Ford Foundation awards Trickle Up $350,000 grant to expand its India ‘ultra poor’ program


The program will help over 4,500 people take the first steps out of extreme poverty and dissemination of Trickle Up methods with practitioners and government


NEW YORK, March 12, 2012 Trickle Up, an international poverty alleviation organization that empowers people to take the first steps out of extreme poverty, today announced a new grant from the Ford Foundation that will improve the lives of extremely poor families in the rural West Bengal and Jharkhand regions of India.


The three-year $350,000 grant will fund the expansion of Trickle Up’s livelihoods development approach, which engages women in a three-year, carefully sequenced program promoting livelihood diversification, regular savings and confident use of credit, positive behavior change related to health and social issues, and community-level advocacy. Trickle Up will work closely with two Indian poverty agencies to deliver the program, which includes the formation of 75 “self-help” groups that enable women to save and borrow, as well as engage in peer learning.


“The ‘ultra poor’ confront the greatest obstacles in their climb out of poverty. Their incomes are tied to the availability of daily wage labor and often allow for no more than one meal a day. Their struggle of living hand-to-mouth is intensified by isolation and marginalization,” said Bill Abrams, president of Trickle Up. “The Ford Foundation has been a leader for decades in alleviating poverty in India and around the world, and its support of Trickle Up will ultimately mean greater opportunities for those who live in extreme poverty.”


In addition, the Ford Foundation will support Trickle Up’s efforts to share its expertise and resources with practitioners and policymakers in India and internationally. Trickle Up is a founding participant in a pioneering global effort, funded in part by the Ford Foundation, to bring together practitioners, funders, researchers and government to develop methods that help advance families out of extreme poverty.


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About Trickle Up

Since Trickle Up’s founding in 1979, its sole focus has been on bringing livelihood opportunities to the extremely poor, including over 100,000 people in India. Trickle Up’s comprehensive livelihood program incorporates seed capital grants with skills training and savings and credit group membership that supports greater asset-building, livelihood sustainability, and social empowerment. In addition to its program in India, Trickle Up also works in West Africa and Central America. To learn more, visit


About The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the front lines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. To learn more visit