There are so many charities and organizations vying for our donation dollars, it can be hard to decide what to put your money towards. Because my desire to HELP ALL THE PEOPLE and GIVE THEM ALL THE MONEY isn’t always compatible with the lifestyle we want, I generally volunteer more of my time than my cash.
When I do give cash, it’s usually to Kiva.org – and that’s because one donation helps give a hand up again and again and again.
Here’s how it works:
- You make a loan on Kiva. All Kiva loans are made possible by their Field Partners, who vet, administer, and disburse each loan.
- Throughout the life of the loan, you will see progress updates from Kiva through your email, and if you come back to the site.
- As the borrower repays the loan, the money becomes available in your account. This is called your Kiva Credit.
- You can now use it to fund another loan, donate it to Kiva, or withdraw it to spend on something else.
The most awesome part of all? If you’re new to Kiva, your first loan is FREE! These free trials will be financed by friends of Kiva, allowing the new lender (you!) to make one $25 loan free of charge. These free trial loans are disbursed to borrowers in the same way other loans are disbursed on Kiva. However, since Kiva is funding the free trial loan, any repayment funds from the free trial loan will go back to Kiva, not to the free trial lender. New lenders invited during the promotion may choose to use their own funds to make a loan, in which case repayments will go back to the lender.
Supplies of free trials are limited to one per new user, and will be made available on a “first claimed” basis.
I let my eldest daughter help me select which businesses to fund through Kiva.org, and it’s been a great learning experience for her as the process has led us to many discussions about living conditions in other countries.
If you haven’t tried Kiva yet, I hope you find the opportunity to do so soon. You won’t regret it.