Kiva.org: Loans that Change Lives

Rating: 4.32 stars   34 reviews

Issues:

Location: 3180 18th Street Suite 201 San Francisco CA 94110 USA

Mission: Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals in need of funding - not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need. Kiva partners with existing expert microfinance institutions. In doing so, we gain access to outstanding entrepreneurs from impoverished communities world-wide. Our partners are experts in choosing qualified entrepreneurs. That said, they are usually short on funds. Through Kiva, our partners upload their entrepreneur profiles directly to the site so you can lend to them. When you do, not only do you get a unique experience connecting to a specific entrepreneur on the other side of the planet, but our microfinance partners can do more of what they do, more efficiently. Kiva provides a data-rich, transparent lending platform. We are constantly working to make the system more transparent to show how money flows throughout the entire cycle, and what effect it has on the people and institutions lending it, borrowing it, and managing it along the way. To do this, we are using the power of the internet to facilitate one-to-one connections that were previously prohibitively expensive. Child sponsorship has always been a high overhead business. Kiva creates a similar interpersonal connection at much lower costs due to the instant, inexpensive nature of internet delivery. The individuals featured on our website are real people who need a loan and are waiting for socially-minded individuals like you to lend them money.
Results: Time since launch (January 2006): 30 months Loans: $37 million, growing $1 million every 10 days Lenders: 270 thousand people from +70 countries Borrowers: 40 thousand entrepreneurs from +40 countries MFI Partners: 100 MFIs, growing at 3 a month Traffic: +100 thousand visitors / week Activity: Loan made every 37 seconds Risk: 97% active loans on time / 1.72% default rate (all partners) Org Size:  30 employees / +400 volunteers Leverage: Platform raises $8 for every $1 in expenses. Goal: $1 Billion from 10 million lenders in 5 years. Total value of all loans made through Kiva:  $37,281,060 Number of Kiva Lenders: 320,425 Number of loans that have been funded through Kiva: 52,847 Percentage of Kiva loans that have been made to women entrepreneurs: 77.20% Number of Kiva Field Partners (microfinance institutions Kiva partners with): 89 (growing 3 a month) Number of countries Kiva Field Partners are located in: 42 Current repayment rate (all partners): 98.28% Average size of loan for funding: $480.44 Average total amount loaned per Kiva Lender (includes reloaned funds): $116.74 Average number of loans per Kiva Lender: 3.03
Target demographics: Impoverished entrepreneurs in the developing world
Direct beneficiaries per year: >40k entrepreneurs
Geographic areas served: Global
Programs: Kiva.org is the first person-to-person micro-lending Web site, creating a way for individuals to connect with and make personal loans to small businesses in developing countries. Kiva.org partners with microfinance institutions across the globe, giving them access to Kiva.org's website to post their funding needs for loans to micro-entrepreneurs. Individuals across the globe fund these loans by sending payment via PayPal. Repaid loans are returned to individual lenders. Kiva.org's ultimate beneficiaries are micro-entrepreneurs who need a loan to start or expand a small business. Kiva.org's secondary beneficiaries are microfinance institutions for whom Kiva.org both provides an additional source of debt capital and provides an average 9% savings on their cost of capital. Finally, Kiva.org provides a way for individuals to connect with micro-entrepreneurs around the world and directly participate in microfinance.
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EIN 71-0992446
(415)-358-7500
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Community Reviews

Rating: 3 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Not quite sure about Kiva any longer. Their idea was initially good and I'm sure they are still working tirelessly to benefit those living in impoverished areas. Yet due to their system (ie. middle-men) they loose over 1/3 of lenders money in credit interest and fees. They have been repeatedly criticized by GiveWell and even by Mohamad Yanus himself. They social impact is to be checked as they seems to focus much energy on the financial side. They ethics (see the animal-fighting loans and the LAPO stories) are also questionable.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

They need to solve the issue with their middle-men as this is causing irresonable interest rates to be paid back by the borrowers. They also need to focus on their own ethics (see the animal-fighting loans) and find ways to audit and check their social impact...not just financial.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Microfinance has a great potential while macro-funding and many charities keep being far too wastefuls systems to help those living in deprecated areas.

What would you tell others about this organization?

There are many choices around now. The very high credit interest that Kiva's middle-man charge borrowers are far too high. GiveWell have enlisted Kiva on "Charities that We Do Not Reccomend".

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been donating with Kiva for over two years now. Kiva makes the whole process very transparent. The best part is that when the loans are paid back, I simply reinvest the payments to another person's needs! A full account of your loan, donations, credits, is clearly posted on your account.

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Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

Kiva gives the donor choices - you can donate at random or choose a specific person/group of people to receive your donation in the form of a loan that is (hopefully) paid back and credited to your account. Most everyone can afford to donate since the minimum is only $25, and that money can be recycled to another borrower once the loan has been repaid. I can't think of a better system, and I would highly recommend Kiva!

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

I found out about Kiva off of Youtube and i haven't looked back. My goal is to have enough loans going that i can give out a loan every other week with the money comming back. With the free $25 i am not worried if someone cant pay me back 100%.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I just joined KIVA last night and made my first two donations. I'm absolutely thrilled. Not only was the whole process of micro-loans thoroughly explained and easy to understand, it was so encouraging to see the progress they've made through the statistics and data. The website is extremely easy to navigate and very straightforward. Payment was simple. And they provide you with a profile page to keep you updated on the progress of the loans you've contributed to. It's an excellent organization, and I will gladly contribute for many more years.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

What an outstanding organization that supports the poor around the world in their attempts to get a start economically. The money virtually all comes back and you get to loan it out again, and you get to see who is borrowing your money. It's just superb.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

A simple way to give, and keep on giving, while easily being able to track where your money is going and how much good is being done.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

We've been doing loans through Kiva for years and they're wonderful!

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a Kiva donor since 2007. I have made over 300 x $25 loans to many countries including the US because Kiva has made it easy to do. When the money is paid back, I can re-loan it again. I add money to my account each year and that allows me to increase my lending capacity - what a great concept!!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I love loaning through Kiva. The website is easy to use and I can monitor the people to whom I have loaned quite easily. Loan repayments are made promptly so that I can reloan the money. I enjoy donating money to worthwhile charities; Kiva is currently my favorite by far. The groups of likeminded people that you can join if you wish allow you to connect with other lenders from around the world. This organization and its easy to use website are absolutely outstanding.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from CharityNavigator