Trickle Up Gala honors Ford Foundation and raises over $750,000 to help women overcome extreme poverty


NEW YORK, April 6, 2016 – Trickle Up hosted more than 300 guests and raised more than $750,000 at its annual Gala on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at Cipriani Wall Street. The gala honored the Ford Foundation, recipient of Trickle Up’s 2016 Leet Humanitarian Award, accepted by Kavita Ramdas, Senior Advisor for Global Strategy.


Since it was founded in 1979, Trickle Up has been a pioneer in global poverty alleviation, helping people living in extreme poverty to build sustainable livelihoods. By providing a seed capital grant, training and savings support, Trickle Up helps participants develop the skills and confidence they need to take their first transformative steps out of poverty by building sustainable livelihood that improve quality of life for them and their families.


In presenting the award, Trickle Up board chair Penelope D. Foley remarked, “We have benefitted from Ford’s leadership and vision in so many ways – its years of experience ending poverty, its ability to make important connections for Trickle Up to urge us toward greater scale, and its understanding that easy answers are rare in our business.”


In accepting the Leet Award, Ms. Ramdas said, “The work of Trickle Up may have started with issues of economic security and opportunity, but by giving women voice, authority and resources, it has begun to subtly yet fundamentally reshape a set of entrenched assumptions and mindsets about what women can, should, or are not able to do.”


The Leet Humanitarian Award is named for Glen and Mildred Robbins Leet who founded Trickle Up in 1979. It is presented annually to those who’ve made exemplary contributions to the achievement of Trickle Up’s mission to eradicate poverty in its most extreme form by reaching the poorest and most vulnerable people living in extreme poverty. Past recipients of the award have included venture capitalist and former Trickle Up board member Alan J. Patricof, corporate partner Newton Running and the Lee family, and Trickle Up board member Wendy Gordon


During the event, guests were transported to rural Guatemala via virtual reality to experience a few moments in the lives of Trickle Up participants as they run shops, go to market and meet as a savings group. As Trickle Up Central America Regional Representative Jorge Coy noted during the program, “The strongest advocate for change is a woman whose ambition is to better her family. And her voice is loudest when she joins with other women working to transform their world.”


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About Trickle Up

Trickle Up has been a pioneer graduating people out of extreme poverty, and since 1979, has helped more than one million of the poorest, most vulnerable people achieve greater economic self-sufficiency. Trickle Up works through local partners and in partnership with large institutions and governments to provide women and other vulnerable populations with business training and financial education, seed capital to start or expand a business, regular coaching, and integrates them into savings groups. Trickle Up works in rural India, the Americas, the Middle East and North Africa, and West Africa. To learn more, visit