One Night, $9 Million of Impact

On Monday, April 16, 2018, Trickle Up held our annual gala at Cipriani 25 Broadway. We raised $896,000 to support our expansion across Asia, Africa, and the Americas, which will empower more than 100,000 women and families and benefit more than half a million people in 2018.


Each year, the Glen and Mildred Robbins Leet Humanitarian Award, named for Trickle Up’s founders, is presented to those who have made outstanding contributions to the achievement of Trickle Up’s mission. This year, Trickle Up board member Rangu Salgame, Chairman and CEO of Princeton Growth Ventures, was presented with the award. In envisioning and working towards a future where the poorest and most vulnerable people have equal access to mobile technology and the internet, Mr. Salgame exemplifies Trickle Up’s pioneering spirit.


“Trickle Up is developing a set of innovative mobile apps that will help women in extreme poverty,” Trickle Up President Bill Abrams said to the crowd of more than 350 attendees. “Putting the computing and communication power of mobile phones into the hands of all people, regardless of education, economic status, or location, is becoming a reality.” Learn more about our digital inclusion initiative.


We also celebrated Trickle Up’s expansion over the last year to reach more women living in extreme poverty than ever before. “Trickle Up now works in 18 countries, double the number we were in just one year ago,” commented Board Chair Penny Foley. “Working with governments and international agencies means that every dollar we raise here tonight is leveraged 10 times or more by our partners.” With the $896,000 raised at this year’s gala, Trickle Up will leverage almost $9 million to advance the economic and social inclusion of the world’s most vulnerable people.


Proceeds from the event support our commitment to reaching more than 100,000 women and vulnerable people living in extreme poverty in 2018, an eightfold increase over just three years prior. Trickle Up’s program provides a toolkit for women in extreme poverty to start on a path toward greater economic self-sufficiency and social well-being. They form savings groups and receive seed capital to start a new business. With the help of a coach, they learn to diversify their livelihoods, save, access credit, build skills, and support one another. We work in partnership with local organizations, global institutions, and governments.


Board member Linda Strumpf remarked on both the economic and social well-being that Trickle Up participants develop, “The impact that Trickle Up has on women’s ability to earn an income, to better feed their family, or to take out a loan to grow their business makes me proud. But Trickle Up’s ability to develop female leaders in an environment often hostile to them makes me hopeful for the future.” Throughout the evening, videos featuring female leaders, like Wilma Santiago in Mexico, demonstrated the impact of investing in women living extreme poverty. The premiere of four new videos created by Bodega Studios highlighted Trickle Up’s work globally.


The event’s co-chairs were Jeni Abramson, Managing Director of The Jocelyn Group, and Josh Barer, Managing Director of Sunflower Life Sciences. “To really understand, I knew I had to see Trickle Up’s work for myself,” said Jeni. “In Burkina Faso, Juliette, a widow with six children, told me about how she had never owned a pair of shoes before joining Trickle Up’s program. Now she had four – and she can feed her children and send them to school. Juliette is only one of more than 335,000 women Trickle Up has helped in the past four decades.”


The event also looked ahead to 2019, when Trickle Up will celebrate its 40th anniversary. “In my decade of service on Trickle Up’s board, I have witnessed women gaining the confidence, skills, and resources to unleash their potential,” said Benjamin Segal. We thank everyone who made the 2018 Gala a smashing success and look forward to unleashing the potential of over 100,000 women this year thanks to your generosity.