Kiva.org: social impact for the whole family

A few months ago I was introduced to Kiva. Kiva does a great job of summarizing what it does so I won’t try to paraphrase it: “We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. ”

Kiva does a good job of explaining what it does and how it works  (http://www.kiva.org/about/how), so I wont rehash it here.

Why I lend on Kiva:

  • I like that I know where my capital goes, down to the person or group
  • The money I lend provides capital to people who typically would not have access to credit
  • I help supports entrepreneurs achieve their goals
  • Compared to one-time charity donations, your funds can be continuously re-lent
  • It’s easy and simple to execute (via Paypal)
  • It doesn’t cost you to lend (but you can also donate to Kiva if you’d like)
  • I can track things very closely
  • It’s fun!
You can check out my Kiva lender page here: http://www.kiva.org/lender/papalogic

My Kiva strategy

Part of the “fun” with Kiva is to make new loans regularly. To do that, you either need to keep adding new money, or enough loans being repaid on a monthly basis to redeploy that capital. I figured that making 10 new loans a month was a good target for me.
So to make 10 new loans  a month, it would require $250 of repayments a month, or about $1,500 turning over every 6 months or so. That got me to about 60 loans.
I constructed my initial loan mix with care:
  • staged repayment terms to achieve the rollover profile I wanted
  • a diversified mix of countries
  • a mix of industries
  • good quality field partners
This was back in November, and now my Kiva portfolio is up and running. I started with about 60 loans, and now I can make about a dozen new loans each month using repayments from the existing portfolio.

My current Kiva loan portfolio

  As of this post:
  • Loans made: 98
  • Loans outstanding: 91
  • Number of countries: 36
  • Largest country exposure: Peru and the Philippines each have 8 loans outstanding.
  • Average country exposure: 2.5 loans
  • Loans made to women: 69%
 While I have tried to stay relatively diversified across countries, some countries have more established micro-lending programs and thus more loans available on Kiva at any given time.
Kiva Country Exposure

My Kiva Country Exposure

Try it with your kids!

I think Kiva is a great activity to do with your family, whether immediate or extended.
It’s a great opportunity for children to learn about other countries, differences in standards of living across the world, social impact, making decisions and managing money.
Kiva has a lot of social-networking features such as the ability to create lending teams and sharing your activity on Facebook or Twitter.
One Response to Kiva.org: social impact for the whole family
  1. Richard
    February 26, 2012 | 1:17 pm

    That is a really good idea. So often you do not know where your money goes when you donate. Educational for the kids, too.
    Richard recently posted…Artificial GrassMy Profile

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