Kiva.org: Loans that Change Lives
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.
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.