International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security

Working Capital for Community Needs, Inc.

aka WCCN

Madison, WI

Mission

Founded in 1984, WCCN is a social impact investing fund and community development organization whose mission is to create opportunities for access to microfinance, services and markets to improve the lives and communities of the working poor in Latin America.

WCCN partners with individuals and organizations in Latin America and the U.S. to facilitate economic and social change opportunities, by strengthening local community partner organizations, reducing inequality through financial inclusion, and empowering individuals to work their way out of poverty.

Notes from the Nonprofit

Poverty in Latin America is simply not the same as poverty in the US. Lack of electricity, lack of running water/toilet/shower, no or precariously constructed housing made out of flimsy materials, cumulative 5 years of formal education amongst all members in the household, and no opportunities for women to make an income are some of the many features of poverty that working poor Latin Americans live through day by day. Pervasive violence and chronic instability due to recurrent natural disasters and civil unrest are also common features of living in poverty in Latin America.

The good news is that dignity is within reach for these 80 million hard working persons and their families, if we can just collectively catalyze our efforts to extend an opportunity where it otherwise would not be extended. WCCN works to address one of the many impediments that still keep working poor persons in poverty: lack of access to affordable credit from a reliable and trustworthy service provider in your community. With affordable and patient/flexible credit, many of the working poor persons we have supported have been able to get electricity, clean water access or a solid roof of floor on their home. Most have been able to send their children to school, gain valuable vocational and business skills leading to better income opportunities, or start and grow a micro-business from their home. Over the years, we see how this patient capital approach to investing in community based organizations that put people first ahead of profit, helps family life and the local economy improve, one household and one town at a time.

Our non-profit, Working Capital for Community Needs (WCCN) invests in and works with partner organizations that are grassroots in nature, founded, staffed and led by members of those working poor communities that we aim to support. By investing and making selective grants to these community-based partner organizations, our support enables these local organizations to offer affordable access to credit, access to markets where working poor persons can sell their goods at higher prices, and access to essential services like skills training, tuition/scholarships and health care for the working poor. So, go ahead. Take a risk. We do everyday. You can too, and we can help you do it together with others who share your values of social justice, reducing poverty, discrimination and inequality for all Americans. Your gift and/or your investment can have a bigger impact when it is pooled with others' small gifts and investments, and when it is strategically placed with carefully selected local partners better positioned than us to deliver the impact and build their communities from the grassroots up.

Ruling Year

1985

Executive Director

Mrs. Nancy Metzger

Main Address

517 N. Segoe Road Suite 209

Madison, WI 53705 USA

Keywords

Nicaragua, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Honduras, Microcredit, Women's empowerment, International, Housing, Argentina, Mexico, Bolivia

EIN

39-1521683

 Number

7191512386

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

International Economic Development (Q32)

Rural (S32)

International Agricultural Development (Q31)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2016, 2016 and 2015.
Register now

Social Media

Blog

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Add a problem overview to your profile.

Update now

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Capital for Communities Fund

Where we workNew!

Add a map of your service areas to your profile.

Update now

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of dollars of private sector investments in agriculture attributable to the organization's efforts

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Farmers

Related program

The Capital for Communities Fund

Context notes

This is the fair trade and organic agriculture portion of our portfolio, representing pre-harvest financing to smallholder farmers and their cooperative organizations.

Number of loans issued

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Females,

Indigenous people,

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Related program

The Capital for Communities Fund

Context notes

More capital is needed to continue making more loans. We have maximized our cash available to deploy loans.

Total dollar amount of loans issued

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Females,

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people,

Farmers

Related program

The Capital for Communities Fund

Context notes

The utilization rate of funds peaked in 2014, when we had excess cash available. Loans disbursed dropped off since then because we are not receiving enough donor or investor capital to meet demand.

Dollar amount of total loans written off

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Females,

People of Latin American descent,

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Related program

The Capital for Communities Fund

Context notes

In the 25 year history of our Capital for Communities Fund we have only written off $300,000. We prefer to work over the long term with the partner borrower to help them repay.

Number of borrowers served through the nonprofit's programs

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Females,

People of Latin American descent,

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Related program

The Capital for Communities Fund

Context notes

In 2015, we implemented a new concentration policy to limit our exposure per partner from 20% of their assets to 7.5%. This dramatically drove down our portion of microborrowers served 2014 to 2016.

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Our mission is to create opportunities for access to microfinance, services and markets to improve the lives and communities of the working poor in Latin America. Our change theory is that by connecting community actors that finance, serve, train/educate, employ or do business with working poor persons and communities in Latin America, we improve the working poor family's income, welfare, and women's empowerment which leads to better lives and communities for the working poor. Our goal is to increase the number of working poor beneficiaries our organization serves through its financing to 38,750 people a year by 2017, a 25% increase over 2013 figures.

