Visa Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: The Visa Foundation invests in improving the livelihoods of underserved and low-income populations.

IP TAKE: This new funder seeks to help its beneficiary populations build sustainable economic resilience.

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 being “[t]o empower these enterprises and improve their livelihoods—ultimately uplifting their communities.” The foundation also supports organizations responding to humanitarian crises.

The Visa Foundation grants benefit underserved communities, low-income populations, and small and micro enterprises. While the foundation does not have a grantmaking program directed at global development work specifically, it awarded one of its inaugural grants of up to $20 million to Women’s World Banking. That five-year grant is going to support 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 programs as they pertain to the foundation itself. In the past, Visa’s 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.


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