AUSTIN, Texas (Feb. 27, 2012) –  Whole Planet Foundation is kicking off its 2012 Prosperity Campaign at Whole Foods Market®, with the goal of raising $4.1 million to fund poverty alleviation projects across the globe and right here in the U.S.

Through Facebook®, shoppers can submit a 25 – 350 word essay on how their small actions are making a big impact for a chance to win a trip for two to India from Intrepid Travel®. On this seven-day adventure, travelers will experience the power of microcredit firsthand as they meet with loan recipients and take in India’s vibrant sights, sounds and flavors. For details and to enter, visit and select the “Whole Planet Foundation: Small Change for Big Change” tab. The deadline to enter is March 18. Winners will be announced on April 2.

“Microcredit is proof that it doesn’t take millions of dollars to make a real, lasting difference in someone’s life,” said Philip Sansone, president and executive director of Whole Planet Foundation. “A loan as small as $300 can empower a poor entrepreneur to lift herself and her family out of poverty for good.”

This year, in addition to growing its programs in developing-world communities, Whole Planet Foundation has expanded its loan support in the U.S. through its partnership with Grameen America, a nonprofit microfinance organization that offers microloans to financially empower low-income entrepreneurs, by providing $850,000 in funding.

“Grameen America is honored to partner with Whole Planet Foundation to help alleviate poverty,” said Stephen A. Vogel, CEO of Grameen America. “Our collaboration with Whole Planet Foundation will allow us to increase the number of microloans across the United States.  Together, we will continue the fight against poverty.”

With no collateral, credit history or a contract required, microloans offer many low-income women their first chance to gain financial independence, launch their own businesses and start a new life. Prosperity from their food carts, door-to-door cosmetic sales, at-home bakeries and flower shops are helping women provide healthier meals, better housing and a solid education for themselves and their children. Watch this video to learn how:

“Thanks to Whole Foods Market shoppers’ small donations for big change, we’re sparking new life for hundreds of thousands of poor individuals around the world,” said Sansone. “If we meet our fundraising goal, shoppers will have provided enough loans to support 180,000 more recipients and their families.”

The 2012 Prosperity Campaign runs through March 31. To get involved, shoppers can enjoy one of hundreds of fundraising opportunities at Whole Foods Market locations nationwide –from wine tastings, fashion shows and silent auctions, to charity races and microbrewry events– or donate their small change for big change at store checkouts and online at 

To date, Whole Planet Foundation has committed more than $26.5 million and disbursed more than $15.5 million through microfinance partners in 50 countries, positively impacting more than a million people worldwide.

For more information on Whole Planet Foundation, fundraising ideas or for testimonials from microcredit clients, visit