Thursday, November 24, 2011

Year 4: Team Shift Happens on Kiva

This is the fourth year that I'll be microlending through Kiva. You can read these four 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 $19,050 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. Awesome!! I'd love to take part.

  2. I made my first loan on Kiva last week as part of the Nerdfighter team. I'm excited to learn more about micro lending through the experience. Have you ever talked with students about Kiva? I was thinking it might make an interesting project somehow if I could couple it with our readings in AP Language from Freakonomics and Nickel and Dimed.

  3. Giving money to Kiva is a wonderful way to help entrepreneurs across the globe.

    A way to help American entrepreneurs in this difficult economy is to participate in Diane Sawyer's Made in America Christmas (ABC World News). She is urging Americans to spend 64 dollars on products that are Made in America in hopes of creating 200,000 jobs here at home. Here's the link: