For it is in giving that we receive. November 1, 2010 4:00 AM   Subscribe

Calling all Team MetaFilter Kiva members (and prospectives)!

We're on the verge of a couple significant milestones - as of right now, the team has lent a whopping $29,100.00 via Kiva, through 954 loans. That means only $900 to the $30K mark, and 46 loans to the 1,000 mark - who's gonna be the one to push us past??

Invite a few friends, and make a new loan. Go team!
posted by allkindsoftime to MetaFilter-Related at 4:00 AM (32 comments total)

Thanks for the reminder, I had funds to reallocate. (And to doublehappy for the nomination, I have gone with his suggestion.)
posted by biffa at 4:32 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Okay, I re-loaned $25 and was loan number 955 for us. Let's keep it going!
posted by inturnaround at 5:21 AM on November 1, 2010

I just made 5 $100 loans (I'd totally forgotten to reloan the money in my account).
posted by atrazine at 6:23 AM on November 1, 2010

We're now at 959 loans and $29,550.
posted by atrazine at 6:24 AM on November 1, 2010

Alrighty, I just reloaned all the money that I had sitting there and had forgotten about.
posted by gaspode at 6:31 AM on November 1, 2010

970 loans totalling $30,250!

Anyone who's never heard of Kiva before and is curious, the 'Kiva' tag on this post links to quite a few previous MeFi discussions. It is a Good Thing.
posted by Catseye at 6:58 AM on November 1, 2010

You know, I have been thinking about using kiva. I realize that it is supposed to be charitable and helping people out, but it's still my money and I need to make sure I protect it and make it work for me (I know, this sounds selfish and greedy and all that). But if I'm gonna be making some interest on it, why shouldn't I use kiva to do it?

I've read through their website and I'm intrigued by the idea, but could someone give me a brief rundown of how it works in reality? You can either pm me or post it here, but I'm guessing not everyone that reads this thread will know what kiva is, or how it works. Who runs it, all of that jazz.
posted by TheBones at 7:17 AM on November 1, 2010

TheBones, take a look at the 'Kiva' tag at the top of the post for all the context you're looking for.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:24 AM on November 1, 2010

posted by TheBones at 7:40 AM on November 1, 2010

I wanted to help, but then I looked in my bank account. I don't have $25 to give at the moment, and I feel like loaning money I don't have on my credit card would be fiscally irresponsible. Although I am in the zero percent APR period, and will likely get paid some cash in a few days.

I get the feeling it's still a bad idea, though, since I prefer to pay off my card in full.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:47 AM on November 1, 2010

Microlender Forecloses On Goat

I'm barely able to make progress on my own credit cards, but getting my monthly kiva statement always puts me through the same predictable reaction:
  • Yay! She hasn't defaulted.
  • I kind of feel good about lending out some money and making a difference.
  • Why won't she pay faster so I can do this again!
  • I wish I had more discretionary funds.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:06 AM on November 1, 2010

And Tity Pain have made it from 35% to 100% in the 3.5 hours since this was posted! Well done doublehappy.
posted by biffa at 8:33 AM on November 1, 2010

I have been meaning to support Kiva for a long time. You guys might just give me the kick i need.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 9:06 AM on November 1, 2010

But if I'm gonna be making some interest on it, why shouldn't I use kiva to do it?

I don't think you get any of the interest.
posted by ODiV at 9:10 AM on November 1, 2010

Oh hey, I'm a forgetful fuck who hasn't visited Kiva lately and had funds to reallocate. Thanks for the memory nudge!
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:14 AM on November 1, 2010

Right, so finally got off my proverbial and created an account.

Any recommendations on who to loan to?
posted by lloyder at 9:26 AM on November 1, 2010

So, for the lenders, these are more like grants, correct? The Kiva website doesn't make this very clear. If I contribute $100 to the site, assuming everything goes well, do I ever get the $100 (or more) back in real money?

These are loans, and you will get paid back over time (barring a very rare default). As the loan is repaid, your share of it is put back in your Kiva account for you to withdraw as you wish, or roll into other loans, as most people do.

