At this time of year, when many of us are wrapping up work to focus on the important things in life, I’d like to honour one of my favourite charities – Kiva.org. Kiva is a non-profit organisation, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Through extensive use of the Internet, including a strong social media presence, as well as a world-wide network of partner institutions committed to microfinance, Kiva allows individuals to lend as little as $25 to help build their business. Initially focused on women – as the empowerment of women is seen as the number one way to elevate the world’s destitute out of poverty – it has expanded to include men as well, and is at work all over the world.
I’ve been a supporter of Kiva since 2008. Starting with $25, I have built our family account steadily, and add money when I can. In addition, every time a loan is repaid, I immediately lend it out again to women seeking funding – yes, I still focus on the women. The people applying for loans are doing simple things like running a hairdressing salon in Nicaragua, buying cows in Afghanistan, buying supplies for a shop in the Philippines, or it can be for a group of women making handicrafts in Cambodia – the entrepreneurial pursuits are endless. For me, I’m thrilled to be contributing because I’m playing a small part to help these women create a better life for their families and communities, because hopefully, step-by-step, together we can all make the world a better place.
Here’s a great story on how Kiva is helping in Uganda:
But it’s not just the developing world, Kiva is also getting engaged in helping small business in America. Launching Kiva City in Detroit, here’s what Bill Clinton had to say…
Famous for its social media activity (here’s an interview with the CEO Matt Flannery on Mashable last year) – Kiva are awesome at using video to tell their stories, but they also share written stories on social media and the Website, and run great email marketing/eDM campaigns. In fact, Kiva is constantly updating me personally on its broader work and success via email, as well as my loan activity – emails I am always happy to receive. The content is inspirational and motivational, I regularly share it because everything is easily shareable on my social networks (which usually inspires a friend to act), and I just think Kiva is truly inspirational and doing something that is really making a difference and empowering people to make their lives better.
So if you are motivated to do something good this holiday season, I am very happy to recommend this wonderful organization, that is not only a fantastic example of how content marketing works, but is run by a group of people who are passionate about doing a lot of good. Perhaps it’s the right time of year to set up a corporate account, or do a match for match campaign, or perhaps get your immediate team together to make a team contribution? By getting a team involved, you can collaborate on whom to re-lend your money too and make it part of the team culture to keep track of the repayments throughout the year, as well as share the success of the people you are donating to? Why not hey?
However, some people worry about the success of these sorts of organizations, as there has been some bad press on micro lenders in recent years – most unfair in my opinion. Fear not, here’s Kiva’s most recent statistics, since it was founded in 2005:
|Total amount lent through Kiva:
|Kiva Users who have funded a loan:
|Borrowers funded through Kiva:
|Number of loans made through Kiva:
|Kiva Field Partners:
|Countries where Kiva Field Partners are located:
|Average loan size:
|Average loans made per Kiva lender:
99.01% repayment rate – how awesome is that?
Kiva is doing great stuff, and rather than do a ‘best of 2012’ blog, I wanted to do my final SAJE blog for the year focused on an organization that is making the world a better place, all year round, but it’s also an organization that is utilizing the art of content marketing and social media marketing in one of the best ways you can – to inspire people to act and get involved. I’m sold.
Awesome stuff, and with that, the team at SAJE would like to wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday season. We deeply appreciate the support we receive from all over Asia Pacific (and the world), and are looking forward to more success in 2013 for everyone we have the honor of working with. We think it’s going to be a great year.