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Charity Spotlight: Kiva

By Abby Olcese

Tags: MEL Gives Back, Kiva, Microlending, Charitable Giving,

Image Courtesy Kiva

This issue’s charity: Kiva

Why they’re crucial: Giving a gift that provides opportunity for those in need is the perfect way to embody the holiday spirit. This year, consider a charitable gift for your friends and family that keeps giving back, year after year.

Kiva is a microlending organization that allows donors to lend money to borrowers from all over the world. Some are entrepreneurs. Others are farmers. Some simply need to make improvements to their home. Once their loan is funded, the borrower begins the process of paying that loan back each month, meaning that all loaned funds will eventually make it back into a lender’s account, allowing them to continue paying those funds forward by relending to another borrower of their choice.

The organization offers the option of a Kiva Card, a gift card in amounts ranging from $25 to $2,000, enabling recipients to choose who they lend funds to and to continue re-lending after the money is returned.

What they do: 

• Distribute loans to entrepreneurs and borrowers in more than 80 countries on five continents.
• Work with locally based microfinance organizations and NGOs in their countries of operation to identify, screen and provide funds to borrowers.
• Review loan profiles to ensure legitimacy and trustworthiness of borrowers. 
• Provide updates on loans given and information on lending history so lenders can learn about the impacts of their loans.

Did you know...

• In addition to supporting international entrepreneurs, Kiva provides direct loans to small businesses in the United States at
• Kiva’s 1.5 million lenders crowdfund an average of $2.5 million in loans each week.
• Since its start in 2005, Kiva has crowdfunded nearly $1 billion in loans to more than 2 million borrowers around the world, including loans for education, farming and clean energy.
• Kiva loans encourage women entrepreneurs; 75 percent of loans go to female borrowers.

How we can help: We encourage Mother Earth Living readers to help Kiva borrowers by lending money through the Kiva website, or by purchasing a Kiva Card as a gift for a friend or family member. Purchase a Kiva Card.