Woodstock Institute Receives 2007 MacArthur Foundation
Award for Creative and Effective Nonprofits


Woodstock Institute, one of the oldest fair finance and community economic development research and policy organizations in the country, is a recipient of the 2007 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Organizations.  The award includes a major grant to increase institutional capacity and ensure the long-term stability of Woodstock Institute. The Institute is proud to be one of eight organizations in six countries to be a recipient of the 2007 prize.
Woodstock’s award recognizes thirty-four years of work to increase access to economic and financial resources in lower-income and minority communities.  By broadening access to responsible credit and well-priced banking, financial and insurance services, Woodstock Institute has helped expand economic opportunity for individuals and strengthened targeted communities.

"We have always sought to document how national financial and economic policy and practice plays out at the neighborhood level," said Malcolm Bush, Woodstock Institute president since 1992.  "This award will help us build on our successes and continue to produce pathbreaking community level research in Chicago and other cities around the country to impact state and federal policy.”

“Woodstock has had a major impact on policies and practices in such areas as access to mortgage finance, small business lending, retail banking products, and strategies to build and protect modest assets for moderate income people” said Marva Williams, Woodstock’s senior vice-president.  She explained: “It has also lead the fight to reduce the devastating individual and neighborhood level impacts of predatory mortgage loans and predatory consumer loans such as refund anticipation loans, payday loans, auto-title loans and credit card lending.” 
"Structural economic change, the improvement of local and federal economic policies, and persuading the financial service industry to treat the average family fairly are long-term projects” said Bush. "We are deeply grateful to the MacArthur Foundation for its steadfast commitment to our work because of the time it takes to effect policy change, the unpredictable way in which that change happens, and because of the controversy that surrounds many of the issues we work on.”

He added: “Some foundations are reluctant to move beyond important but local issues such as the provision of social services and other community level initiatives.  But the success of local efforts is powerfully shaped by forces external to the community.  Unless those economic forces are re-shaped to give disadvantaged communities a chance, we are wishing the ends without providing those communities the means to succeed.”

For more information, contact:

Malcolm Bush, President
Woodstock Institute
(312) 427-8070

Marva Williams, Senior Vice President
Woodstock Institute
(312) 427-8070