Phase 2 Fundraising Workshop #104
Mentorship & Partnership

(as a banking program)


This is a popular form of savings system in Jamaica and Third World countries.  A “Partner” is known by many different names. It is often described as a savings and loan account without any interest charged.

A ”Partner” is basically a partnership. And an established person known in the community manages the partnership and is referred to as “the banker.”

In most cultures, “ the banker” is a woman, a stay-at-home mother or retired and trustworthy person in a community. 

Each partner contributes a regular sum: either daily, weekly, fortnightly or on a monthly basis. 

Every day, week, fortnight or month, one member of the partnership receives the total amount contributed by ALL the partners over that period, less the equivalent of one contribution, which is given to the banker as payment for that banker’s services. 

For example, a “Back to School Partnership” would last from August to September.

There are deposits each Shabbat and withdrawals each Sunday after Shabbat has ended. 

The weeks are counted by each Shabbat (e.g., if there are 10 members they each deposit $10 to the banker). 

On the next day, which would be a Sunday, the first person gets all that was deposited. That would be 10 x 10 = $100 minus $10 (the $10 is given to the banker). So the take home = $90.  

And for 10 weeks from August to September and one week into October, the partner gets $90, and the banker gets $10 each week for handling the savings, managing the payout, and collecting the savings. 

The banker determines the order in which members can make their withdraws. And the banker will normally give priority to the more established and trusted members, leaving those who are least reliable till the last. 

An early withdrawal is effectively equivalent to a loan which is paid back by continuing the weekly $10 until all have received $100 minus $10 to banker. 

The longest “partners” rarely exceed 6 months. 

“Partners” are recognized by  many people groups. They like the system because it gives them quick access to ready cash (some for an emergency situation). 

One can make an early withdrawal, providing of course, that they are trusted by the “banker.” It is also the only system available to a large number of  poor people.  

Some bankers have had a big enough bank to pay out from $500 to $5,000. This is a savings and loan without the interest rate or pre-qualifying credit report, etc.   

  • Patience—A Partner scheme may last a few weeks, up to six months or even more. You have to wait your turn for your draw, and how quickly you get the draw also depends on the banker’s selection order and whether or not you are a reliable partner.
  • Sacrifice—Because you now have to make this payment weekly or monthly, you have to give up some habits or cut out unnecessary spending and put the money towards your draw.
  • Reward—The greatest feeling is when you get your draw; You feel accomplished/rewarded for having saved the amount of money you now have in hand.
  • Tolerance and Flexibility—You have to know it might not go as smoothly as predicted. People might drop out, causing the draw to be renegotiated or someone new has to be added.
  • Being Last is Good—Though this is not always so, some person who gets the first or last draw might feel they do not have to continue paying into the pot. This type of savings requires honesty and commitment all the way to the end. Each person will get their lump sum, but they must be disciplined and thoughtful towards all members of their “partnership.” This is why you will only be allowed to participate if you attend our Shabbat school and we know you are in this for the good of our group. 

Shalom from Rivkah (Reva)

Your Jamaican Recipe Prophet