The MasterCard Foundation is an independent global foundation which states it "advances youth learning and promotes financial inclusion to catalyze prosperity in developing countries." Since its inception in 2006, it has collaborated with partners in developing countries, with a particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. It is based at the Eaton Centre in Toronto, Canada and operates independently of MasterCard Worldwide.
The foundation was established in 2006 through a gift of shares from MasterCard Worldwide at the time of the company's IPO. Reeta Roy was named the foundation's president and CEO in 2008.
The MasterCard Foundation increases access to financial services and educational opportunities. To achieve this, it partners with nonprofit and non-governmental organizations that focus on the key areas of Financial Inclusion and Youth Learning.
Financial inclusion is where low-income individuals, households, and small businesses have access to and can effectively use appropriate financial services (formal and non-formal, from a range of providers). The foundation's Financial Inclusion program works with partners to expand access to and increase the reach of financial services. Its stated goals include: scaling access to financial services; pioneering financial services for youth; and promoting responsible finance.
The foundation's financial inclusion partners include ACCION International, the Aga Khan Foundation, BRAC, CARE Canada, Catholic Relief Services, Freedom from Hunger, Grameen Foundation, Fonkoze, Microfinance Information Exchange Inc., Microfinance Opportunities, Microfinance Transparency, Opportunity International, Plan Canada, Save the Children, The SEEP Network, Water.org, Women's World Banking, UNCDF, Equity Group Foundation, Mennonite Economic Development Association (MEDA), Participatory Microfinance Group for Africa (PAMIGA) and The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program.
The foundation's Youth Learning program promotes financial education inside and outside of formal school systems, and seeks to use the market to benefit youth and prepare them for the market. The program's goals include: scaling access to education in Sub-Saharan Africa; developing employment-seeking skills in youth; and developing skills in out-of-school youth.
Youth Learning partners include the African Leadership Academy, Camfed, the International Labour Organization, International Youth Foundation, Education for Employment Foundation, Digital Opportunity Trust, Equity Group Foundation, Aflatoun, YouthBuild, Educate!, Swisscontact, Fundacion Paraguaya, CAP Foundation, TechnoServe and the University of Minnesota.
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program provides talented and disadvantaged young people, particularly in Africa, with access to education. It builds on a network of education institutions and nonprofit organizations that provide education and support to young people who are committed to giving back to their communities.
Foundation Scholars partners include Ashesi University, Arizona State University, BRAC Uganda, Camfed, Duke University, EARTH University, McGill University, Michigan State University, Stanford University, University of British Columbia, University of California, Berkeley, University of Toronto and Wellesley College.