Give a Helping Hand

11 Apr

I don’t know how many of you have heard of Kiva. I was channel surfing last night and stumbled across a show on PBS about giving back to the community. I only caught two not for profit agencies that are making a difference. I want to share about the first one today, Kiva.

Kiva gives loans to people in third world countries. The loans aren’t from the bank; they are from regular people like you and me. For as little as $25, you can help a person begin a business or expand a business. The people normally would need to borrow at a high interest rate making it impossible for them to succeed. Here’s a condensed version of how it works. A person applies for a loan. They are investigated to ensure that they have a need and are asked about collateral. After passing inspection, they are entered into a database along with their story and plans for the money. People read through the applications and select who they want to give money to and when the requested amount of money is acquired the loan officers take the money to the applicant.

Right now the loans are repaid at 100%. Most of the loan amounts requested are modest. Some of the people requesting $100-$250. The documentary showcased a man requesting a large amount to expand his furniture making business; he requested $1150. This all takes place from the comfort of your home. It’s online. You read applications, select one, donate a certain amount of dollars, read updates/journals, get repaid and decide whether to withdraw the money or reinvest in a different business.

Another thing that makes this so cool, is that Paypal allows Kiva to use its payment processing for free. Giving a helping hand has never been easier.

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11 Responses to “Give a Helping Hand”

  1. Rosie April 11, 2007 at 12:02 pm #

    Wow! Good catch scooper. I think I’ll check it out.

  2. scooper April 11, 2007 at 5:13 pm #

    Rosie- I wish I could afford to donate. When the money starts flowing again this is definitely at the top of my list.

  3. Holly April 11, 2007 at 5:28 pm #

    Wow. That’s an awesome program. I’m going to check it out. I can’t really afford to donate right now, but I may at some point in the future.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  4. Karin May 14, 2007 at 2:54 pm #

    What a great article. I will contact Kiva and offer them free advertisement for their program on my Loan Info Center.

  5. scooper May 14, 2007 at 6:33 pm #

    Karin- Cool. I don’t know what their budget is like as I’d never heard of their organization before watching the PBS documentary.

  6. Lorna August 8, 2007 at 2:25 am #

    kiva means nice in Finnish.And this is nice, very nice. (found your site when looking for a picture of helping hands …)

  7. Lorna August 8, 2007 at 2:29 am #

    P.S. I couldn’t find out the source of the picture or any information about copyright – and so I’ve used the picture on my blog. Please let me know who to give acknowledgements to (email above) – and if it’s not ok to have used it I can and will remove it. Please say!

  8. Lorna August 8, 2007 at 4:35 am #

    erm I’ve only linked to the picture – in case – but I would really like to use it in the post IF it’s ok to do so? Please let me know.

  9. scooper August 8, 2007 at 12:27 pm #

    Lorna- Thanks for the definition. It is quite fitting. I emailed you about the pic so let me know if you don’t get the message.

  10. TWIGY August 10, 2007 at 5:59 am #

    wow, what a great idea, ill definitely donate. I found your site looking for the helping hands pic, i would really like to use it in a Social Justice Project for school, may i use it and who do i have to give acknowledgements to?

    TWIGY

  11. scooper August 10, 2007 at 10:24 am #

    Twigy- I think it’s great too. I’ve emailed you about the photo.

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