Kiva – Loans that Change Lives

Charitable Giving

If you’ve ever felt like the small amounts of money you give to non-profit organizations don’t make a difference… and let’s be honest, we’ve all been there… this organization is for you.

Instead of giving to a faceless organization that then passes your money along to an equally faceless person or people, this non-profit allows you to loan “directly” to the person. You get to see the person, read their story, and know exactly what you’re money is supposed to go to.

How to Give

I just logged on and gave $25 toward Drusilla’s loan. Drusilla is from Kenya and is looking for a loan to buy a photocopier, paper, and soft drinks to sell in her bureau stall. Her entire loan is for $950 and its 84% funded.

I chose Drusilla for random reasons: I want to help  a woman; I wanted to fund a loan that’s already almost funded; I wanted to fund someone in Africa; and I wanted to fund something that I thought made sense for a small business. Drusilla fit all the criteria, so I clicked the button, and …

At this point, you’ve got a few options. First, you can add a gift card (what a great idea when you’re giving a donation on behalf of another person!!!) and also, you can donate to Kiva’s Operational Costs at this point. That’s because the loan you are providing, that $25, goes directly to the person; none of it goes to Kiva.

Facts to Know

You’ll want to be aware of three other items:

First, Kiva partners with other organizations that deliver the money to the people. That being said, they seem to partner with good groups as I’ve only heard good things especially in the reviews.

Second, if you want to check up on Kiva, Guidestar seems like a good resource:
http://www2.guidestar.org/organizations/71-0992446/kiva-microfunds.aspx

Third, when the loan gets paid back to you (monthly, number of months varies) you can take that money and invest it again. So instead of giving once, your money just keeps on giving.

Not Just a Loan

So why is this not just another loan? Easy. There isn’t any interest charged. Not to the person or to Kiva or to the organizational middle man.

I love this because you’ve got both sides here: the business side and the charitable side. The quote by Gabriellephant:

“A day with handouts is a day without dignity.” – gabriellephant

makes total sense to me. If you just give items to people, you are essentially telling them that they can’t provide for themselves. I’d rather “teach the person to fish” then give them a fish (hypothetically of course… I have no idea how to fish).

Which is probably why this organization appeals so much to me. It directly provides people with what they need to succeed in the world. I grew up with an amazing supportive family, parents who co-signed a car loan for me back as a 20 year old, and money from my grandparents. Not everyone is given opportunities like that in their lives; this organization allows me to give opportunities to others.

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