You don't make money, but you do get your capital back.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:32 AM on November 1, 2010

Yeah, you're basically donating the interest that would have accrued.
posted by atrazine at 9:44 AM on November 1, 2010

Does anyone else have a way of picking someone to fund? I like to pick women because I imagine it's tougher for them to get a loan and I want to support their independence and I like funding arts/crafts or businesses that seem to help a community.
posted by inturnaround at 9:53 AM on November 1, 2010

inturnaround, I basically find the categories I want to fund (arts and education are what I generally like) then I look at the rating and write up for the sponsor organization. I occasionally ponder the gender thing and totally get why someone might have a bias towards giving to women, sometimes with some loans, especially if it is a group loan I do suspect they artificially push the loans as being for women.

Frankly if you can come to terms with the two (imo minor) drawbacks* I think Kiva is pretty good, and I hope over time I can eventually work my account up to being able to have it self sustaining month to month.

1. loans are actually already made, so your "loan" is in reality paying back the original loan organization, which means...

(some of this is conjecture so if you have better information please correct me)
2. Your loan may not actually be solely for "XYZ needs construction supplies", but rather "Organization PDQ needs to cover the cost of the 10 different loans, for different cause it made last month (including XYZ's loan)". Where that might be an issue is sometimes there are cause you don't want to actually support.. say a liquor store, soda stand....or? but as your loan is going towards a pool of funds you have little to no say in it. Additionally even though it is going towards that pool you don't get the full protection of the bigger pool, if your loan is defaulted (a pretty rare thing actually) you take the hit as if you made an actual small loan. The organization still (in most cases) gets to keep the funds.

Which is why I think it is important to loan to organizations that have high rankings and have been established for a year or more with Kiva.
posted by edgeways at 10:25 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've been doing the Kiva thing for a little while now, and didn't even realise there was a Metafilter group. Thanks, allkindsoftime. I've joined the team, so now my teeny-tiny contributions will count.

There's been a kerfuffle amongst the Australia team, emails flying back and forth, because someone didn't realise that the recipient repays a little more than we loan them. That lender threatened to quit Kiva altogether because the difference is kept by the partner organisation (to cover admin costs and whatnot) rather than being returned to the lender as a profit.

It made me wonder why on earth that person joined Kiva at all.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 1:04 PM on November 1, 2010

Thanks for the reminder. I had some funds to re-disburse.
posted by yeti at 2:15 PM on November 1, 2010

I just noticed that on your metafilter profile page you can add "kiva" as a social network ("also on") - if everyone did this it would raise the ongoing profile of the metafilter kiva team.

You need to know your kiva username, which can be anything, but you find out/change it by going to your "lender page" when logged in. Then clicking "preview" my lender page gives you the URL. Your user name for metafilter purposes is the part "_____ after , e.g.
posted by Rumple at 2:34 PM on November 1, 2010

Does anyone else have a way of picking someone to fund?

I first pick the organization that is loaning the money. Specifically, I pick the organizations that charge less interest to the person needing the loan. Out of the low-interest-rate organizations, I then look for low default rates and longer periods of time in business. At that point, I'm narrowed down to one or two organizations. Then, I pick a person who borrowed from those organizations who has a story that touches me the most, or who I think has a particularly enterprising idea.
posted by Houstonian at 4:23 PM on November 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

It made me wonder why on earth that person joined Kiva at all.

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posted by theodolite at 6:02 PM on November 1, 2010

Just joined! Excited to finally jump into this stuff!
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:44 PM on November 1, 2010

thanks for the reminder - I have funds waiting to be re-loaned too, but my life is in "big decisions time" and it's taking up all my damn decisiveness! anyone have any recommendations?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:48 PM on November 1, 2010

My money's already well dispersed, but I'll be in for more soon.

Until then - we're at 990 loans totaling $30,750, from 221 members! Go Team MeFi!
posted by cgg at 9:09 PM on November 1, 2010

It is also worth paying attention to the payment schedule, I'm seeing more "at end of term" payment types, meaning that you don't get monthly returns, just a lump sum back at the end of the loan. Personally I don't care for that.
posted by edgeways at 3:17 AM on November 2, 2010

Again, thanks for the reminder to disburse my funds!
posted by Seamus at 10:36 AM on November 2, 2010

Joined up & made a small loan. Thanks to everyone who is giving tips about how the site works. I've been curious about it for awhile and it's nice to have some hand-holding.
posted by almostmanda at 1:27 PM on November 2, 2010

We're now at 1,004 total loans, plus over $31K of loans made and 224 members. Nice work!
posted by A dead Quaker at 2:51 PM on November 14, 2010

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