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34 Reviews
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December 2, 2011

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1 previous review
December 1, 2010

Kiva.org is the big microfinance group in the US. A model for micro-lending to small businesses across the world and they allow people to lend to small businesses right here in the US. more

December 2, 2011

I've been working with Kiva and affiliate organizations, and they get the job done, helping build small business and create jobs. (I figure creating a job is one of the best things a person can do for another.) Specifically, I've made contributions including the West Bank and Detroit, that helps people out, and my loans are getting paid off quite well.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

December 1, 2010

Kiva.org is the big microfinance group in the US. A model for micro-lending to small businesses across the world and they allow people to lend to small businesses right here in the US.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I look for opportunities in the West Bank and Palestine. I want to help the situation there in my own way and small businesses help in the sense that they create jobs. I actively recommend contributions via Kiva, particularly with CHF for the West Bank.

Ways to make it better...

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

Help them get the word out to more people that making small loans to small businesses at home and around the world is a good thing.

November 6, 2011

Kiva is an extremely effective charity program. So far I've actually donated $400, but it has made an impact of over $700. The program helps build up communities in the impoverished communities, it fosters self-reliance and independence. I truly believe this charity can make a difference. You can see the results in the unbelievably high return rates for the loans; also, actual donations to the administration are completely optional. I would recommend donating to this charity.

More feedback...

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

July 29, 2011
3 people found this review helpful

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July 29, 2011
3 people found this review helpful

I have been a Kiva lender for over three and a half years and have personally met several of the principals involved with that organization and have visited their HQ in San Francisco. This 5+ year old organization whose 600,000+ lenders have loaned out more than $ 231,000,000. to over poor entrepreneurs in 59 countrys (through 135 field partners) has 450 volunteers throughout the world.

The Kiva format used uniquely allows the lender and the borrower to communicate through the Kiva website (with text, pictures and video) and is completely transparent in all phases of the operation. I have even met one of the borrowers (Kiva includes the US as one of its lending countrys).

The cumulative payback rate to date is an amazing 98.8%.

Also Kiva takes no 'cut' of the transaction and the loan is accomplished with no transaction fee. (The transaction is provided thru Paypal at no charge!) Kiva's operation is financed primarily through donations and some grants.

It is one of the best organizations that I have ever been involved with in my 71+ years.

Visit the site www.kiva.org and you'll be happy that you did.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have attended several of the organization's events, spoken with many of the principals and volunteers and even one borrower. All were very impressive.

Ways to make it better...

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

I know that this box has to be filled out but I honestly can't think of any needed improvements. I would be very happy if more people knew about Kva.

June 2, 2011

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June 2, 2011

I really like Kiva, for three reasons. First, I love how each $25 keeps on giving (so far at any rate - I run two loans at any one time and they have all been repaid so far). Second, it's a great way to get my teenaged boys thinking beyond suburban USA - I have encouraged each of them to put some of their own pocket-money or wages into Kiva, which they have willingly done, and I have enjoyed watching them take an interest in living conditions in other countries less fortunate than theirs. Third, Kiva seems to be extremely well run, with an easy-to-use website, and a high proportion of income applied to the core mission.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...seeing loans benefit others and then be repaid

Ways to make it better...

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

make it twice as big so they could do more of what they do!

April 28, 2011

I entered the Kiva waters slowly, first with just $25 to see if it actually would give my money back, I used it as an experiment and fully expected it may just disappear. After things all were getting repaid, I kept moving more in. With a few thousand in, carefully chosen partners and repayment terms, I'm now over $28K lent with more than 1000 loans and have not lost any money! I wrote a website that used Kiva's API to access their data to help me choose my loans more easily and eventually ended up applying, getting hired and moving to SF to work in Kiva's office. The employees all have a lot of passion about the work Kiva does, and so much more investigation, research, measurements, etc happens with each partner than I ever had any idea of when I was just a lender. It's not just a great movement to be part of as a lender, but also a fantastic place to work!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

With more than 1000 loans through Kiva and $28K dollars lent, but with only about $4K of money in, it's such an amazing model since the money is all still mine. I'm helping tons of people and if I need the money, I can withdraw it. I had 7 weeks from when I quit my last job to my start date at Kiva, I pulled funds out to help cover the expenses of my move and then just put it back in after my moving costs were all paid off. Savings accounts give a few % of interest, money in Kiva is helping better lives.

