UPDATE: After two years and nearly 600 first-time savers, we've made the difficult decision to close the MatchSavings.org program. Thank you to all who made the program possible.
In the News
MatchSavings.org is a campaign of World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), the largest non-profit organization to support the growing international movement of credit unions and other financial cooperatives. WOCCU established MatchSavings.org in October 2008 to help educate people living in poverty about the benefits of saving and to provide them an incentive to get started. Gifts, or "matches," helped match the savings of the rural, working poor who never before had a savings account. We will use remaining match funds to carry out an additional round of the program with one of our partner credit unions in Veracruz state, Mexico. The savers will begin the program this year and receive their matches in June 2011. Check back here to see their stories.
|Dolores, general manager of our partner credit union, Caja Zongolica, explains the MatchSavings.org program as a field officer collects the savers' monthly deposits in the background. Click here to see more photos.|
MatchSavings.org was just a small part of WOCCU's larger microfinance program in Mexico, which was funded by the Mexican government. Through that program, WOCCU worked with 54 partner credit unions in 22 states to bring affordable savings, loans and insurance products to 200,000 people living in remote, rural areas. MatchSavings.org partnered with two of these credit unions, Caja Yanga and Caja Zongolica, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. We worked with credit union employees there to bring their services — by motorcycle, boat or by foot — directly to poor people living in hard-to-reach, marginalized communities. The communities rarely had a financial institution of their own, so the credit union's visit was the first opportunity people had to open a savings account and access loans and insurance at affordable rates. Through MatchSavings.org, Caja Yanga and Caja Zongolica offered them the opportunity to open a six-month matched savings account for housing, microbusiness or education.
The savers in the program committed to depositing a set amount when a credit union staff member visited their community each month. After faithfully saving for six months, savers received a match on the principal amount they saved with funds given through MatchSavings.org. They received their savings and match in goods related to their savings goal, for example housing materials, business inventory or direct payment for school fees.
MatchSavings.org depended on the staff and infrastructure provided by WOCCU's program in Mexico, which is coming to a close at the end of 2010. Unfortunately, we do not have the financial resources to continue MatchSavings.org on its own. Our partner credit unions, however, continue to travel to remote communities — sometimes up to three hours away from their branch offices — to provide affordable financial services to people in need.
WOCCU works with credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to bring high quality and affordable financial services to people in need. WOCCU also collaborates with national governments to develop and improve credit union legislation and regulation, which makes the institutions more sustainable and safer for their members. In 2009, WOCCU's technical assistance programs strengthened credit unions in 13 countries and reached 5.9 million people. Learn more
WOCCU's work is funded in part by charitable contributions to WOCCU's Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Learn more