In my life, I’ve often wanted to give to charities, but I tend to hold back because I just don’t know what they will do with the money. I’ve seen horror stories of foundations with administrative costs that strip 90% or more of every donation, meaning very little actually goes to the cause. And then there is stuff like the recent Kony 2012/Invisible Children thing where it apparently looks like a good idea, but the money is actually going to people who are guilty of many of the same abuses that they claim to be against.
But Kiva, from every source I can find, appears reputable. And it isn’t your usual “give and forget” kind of thing. The way it works is this:
- You put money into your fund.
- You loan money to people.
- They pay it back.
- You get to loan the money out again.
In this way, every time you can afford to toss a little money into your fund, say a few bucks a month, you are growing the account. If you put in $25 this year and next year you put in another $25, you now have $50. And with most people repaying in about a year, if you were to put in $25 a month for 12 months, you would be able to keep lending $25 a month, every month, forever.
If you’ve been hesitant to join up with Kiva, they are running a promotion right now where you get $25 for free if you take an invite from an existing person through a special link. Like this one. I’ve also decided to start up a team where we can pool our resources and track our contributions. If you want to join it, go here.
Especially with this latest promotion, there’s almost no reason not to join Kiva. So, why not?