Now in its eleventh year, the Catalogue's mission is to connect caring citizens with worthy community causes. According to Barbara Harman, President and Editor of the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington, "Many nonprofits continue to suffer during the slow economic recovery, and the search for support has been intensified by the loss of government (and sometimes foundation) funding. Individual donors can continue to make a real difference, keeping great organizations afloat during these challenging times."
The Catalogue has helped raise over $21 million since its inception in 2003. After celebrating it's 10th Anniversary last year, the Catalogue is poised to jump into a new decade of nonprofit support and community engagement.
From traditional, direct mail catalogues, to innovative online portals, to special events and social media, the Catalogue's goal is to build networks of engaged donors and great nonprofits that will make a difference in new ways, on their terms. It also provides charities with a stamp of approval that tells donors they can invest with confidence.
Trending: Popular Blog Posts from Five Talents in April and May
by Charlie Shiffletton May 22, 2013
We post to this blog three times a week, on average, but even regular visitors to our website are unable to catch every single article.
Below, you'll find a list of our most popular blog posts from the last month. If you've been away for a while, these program updates will get you caught up in no time.
If you're unfamiliar with Five Talents' microfinance programs, then this is a great place to start learning more about the nature of our work. As you'll soon find, every program is unique. Some are savings-led; others are credit-led. Some have a literacy and financial education component. Some target communities in urban slums. Others work in extremely rural, un-banked communities.
All of our programs are empowering women. All are helping parents to develop a sustainable micro-enterprise that can improve their quality of life and help their children to stay in school. All are bringing folks living in impoverished communities a chance to save money, take out a small loan, and learn basic business skills, like accounting and marketing. And all program participants are reminded of their God-given dignity and encouraged to use the unique gifts their creator has placed in their care.
Please check out any of these program updates you have missed, and share your favorites with folks on Facebook and Twitter:
The Weekly Window: A Second Community Bank Under Construction in South Sudan
by Charlie Shiffletton May 20, 2013
Five Talents and two local partners in South Sudan, World Concern and the Episcopal Church of Sudan, first opened a community-owned bank in Lietnhom in 2009. In just a few weeks, a second community bank, pictured here, will open in Kuajok, the capital of Warrap state, South Sudan.
The bank in Lietnhom is called the "Amat Wuot Community Bank" and means "a union of communities" in Dinka, the local language. It has brought together members from various clans, including two clans that had fought only a year before the bank's formal dedication. In 2012, the bank welcomed its 800th share-holding member.
The Kuajok bank is expected to open within the next 30 days. Bank staff and leadership will be trained by their colleagues at Amat Wuot Community Bank.
How Sweet It Is: A Candy-Maker’s Life and Family Is Transformed in the Philippines
by Charlie Shiffletton May 16, 2013
She may not have Willy Wonka's top hat and magnificent factory, but Nena has achieved her own measure of success as a candy-maker in the Philippines. Her candies, made from the fruit of the tamarind tree, have helped her provide for the four kids living under her roof – not only food and a refuge from the outside world, but also money for education.
"Education is the best gift we [parents] can give our kids," Nena said.
The 45-year-old mother had run a variety store as well as her candy-making business before joining a loan group set up by Five Talents' partner, the Center for Community Transformation (CCT).
"There were CCT members in the church I attended, but [for years] I opted not to join their program. Eventually, I joined out of curiosity and with a lingering long-term goal for my small business. There was an increasing demand for my candies in the market, but producing it drained my start-up capital, therefore limiting my supply. A small loan, I believed, would go a mile" in helping to expand the business.
Nena's first loan of 4,000 Philippine Pesos ($97) helped her to better meet the market demand for her Tamarind candies. As in all of Five Talents' programs, Nena also received training that helped her develop her business more strategically. Today, she is on her 20th loan cycle. Her most recent loan was for 20,000 Philippine Pesos ($485).
Those folks now have money in savings that can be used to expand or launch a business, or help a child recover from an illness.
Those folks can now read, write, add and subtract. They have written their own savings association's constitution, determined their own interest rates and penalty fees, and created an emergency fund to serve others in their community.
The women have gained confidence inside their home. The men have begun showing more respect for their wives. And the families have hope for the future – not something to be taken lightly in a country that is still recovering from years of civil war.
Here's what a pastor had to say about the transformation he has seen in his community in Gitega Diocese:
"In our tradition, we're used to seeing women not able to manage money or buy for themselves. Initially, men were afraid of letting women manage their own money, but many husbands are now very grateful for this knowledge and thank us. One man was a drunkard and illiterate and mistreated his family. His wife became a facilitator, and she started [helping] her family, and her husband changed. The husband is now a member of the choir and part of this same association!
"This is a direct result of the literacy and savings program. Husbands are now applauding the work of this program. Many families have turned to God and are living in peace. Husbands keep asking for this program to continue. In our country, it is rare to see women owning a plot of land. Women are now able to buy cattle, pigs, goats, and rabbits. This program has brought unity and harmony in the family. Some people are so poor and lose hope, but those who are part of this association are self-confident and hopeful."
Isn't this testimony incredible? A husband with an alcohol problem is now singing in the choir – and being supportive of his wife, who has become a leader in the community.
On May 9, Five Talents participated in the 1818 Society's NGO Showcase at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. The 1818 Society is a group comprised of World Bank alumni.
The event gave Five Talents Executive Director Sonia Patterson (R) an opportunity to introduce the organization to a lot of new friends, including those in this photo. We set up a table in the main atrium and met World Bank employees from all over the world – Mexico, Uganda, Bangladesh, China. The conversations with these folks gave us an opportunity to highlight some of Five Talents’ distinguishing characteristics.
This Mother's Day, Send Your Mom, Grandma or Aunt a Five Talents eCard
by Charlie Shiffletton May 09, 2013
Mother's Day is almost here, but it's not too late to express your thanks and love to the special women in your life, while also empowering mothers in Five Talents' microsavings and microcredit programs.
Here are a couple of ways that you can make Mother's Day extra-special this year:
Submit a photograph of your mom, grandmother or aunt to be published on Five Talents' "Talented Moms" Pinterest board. Every photo is a $5 donation to Five Talents! Once we post the photo, you can share the Pinterest board with your loved one. She'll be delighted to see herself among the ranks of the world's most "Talented Moms"! To submit a photo, e-mail it to
or tweet it to @FiveTalents along with the hash tag "#TalentedMoms".
Send your mom, grandmother, aunt or wife a Five Talents "Love Always Hopes" eCard that will empower a woman in the country of your choice -- Peru, Bolivia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Burundi or South Sudan.
We want to take a moment to thank each of the companies that have so far agreed to participate. Please support these generous sponsors by giving them your business. Like our individual donors, they are helping to extend the impact of Five Talents' microsavings and microcredit programs into even more under-served communities, like this one in Burundi.
If you know of a company or organization that might be interested in joining this list of sponsors, please
These are the companies that are sponsoring or partnering with Five Talents for the 2013 X-OUT Poverty Golf Classic:
We hope you will also send a quick e-mail to friends, asking them to vote for Five Talents. Here's some language that you can paste into your e-mail:
Hey! The micro-enterprise development organization I suport, Five Talents, has entered a powerful video about its microsavings work into an online competition. I'd love it if you would (1) watch the video -- you'll be blown away, I promise! -- and (2) vote for it by Wednesday at 5pm EST. Thanks so much! I know they'll appreciate your support, too! Now back to regular programming!
An Interactive Weekly Window: Microfinance Stories from Indonesia
by Charlie Shiffletton April 30, 2013
Click on the icons below to jump to stories and a video about Five Talents' program in and around Jakarta, Indonesia.
Five Talents partners in Indonesia with GERHATI. The organization was founded in 2002 by Five Talents, the Anglican Diocese of Singapore and the expatriate Anglican community of All Saints Church in Jakarta.
GERHATI offers two loan products to its clients. The first is the Trust Bank Loan Program. Loan sizes range from $53 to $214. The second loan product, Small Business Loan Program, is available to existing GERHATI clients who improve their business, are diligent in repayment, and finish the Trust Bank Loan Program. These loans can go as high as $500.