The Beauty of Helping

I don’t remember when I first heard about microlending site Kiva.org, but I reacquainted myself with it when I gave a friend a Kiva account as a gift.

Why is Kiva so great?

  1. It’s small scale. Basically, anyone in the developed world can afford to do it. ANYONE.
  2. It’s personal. You know where your money is going. It avoids that sensation of tossing your funds into a giant faceless melting pot.
  3. Queasy about “hand-outs”? The whole point of Kiva is that the money is loaned out and repaid with interest. If you choose, you can walk away with your profits. Or you can reinvest in more helping.

The limitations of Kiva are precisely the same as the virtues listed above: it’s small, personal, and it is not a charity. Kiva is not the answer to huge systemic needs, nor does it provide the spiritual rewards of unconditional giving. But that’s okay: what it does, it does well.

Including making awesome infographics (although I could have done without the military reference in the title).

[Tip o' the hat to Bob, who tweeted the video.]


A Year Ago: Metaphor

Broken sandal.This picture kind of sums it up…
[read more]


4 Responses to The Beauty of Helping
  1. loren
    September 9, 2011 | 12:44 pm

    I’ll second that!

    I’ve been using KIVA for over a year now, reinvesting money as it’s repaid. I like the idea of choosing who and where I want to loan my money.

    Hopefully around Thanksgiving I’ll be in a position to increase my loans.

  2. dave Memphis MOJO
    September 9, 2011 | 4:51 pm

    I’m not sure why I’ve never heard of this worthwhile organization–thanks for telling me.

  3. [...] year, in September, I made my first Kiva loans. In all, I invested $100 in four borrowers—all of them [...]

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