Our strategies include a combination of organizational reinvestment and offering more choice on how to get involved to our current and future donors, investors, and advocates. This includes:

1. Updating our understanding of the working poor person's needs and context of poverty in Latin America and learning how to empower working poor persons and families to move out of poverty and stay out of poverty --build in more resiliency to their lives to weather economic shocks and be less vulnerable to their daily risks of falling back into poverty. This strategy includes updating our mapping of where poverty is concentrated in each country where we work, or in countries where we should be. It also includes examining the factors keeping people in poverty and pro-actively addressing them. Targeting low-income women and rural-based beneficiaries remains a priority, due to their continued prevalent poverty rates in the region.

2. Expanding investor/donor choice and outreach into more communities, including opening up choices for which pro-poor offering from WCCN best suits the individual investor/donor's values. It also means finding new partners operating in the same or new under-served poor communities in the region. This also includes making ourselves known to impact investors by attending select conferences and events to better connect with people interested in our work. It also likely includes expanding into at least one new country and new market sectors to reach more poor persons and communities.

3. Bolstering staff and organizational capacity for managing more working partnerships with investable organizations and supporters in the US by investing a portion of WCCN equity and generated surpluses from the WCCN C4C Programs I (Access to Finance & Markets) & II (Access to Housing & Equipment) back into the C4C III/ Access to Incubation & Innovation offering in line with our WCCN Mission focus and non-profit tradition.

WCCN currently has a base of supporters across the US, including donors, investors, and advocates or some combination of all three. WCCN staff and board have expertise in law, financial analysis, accounting, impact measurement, impact investing, lending, nonprofit management, fundraising, marketing, and information technology. In addition, our staff has traveled extensively to the Latin American region and in some cases are from that region, thus bringing perspectives about what will work and what our partners need. Much of that expertise has gone into the creation of WCCN's strategic plan, which provides social impact and financial targets with which to judge our progress. WCCN's board meets monthly to review progress towards its financial and impact goals. In addition, we have been doing this work for more than 30 years in the region.

WCCN's Executive Director, Director of North American Operations, and Social Investment Advisor provide staff leadership in the design, collection, and interpretation of WCCN social impact data. This process is also facilitated and strengthened by highly trained volunteers. Specifically, WCCN will understand if it is meeting its mission by measuring the following:
1. Change in Dollar Value of Average Loan Size
2. Change in # Savings Accounts, if applicable
3. % of People Reporting Increased Revenues
4. % of People Reporting Increased Income
5. % of People Reporting Life Better Due to Oppty
6. # of People Reporting Community Improvement
7. (Specify Which Type Improvement Above)
8. $ Value of Community Improvement Reported
9. # Commtiess served with Services/Opportunities

WCCN will know if it is making progress regarding the first part of its change theory (properly connecting community actors that finance, serve, train/educate, employ or do business with working poor persons and communities in Latin America) by measuring the following:
1. Average $ Value of Loan Size to a Microborrower
2. # of Total Borrowers
3. # of Rural Borrowers
4. # of Women Borrowers
5. # of Partners
6. # of Impact Investors

WCCN will know if it is making progress regarding the second part of its change theory (improving the working poor family's income, welfare, and women's empowerment) by measuring the following:

1. # of beneficiaries reporting housing improvement
2. # reporting children schooling improvement
3. % Increase in Revenues Compared to Prior Period
4. Change in # clients/families using services
5. Change in # clients/families
6. Change in # receiving training/education
7. % Increase Price Premium Received for Goods (like Coffee Harvest)
8. % Change in Cost of Goods Sold
9. # of Women employed/hired
10. # of Women in management
11. # of Women clients receiving services
12. # of Women borrowers or members
13. # of Women producers
14. # of Women trained/educated

In 2016, we served 21,996 microborrowers and farmers, 53% of whom were women and 64% of whom were from rural areas. Our average loan size to a microborrower was $1,234, 38% below the 2015 regional average of $2,000. Our total portfolio outstanding at 2016 year-end was $11.2 million and we have invested $116 million in Latin America cumulatively since 1991. Through our value chain partners, we financed 1.5 million pounds of coffee.

WCCN has historically not had the systems and capacity to properly report on the indicators of the success of part 2 of our change theory. Implementing the systems to easily and efficiently capture that data remains a key challenge for this year and beyond.

External Reviews

Affiliations & Memberships

Community Shares

Photos

Financials

Working Capital for Community Needs, Inc.

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2016 and 2015
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to view a Sample Report.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2016 and 2015
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies

close
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
close
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
check_circle
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
close
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
close
We have a diversity committee in place
close
We have a diversity manager in place
close
We have a diversity plan
check_circle
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
We do not have a diversity plan, but we do have a Governance Committee recruitment process that incorporates a standardized Board matrix template that lists existing Board members details and then also identifies needs/gaps on Board, including all aspects of diversity: skills, education, race, geographic experience, languages spoken, professional experience, networks and affiliations, etc. We seek diversity of thought as well as socio-economic diversity to avoid group think and status quo complacency in our organization. We also have an explicit effort to keep at least half or more of our staff as Latin Americans and half North Americans, considering we serve all the Americas. We remain a bilingual office. There is no policy only practice on this point. Additionally, we always have at least one key senior staff member living in Latin America and engage others selectively from Latin America as well to keep our close connection to the geography, clients, beneficiaries and communities we serve. Executive Director must also be bilingual. Again, this is not policy, but it is our practice for approx. 20 years.