

College Summit aims to raise college enrollment among students from low-income neighborhoods. In 2006 and 2007, College Summit should serve 7,300 students, a 100% increase over two years ago.

Since 1991, CSH has committed over $119 million in loans and grants to the supportive housing field, and these funds have leveraged over $1 billion in federal, state, and local public and private sector financing for capital, operating, and service dollars.

DonorsChoose has channeled nearly $8 million worth of resources to more than 470,000 students in four cities.

Since 2000, EcoLogic Finance has provided over 250 loans with a gross value of nearly $45 million in support of more than 125 rural enterprises across 12 Latin American countries, six sub-Saharan African nations and two Southeast Asian states.

As of October 2006, Endeavor has supported more than 250 entrepreneurs from over 150 companies. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created more than 45,000 new jobs, paying on average ten times the national minimum wage, and generating approximately $2 billion in new revenue.

First Book has provided more than 46 million new books to children in need in thousands of communities. In response to the terrible devastation of the 2005 hurricanes, First Book launched Book Relief, the nation's most comprehensive effort to place brand new books back into the Gulf Coast region.

Since 1987, Global Fund has awarded 5,135 grants totaling more than $50 million to 3,123 organizations in 163 countries.

Founded in 1997 by a group of friends who were inspired by the work of the Nobel-prize winning Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Grameen Foundation's network of microfinance partners works with 2.2 million families. Its Technology Center has helped create 6,000 telecom businesses in Rwanda and Uganda.

Hands On Network is creating a civic change movement to increase the level of volunteerism across the U.S. by 10 percent, supporting the mobilization of 6.4 million volunteers and 100,000 Volunteer Leaders by 2008.

Heifer supplies livestock and training to help farmers in poor countries. The organization has aided more than 7.5 million families since 1944. In fiscal 2004, it placed 384,000 animals; 203,000 livestock offspring were passed on to other families.

The Housing Partnership Network is a peer network and business alliance of 87 of the top-performing nonprofit housing organizations in the United States. Network members have produced, financed or preserved more than 600,000 affordable homes in urban, rural, and suburban communities throughout the country, and have also counseled more than 400,000 families on homeownership and financial literacy.

Jumpstart has grown by 30% per year. Its 3,100 college students will teach 12,000 preschoolers this year. Twenty percent of graduating corps members go on to become full-time teachers.

In fiscal year 2006 alone, KickStart helped 9,200 families start businesses that together generated over $10 million. To date, KickStart has helped over 240,000 people get out of poverty.

NCC has helped more than 5,000 residents find jobs and get off welfare. Its nursing and automotive graduates increase incomes by an average of 270%.

Three-quarters of schools led by New Leaders principals show increases of at least 4% in academic performance in only two years.

NFF has served more than 10,000 nonprofits nationwide since 1980, lending close to $150 million and helping to mobilize $750 million in investment.

PATH collaborates with public and private sector partners to provide health care and education in low-resource settings. Working with the World Health Organization and UNICEF this past year, PATH, vaccinated 12 million people in India and Nepal against Japanese encephalitis.

In 2005, 180,000 people participated in its programs. Eight hundred Israeli and Palestinian youth were trained in leadership and negotiation, and young leaders organized events.

In 2005, Pioneer's outplacement program found livable wage jobs for 768 of its clients and developed 64 new employer contacts -- and a full 79 percent of the people placed were successful in their new employment. This year, Pioneer will help more than 15,000 people find low cost housing, overcome addictions, obtain job training, and secure employment.

In 2005, working with private donors and the private sector to subsidize health products and health services in developing nations, PSI prevented an estimated 212,000 HIV infections, 6.5 million unintended pregnancies, 117,000 child deaths from malaria and diarrhea, and 21 million malaria episodes.

Upon entering kindergarten, Head Start children assisted by Raising a Reader tested twice as high as the national Head Start norm -- and parents report spending 471% more time reading with their kids.

Rare has developed more than 60 campaigns, which have resulted in raising environmental awareness among half a million people each year. The campaigns have helped tp revitalize 150 state parks and recreation areas.

Room to Read partners with local communities throughout the developing world to establish schools, libraries, and other educational infrastructure. It has published 150 storybooks in 23 languages and has trained more than 1,000 librarians. More than 1 million children now use the organization's facilities.

By offering housing, job training, and substance abuse counseling, Rubicon has helped more than 40,000 families since 1973. Its workers are convicted of fewer crimes, get stable housing, and are more likely to stay employed.

Founded in 2001, Scojo Foundation improves the economic status of families in the developing world by broadening access to affordable reading glasses via profitable microfranchises. In four years, Scojo has sold more than 100,000 reading glasses in seven countries.

The SEED Foundation establishes urban public boarding schools that prepare children academically and socially for success in college and in the professional world. Some 97% of SEED's graduates go to college, and 85% of those graduate.

Springboard, a leader in career development programs for low-wage workers, recently launched a $1.4-million, three-year Retail Demonstration Project to demonstrate the business value of investing in the career development of entry-level wage earners.

Teach For America is a national corps of recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools. Half of those teachers help improve first-year gains in student performance equivalent to 1.5 academic years. And 60% of TFA alumni still work full time in education.

In the past six years, TransFair has certified 74.2 million pounds of Fair Trade coffee, providing coffee farmers in Latin America, Africa, and Asia with over $60 million more than they would have earned selling their harvests locally.

Unitus serves 860,000 people with $62 million in loans through microlenders in Kenya, Mexico, and Argentina. Those microlending partners are growing an average of over 100% annually.

WITNESS trains human rights organizations to document abuses on camera. Based on a video from AJEDI-Ka/PES, a WITNESS partner, the International Criminal Court arrested Thomas Lubango Dyllo for war crimes in Congo, including conscripting children.

Working Today's Freelancers Union has 33,000 members nationally, 13,000 of whom take advantage of health insurance they otherwise wouldn't be eligible for.

Year Up's one-year intensive training program for urban young adults combines hands-on skill development, college credits, and corporate apprenticeships. Some 85% of graduates find relevant work, with average starting pay of $15 per hour. Year Up expects to expand to 25 cities by 2016.

Fast Company

2007 Social Capitalist Awards

A world pioneer in microfinance, Boston-based nonprofit ACCION International was founded in 1961 and issued the first microloan in 1973 in Brazil. Since then, it has led the evolution from simple microloans to a full range of financial services for the self-employed poor such as savings, insurance, housing loans, and remittances.

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