Thursday, November 15, 2012

Year 5: Team Shift Happens on Kiva

This is the fifth year that I'll be microlending through Kiva. Here's 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 (as of this writing) 126 members who have made 878 loans for a total loaned of $27,050. You don't have to join the team, but please consider giving. I'll be sending out my gift certificates next week (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. I'm also asking my Algebra students to consider contributing.

Kiva - loans that change lives


  1. Hello Karl,
    I am a student in EDm310 at The University of South Alabama. This is an amazing idea of yours! Keep up the great work!

  2. Hi Karl,

    Thank you for posting this idea! I think this could be a fantastic interdisplinary lesson/unit to bring to a classroom. In my opinion, more people ought to know about microlending, and this lesson would provde a great sense of community within a classroom.