Rabobank Foundation has impact
Helping the underprivileged on the road to self-reliance. That’s our mission at Rabobank Foundation. In recent years we have invested in charting the impact of Rabobank Foundation’s work. In March the Foundation published its second social impact report, presenting the most important findings of 2014.
In 2014 Rabobank Foundation aided a total of 264 foreign organisations in 24 focus countries as well as 42 organisations in the Netherlands. Altogether it extended a total of €30 million in funding to these organisations, including the loans extended by Rabo Foundation Client Fund. The lion’s share of this funding – more than €27 million – was invested in rural cooperatives in developing countries, while some €3 million was allocated to projects in the Netherlands.
Outreach to more than five million people
Taken together, the organisations we work with were in a position to reach some five million people in 2014. At home in the Netherlands our projects aided more than 400,000 people. Our efforts included helping people to take a more active role in society, creating jobs and boosting the financial self-sufficiency of people with money problems.
Abroad we were able to reach more than 4.7 million farmers and smallholders through our project partners. The members of these organisations were helped to sell their produce, to save or take out loans to invest in themselves or in their enterprise. In this way Rabobank Foundation helped them to boost their self-sufficiency. What’s more, this is a conservative estimate, as the figure takes no account of the workers employed by the savings and credit organisations and producers organisations we support. Nor are the family members of the smallholders belonging to the cooperatives included in this figure.
Transfer of expertise
We have strengthened our project partners and helped them to professionalize and work more efficiently. Around 10,000 staff and board members received training in 2014, while more than €2 million was invested in technical assistance. This support enables organisations to improve their administrative processes, management information systems, marketing or credit management. In addition we trained 77,000 small farmers in good agricultural practices, teaching them how to boost crop yields and improve the quality of their produce by pruning, weeding and fertilizing in the right way.
Measuring impact: a continuous process
Rabobank Foundation has opted for a step by step approach in gauging the impact of its work and attempting to maximise that impact. We don’t see impact as a one-off activity, but as an ongoing part of the way we operate. Each year we ask our project partners to report on their outcomes. In addition to sharing their financial data, all partners complete an online survey. These are supplemented with case studies that provide additional and more far-reaching information about our projects. At the end of this year we will present our social impact report for 2015.