I almost forgot about Kiva after donating for the first time. I didn’t think about it much until this holiday season when my dad told me to give to a charity instead of giving him gifts. I had an epiphany: why not both? I gave my dad a Kiva gift card.
What is Kiva?
Kiva is a not-for-profit that specializes in micro-lending. Instead of just donating to a named charity, donors choose a borrower. Funds are distributed to the borrower through a local bank partnered with Kiva. Then, as the borrower makes repayment, the balance is credited to the donor for use towards a future micro-loan. Also, the borrower is encouraged to give updates on goals, as a way of connecting with their charitable lenders. Kiva is a platform enabling less-privileged people to gain access to desperately needed funds.
The Gift of Giving
I gave my dad a Kiva gift card this holiday season. Now he will learn about someone who needs his support and give them some of the money they need to get started. Some examples of possible borrowers my dad will find are: farmers who need cash to buy a new animal. Students who need to pay tuition. I gave him the gift of giving.
Who I first donated to on Kiva
I donated to a young Peruvian woman who needed help paying for higher education. She has partially repaid her loan and continues making regular payments. She is almost done with school and is already working at PepsiCo as an intern.
An Aside on Charitable Donations
Employees may not be aware of their company donation matching program. During 2017, our family increased our charitable donations and took advantage of Symantec’s (my employer) donor matching program more than ever. Using your employer match program can sometimes double the amount of the donation. Use it!
It’s simple to sign up and start browsing Kiva loan applications. The minimum loan contribution is $25.