Now, I came across Kiva Microfunds and thought the whole thing pretty damn interesting. Apparently, Bill Clinton thought it a good idea too.
Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.
Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.
The people you see on Kiva’s site are real individuals in need of funding – not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs’ profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.
Give someone the chance to take themselves out of poverty, and more of your donation goes to good effect—that is, less percentage of money put forward gets sucked into paperwork and infrastructure. Can’t be bad.