Introducing our first partner.
Ashoka is the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. They pioneered the field 40 years ago and have supported nearly 4,000 Ashoka Fellows across the globe, guiding them to grow unexpected ideas into transformative social progress.
The global pandemic has revealed and accelerated the deep inequities that exist in America and beyond. It is clearer than ever that the pathways to financial freedom — and thus many other freedoms — are riddled with obstacles that keep tens of millions of Americans barely coping, and far from thriving.
Thankfully, many of the solutions are already out there — in the hands of social innovators and changemakers who are rooted in the communities living with these challenges. Imagine if they had the resources and networks they needed to fully thrive.
Together with them and with the Ashoka and Fool networks, we believe we can turn obstacles into opportunities, bring financial freedom into the national narrative, and accelerate the field in transformative ways.
The changemaker initiative
The Motley Fool Foundation will invest in Financial Freedom Fellows with systems-changing ideas to help them scale and reach more beneficiaries. We’re spearheading our changemaker initiative with Ashoka as a trusted partner and will connect the Fellows with Fools and members to fuel their growth.
Imagine the possibilities of dozens and dozens of The Motley Fool Foundation Financial Freedom Fellows across each of our five drivers sharing their stories, connecting with our members and Fools, and scaling their work to help more Americans on the pathway to Financial Freedom.
How will the Motley Fool Foundation support Financial Freedom Fellows?
Each Financial Freedom Fellow will receive an award of unrestricted funding. Additional funding will be reserved for special projects and initiatives that span across our five drivers and involve collaboration between the Fellows.
While the financial award is important, the real value will be amplifying their work and connecting Fellows to the larger Fool network.
What are the shared values between Ashoka and The Motley Fool Foundation?
Ashoka and The Motley Fool Foundation share an interest in enabling prosperity for all. But there is also strong cultural alignment between our two organizations and teams that positions us for a natural, fruitful partnership. Specifically:
Value of systems change
We both understand the value of systems change and need to ask what it is that maintains the status quo and to grapple with underlying causes. Otherwise, we’ll be stuck applying band-aids to problems that will continue to persist a generation from now.
Collaboration, not individual solutions
We both seek core principles and strategies that have the potential to lift up the entire field. Individual solutions have a limited shelf life; far more important are frameworks that can move us all toward our ultimate goal with greater speed and social impact.
Believe in smart investments
We both have a long history of making (and encouraging) smart investments at the right time. We believe in the potential of a new idea in the hands of the right person.
Power of networks and connectivity
We believe in the power of networks and connectivity across fields and disciplines. Breaking through silos and building an interdisciplinary team is our best hope to scale bundles of solutions and shift industries in a lasting way.
Innovative and open to change
We are playful and creative and open to being surprised. We are always in learning mode, willing to pivot and adapt when the playing field changes.
Meet the Financial Freedom Fellows
José Quiñonez: Mission Asset Fund
Financial Freedom Driver(s): Money
José Quiñonez is leveraging existing cultural assets of immigrant and low-income communities to create a new class of full economic citizens. He positions citizen organizations like his own Mission Asset Fund to become bridge-builders between unbanked and underbanked communities and the mainstream financial sectors in a way that builds new pathways to economic inclusion.
Jose and his team have shifted how we understand the pathways to financial freedom and the importance of creating mechanisms to convert a range of financial activity and expertise into the financial mainstream. Mission Asset Fund has distributed more than $8M in zero-interest loans to date, and 90% of their thousands of clients are able to establish a credit score for the first time.
Why we’re excited about Jose
Jose brings deep experience to the financial freedom conversation, having worked for two decades to help people become visible, active, and successful in their financial lives.
His work is relevant to tens of millions of Americans who have little to no access to financial credit and who turn to fringe financial services for their daily needs.
His mindset-shifting insights are rooted in the resilience and wisdom of low-income and immigrant communities, leveraging that know-how into formal financial power.
Tim Lampkin: Higher Purpose
Financial Freedom Driver(s): Work
Tim unlocks opportunities for wealth creation for Black, rural entrepreneurs. He shifts the economic development approach away from an emphasis on personal collateral and prior wealth toward an appreciation of peer-to-peer support and collective prosperity, while creatively combining financial instruments (loans, grants, equity) so his clients and communities can thrive.
Tim is working across the Mississippi Delta, where he’s helped launch more than 200 local ventures. His work helps other financial institutions do better and is centered on non-extractive methodologies and community-based knowledge with the potential to drive economic and social change across rural American economies.
Why we’re excited about Tim
He’s helping Black citizens thrive as local entrepreneurs by ensuring that the capital meant to help underserved regions actually does so, in the form of unconventional financial and loan products.
Tim emphasizes access to capital and building assets as essential levers for achieving financial stability and for getting beyond “coping.”
He’s focused on addressing the country’s racial wealth, rooting his work and the broader conversation about financial freedom in this country’s racial legacy and the continued obstacles this presents to BIPOC Americans, in particular.
Partner with us
Partner funding for the 2022 fiscal year is closed.
Your passion for doing what’s right is the perfect place to start. Our vision of Financial Freedom for all will require a lot of time, effort, and resources. Having people like you in our corner is what’s going to get us there.
With every step taken and every bridge built, all of us are closer to creating a better world. When we recognize the barriers and biases holding people back from financial choice, there can be opportunities for everyone to thrive.