Ways to make it better...

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

So much happens behind the scenes of Kiva that lenders aren't aware of, really great things. One example, Kiva does extensive research into the "Social Performance" of the MFIs they partner with, to measure how much impact that MFI wants to have on the very poor, on women, whether they have are having social impact through financial education and literacy programs, etc. What I would change is to expose all of this great behind-the-scenes work exposed more through videos, blogs, etc.

More feedback...

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

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

So many in the world don't have access to capital... and all they need is for someone to believe in them to give them a hand-up... not a hand-out.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

Kiva's staff does so much more than I realized when I was just a lender (I'm now an employee) to make sure that they partner with the best MFIs that will have the greatest impact and aren't corrupt. All of this behind-the-scenes magic that happens at Kiva requires money to fund.

What would you tell others about this organization?

Microfinance is a complex topic with many layers that can be difficult to understand. Kiva does it's best to keep it simple, but is working to make sure the complexities can be researched and understood if you are interested in pulling back the curtain. Having gone from a Lender to an Employee, I know that Transparency is one of Kiva's primary goals, and finding the balance between overwhelming lenders with information yet not "hiding" anything is not always simple... my advice is that now that I know the staff and their passion and commitment, you can trust that Kiva is doing everything it can, any naysayers haven't researched enough and don't understand all the layers of the onion that is microfinance.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

Kiva has been very prompt in alerting me to unused gift certificates and refunding them on request. Also prompt in informing me of loans that have been repaid and loans that were rescinded.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Ongoing loans

Ways to make it better...

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

Have them open an office in Phoenix, AZ.

September 29, 2009
1 person found this review helpful

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September 29, 2009
1 person found this review helpful

I am a Vietnam veteran. Kiva allows me to lend money to ordinary people in Vietnam. It helps them to improve their lives -- it helps me make amends for the war. Kiva has a conference call once a month to let us lenders ask questions and give input and feedback. Micro-finance is truly people helping people. For more information, go to www.kiva.org.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My loans to poor people around the world.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I get to keep re-loaning my money to help more people.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I read the blogs of the volunteer field reps. They are very dedicated and good-hearted people.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Do more to help people.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 16, 2009

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April 16, 2009

I love Kiva! It only takes $25 to make a difference in someone's life! I have actually sent Kiva loans to all my friends for christmas presents :)

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping lift people out of poverty and enhance their lives

Ways to make it better...

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

advertise more! and hold more events/fundraisers

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

how much impact I feel like I have with only $25

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help end all poverty!

Ways to make it better...

there were more people to give loans to. At one point, I only saw like 3 people. I guess this is a good thing since that means that a lot of other people are giving loans.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

people don't know about it

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 6, 2009

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April 6, 2009

Kiva is a wonderful nonprofit. Not only is it built on a great idea, but the staff and volunteers are so deeply passionate and determined to make a difference. The idea is sustainable and making a huge impact in communities around the world. I am proud to be part of this community as a lender and volunteer

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

connecting with people around the world

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

passionate, dedicated, bubbly, optimistic, and all-around incredible

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 26, 2008

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August 26, 2008

Kiva is always keeping me updated on the latest projects being funded and how the businesses I have loaned to are doing. It is very rewarding to hear the stories that come from families who benefit from the loans.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the loans that have been paid back and the success of businesses who have received loans.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

reading the stories of entrepreneurs and the good that the loans are doing abroad.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very passionate about their mission of alleviating poverty.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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