Thursday, November 25, 2010

Year 3: Team Shift Happens on Kiva

This is the third year that I'll be microlending through Kiva. You can read these three previous posts for even more detail, but here is the basic idea:
I lend $25 to an entrepreneur ($25 is the minimum they accept). But I also purchase two $25 gift certificates that I then email to two members of my PLN. I’m asking those folks to then do two things.

First, they can choose which entrepreneur to loan the $25 to. Then I’m asking them to consider doing the same thing – purchasing two $25 gift certificates and emailing them to two members of their PLN (with the same request that those folks continue the cycle, sending two Kiva gift certificates to folks in their network - a Kiva Pay It Forward plan). It would also be great if they blogged about it and left a comment on this post.

Since I’m apparently always going to be connected to the phrase Shift Happens, I thought I’d try to use that to do some good, so I created Team Shift Happens on the Kiva site:
We loan because Shift Happens, and we want to be the change we want to see.
So, those email requests will also ask that when they make those loans they consider adding them to Team Shift Happens so that we can keep track of the total. They still direct where the loan goes, it just gets aggregated under the team. Joining Team Shift Happens is completely optional, and is not the point of all of this, but it's just an interesting way to try to keep track of the lending spurred by the original blog post.
Team Shift Happens has loaned $10,375 so far. You don't have to join the team, but please consider giving. I'll be sending out my gift certificates today (Thanksgiving here in the U.S.), but these obviously make great gifts for many of the holidays coming up.

There are many worthy causes out there, this is obviously not the only one. But, if you're like my family and you already have more than enough "stuff," perhaps you could dedicate some of that disposable income to this cause.

For those of you interested in possibly doing this with your students, Bill Ferriter has compiled some nice classroom resources you can use with students around microlending.

Kiva - loans that change lives


  1. thanks for the post, how do you measure the return on investment?

  2. Thanks for reminding me to revisit Kiva, and add another loan to the Shift Team.

  3. if you don't get your money back with an interest, then it's charity not loans.

  4. rrr- I think it's a loan - they pay it back. Once they pay it back I can either ask for my money back out of Kiva or re-loan it to someone else.

    Personally, I don't think you have to charge interest to call it a loan. I know lots of folks who have loaned money to friends and family (did you ever loan money to your brother or sister) and didn't ask for interest when it was paid back.

    In fact, since the last time I checked the payback rate on Kiva was over 97%, one could make the argument that these truly are loans, unlike what most banks in the U.S. - and the federal government - are doing, which might be more aptly described as "corporate charity".