18 January 2009

Do-Gooding with a Kapital K

Ah, Kiva. If you haven't heard of it yet, then you are living under a rock with no web access. Seriously, though, Kiva is the leading microlending site on the web, empowering regular ol' folks (read: people like me) to give give personal loans to people who need a little bit of money (read: usually between $200-$800 USD) to get their business (read: livelihood and means of survival) where it needs to be. There are no real banks involved, and the money comes from regular ol' folks who give $25+ USD a pop until the loan is funded. When the loan gets repaid, the money sits in your Kiva account as a credit, waiting to help another person in need. Oh, and you, the lender, get paid interest. As if you were a bank, and as if you would do this to make $0.17 USD off of the $25 USD you lent out.

I love Kiva. I love the time they take to partner with reputable organizations. I love the team fundraising aspect (although I always have a tough time picking which of my teams will get my funding credit). I love that repayments get fed back into Kiva, ready to help another person. I love the community aspect. I love that you can read about the things your loan went to that helps someone a thousand miles away. Kiva just flat out rocks.

And it costs less than getting a venti Caramel Macchiato twice a week at Starbucks. So why not build up your karma and do something good for the world, and perhaps your waistline, and visit Kiva today.