OVERVIEW: The Visa Foundation focuses its grantmaking on helping micro and small enterprises succeed.
IP TAKE: One of this funder’s main objectives is to help women and other underserved populations improve their livelihoods.
PROFILE: Visa, one of the world’s leading global payments and financial services company, established its philanthropic arm, the Visa Foundation, in 2017. The foundation focuses on “[h]elping micro and small enterprises thrive through access, growth and resilience,” with the overall goal “[t]o empower these enterprises and improve their livelihoods—ultimately uplifting their communities.” The foundation also supports organizations responding to humanitarian crises.
The main beneficiaries of Visa’s grantmaking are underserved and low-income as well as micro and small enterprises that are generally underserved. While the foundation does not maintain a specific grantmaking program directed towards girls and women, it has awarded one of its inaugural grants of up to $20 million to Women’s World Banking. That five-year grant supports the establishment of financial safety nets, leadership and financial capabilities programs, and the development of sustainable solutions toward helping women build their businesses.
The Visa Foundation has yet to release further information regarding its specific philanthropic programs. Past Visa corporate giving has centered on financial inclusion and literacy, humanitarian aid, and community support. It is possible that the foundation’s grantmaking will follow along those same lines. The Visa Foundation also has yet to release its overall grantmaking approach, grant guidelines or whether it will accept unsolicited requests for funding in the future.
- Douglas Sabo, Vice President, Head of Corporate Responsibility and President, Visa Foundation