Kiva is a grassroots project started by a team with a big idea: one-to-one, real-time lending to the poor via the internet. Currently, they take no cut of the loan you make through their site -- 100% goes to the entrepreneur. They suggest a 10% donation, in addition to your loan, to help them cover costs like rent. Kiva is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your donation is tax-deductible.
When the loan is paid back you get your money back or you can reloan.
President Clinton spoke about Kiva.org at Google's Zeitgesit event Oct 18, 2007.
Question: There's one problem which is engineering the right kind of interventions, both public and private sector interventions, to do something about global poverty and similar challenges. But the other question is building enough of a sense of connection between people who view themselves as different so that you can have a moral consensus to actually take action. So.. what are some of the most exciting or effective strategies that you've experienced that help build that sense of connection.
President Clinton: Let me just give you one example, one of the most interesting ones is a little website called Kiva.org which allows individuals of very modest means to become directly involved in extending microcredit to people in Africa, Central Asia, Latin America, all kinds of developing countries by actually selecting projects, contributing to them, knowing that a local non-governmental organization is managing this, getting reports on it, and then becoming ongoing with their involvement.
Kiva analyses all kinds of business people and give credit all over the world. And after I talked about them and they were featured on Oprah Winfrey's show when my book came out, for the first time in their brief history they had no more customers and more credit than they knew what to to do with. So I think we've only scratched the surface of having people see that people in other countries with different skin colors and different perspectives and different fates actually have a lot in common with them.
I made a loan to a hairdresser whose husband was hurt in a terrorist attack and a woman who owns and runs a grocery store in Peru. Both women want to expand their businesses.
And you can make your loan via PayPal and PayPal takes no cut on the transaction.
And while John needs a job and we need to sell our house donating to something like this certainly makes me see that my problems are small.
Good karma $25 at a time.