I’ve blogged about Kiva before. Kiva is a non-profit organization that uses the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions to enable individuals to lend as little as $25 to help fund small businesses run by low-income entrepreneurs. The lender chooses who to lend to from a database of profiles. When the loan is repaid the money can be withdrawn or loaned out again.
I have made several loans and they have been repaid within 6 months to a year. It is a lot of fun to pick where you want the loan to go and also to lend your money again and again to help someone. A change was made recently where you get your payments back immediately instead of having to wait for all of the loan to be repaid.
Another change that I like very much is the introduction of Kiva Lending Teams. Members of these teams continue lending as individuals, but they have the option to count each loan they make towards the overall impact of one of their teams. As of today there are 1,650 Kiva Lending Teams. The top team in terms of members is the Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious with 845 members. I passed on that one, I wouldn’t be able to remember the name of my team. KivaFriends.org has the highest number of loans at 2,236 and the highest dollar amount, $58,575.00.
I joined Kiva Mormons with 61 members, 107 loans with a dollar amount of $3,350. Here is what part of our lending page looks like today. It will change as more loans are made. Recognize me on the left?
You can see who on your team made the last five loans. The loan from Orange Third Relief Society, which is classified as an individual lender but is made up of several women. Only new loans can be credited to a team so you have to wait until a loan is repaid and a new loan made before it can be counted. This is important for our friendly rivalry with the Flying Spaghetti Monster. With just 71 members (10 more than us) they have 209 loans, leaving us in the dust. Then there are the Kiva Baha’is that raced passed us with 157 loans with only, get this, 14 team members.
Are you are part of a Kiva Lending Team? Tell me about it and why you joined your particular team.