Lending a hand

Charity | Can microfinancing move beyond the charitable world?
by Rusty Leonard
Posted 3/28/09, 12:00 am

Microcredit is not a new idea. The practice of making small loans for entrepreneurial activities has been around at least since the 19th century. But the idea has taken off in recent years. In 1983, Bangladesh's Grameen Bank was founded explicitly to make microloans. The success of the bank spawned literally thousands of imitators and earned Grameen and its founder, Vanderbilt-educated Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.

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Scott Strazzante/Genesis Photos

Fearing not

Charity | Giving away your money is key to true financial freedom
by Warren Cole Smith
Posted 3/14/09, 12:00 am

Financial advisors are in the business of helping their clients make money. When they are successful, they stand to make a lot of money themselves.

And by almost any measure financial advisor Tim Mohns was successful. His practice was growing rapidly, his clients were making money, and two years ago the then 39-year-old was making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year.

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Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

Sound as a dollar?

Charity | A fluctuating currency and "lukewarm" giving wreak havoc on missions efforts
by Warren Cole Smith & Rusty Leonard
Posted 2/28/09, 12:00 am

William Shakespeare said that a rose by any other name still smells the same, but not so international currencies. And when the value of the U.S. dollar sometimes stinks, no one feels that more acutely than American missionaries, or foreign nationals who depend on American dollars to sustain their work.

Despite a recent rally in the value of the U.S. dollar-due, ironically, to the problems of the U.S. financial markets spreading overseas-the dollar is generally trading below levels of two years ago, and major ministries are feeling the pinch.

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