Whither Kiva? September 18, 2012 11:49 AM   Subscribe

The Kiva team is now 301 members and $73,000ish of total lending. As a purely online lender pool it has maintained its position in the top five lending clubs for three-and-a-half years. It has been enshrined as the second most successful campaign for Kiva, but it has stopped growing. What could be next? Should it keep going?

The Kiva team was started as Mathowie's answer to my own bad idea in 2009 and it was a great answer. Although we've had a share of debate in the past, it has been rewarding for most. I have used the opportunity to share micro lending as a gift certificate for my cousin's Girl Scout troop to use as they would like on Kiva.

Maybe micro lending as a team-based model here has run out of steam. What do you think?
posted by parmanparman to MetaFilter-Related at 11:49 AM (24 comments total)

I continue to redonate the same $50 I originally donated to Kiva every time I have $25 in my lending account, and I'm happy to keep doing that through the Metafilter team, but I don't really get any value out of being part of the team, so it makes no real difference to me whether it stays or goes. I don't know if the MeFi Team does stuff on Kiva or whatever, as it's not a site I visit regularly for community, I just go there and donate and leave again.So, I guess I don't really know what the value proposition is to being on a Team vs. just donating money on Kiva.

If having the Team gives you an excuse for these these occasional MeTa posts to drive up participation and drum up new donations, then I guess keep it going for that?
posted by jacquilynne at 12:03 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wasn't there just a deleted thread on this last month?
posted by grouse at 12:07 PM on September 18, 2012

It's "stopped growing" so it should be disbanded? Is there a problem with people being a part of the Metafilter group on Kiva? I fail to see the issue here. The total loan count is on a straight uphill curve. I vote to not disband or close the group.
posted by mattbucher at 12:08 PM on September 18, 2012

Yeah, I don't know what more there is for us to do, we've put in a lot of money (I think I am constantly rotating about $300 in loans back and forth over and over again for the past few years), and the group seems to be helping people continuously.

Do you want the MetaFilter group on a leaderboard somewhere? Or to hit $100k? What is the goal that we're not meeting by having it around, because it seems like it is working perfectly fine from here.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:11 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure I see the problem? We're still putting out loans (I'm waiting for repayment) and we were apparently 5th in growth last month?
posted by ChuraChura at 12:14 PM on September 18, 2012

This is a good reminder that I need to redonate my rotating $75 - some concrete goals / targets for the team might make this more interesting, though.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:18 PM on September 18, 2012

Thanks for the reminder to recycle my available credit. I don't really care how Mefi teams stacks up against the competition, although I find it entertaining how atheists and Christians seem to be competing for the top position.
posted by zeikka at 12:53 PM on September 18, 2012

Seems like it's doing reasonably well. It might benefit from additional recruitment, but I wouldn't characterize it as running out of steam. Thanks for the reminder to re-lend.
posted by pappy at 1:10 PM on September 18, 2012

You've reminded me to check out my current credits and I've joined the Metafilter team. So, uh...success? Continued growth?

I think a plateau could be fine.
posted by RainyJay at 2:11 PM on September 18, 2012

I'm still rotating my money on through as well, and happy to stay part of the MeFi team, and not seeing any problem. But I rarely check out the community stuff - if there's something awesome we could be doing that we're not, I'm open to suggestion on pitching in to help with the mystery awesome thing.
posted by Stacey at 3:52 PM on September 18, 2012

I have a few hundred dollars that I recycle, so I check in every month. I vote for keeping our Mefi team. Welcome # 301! We have been waiting a long time for you!
posted by travelwithcats at 4:45 PM on September 18, 2012

We don't need to be growing to do any good. I've got $200 in the mix and seem to get $25 every month or so. No need to shut anything down. We'll expand the team when it expands.
posted by jwells at 4:52 PM on September 18, 2012

Seems to be working fine. We seem to slowly get new members, but the current members continue to relend. I vote to let things continue as they are - I keep relending my $$ as it gets repaid and another person benefits. Sounds good to me!
posted by garnetgirl at 7:24 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

This just prompted me to finally make my first Kiva loan. So, thanks! I look forward to seeing my little loan do some good.
posted by mynameisluka at 8:53 PM on September 18, 2012

After years of hearing about it I finally visited, joined team MF and made a loan. I'm admittedly a bit pessimistic about the whole thing but the odds of accomplishing something seem much better than with the latest Kickstarter vaporware.
posted by michaelh at 10:18 PM on September 18, 2012

I think the team should remain as-is. Posts like this 1-2x a year should be to a) remind current team members to re-loan, and b) make newer MeFi users aware that there is a team. As long as its not more than that, it has seemed to have been fine for MeTa for the past few years, despite a few detractors.

I vote we add it to the Wiki under "Group/Social stuff" and then let it continue rolling.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:11 AM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I don't understand why something has to continue growing and expanding in order to be valuable.
posted by headnsouth at 6:43 AM on September 19, 2012

posted by mediareport at 6:51 AM on September 19, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'm just glad I found Kiva's "keep recycling my money and leave me the hell alone" option. I swear, it was like The Gift That Keeps On Annoying You. No, I don't need to be lied to monthly about who my money's going to, and at this point, I'm no longer convinced that micro-lending is even all that charitable.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:04 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

As a MeFi member and member if the Kiva lending team I'm voting for leave it alone. Is this a grow or die situation? Do we need to be number one on Kiva or something?
posted by fixedgear at 9:06 AM on September 19, 2012

I just signed up with Kiva and joined the team. I'll begin loaning out funds this week. So thanks for the reminder.
posted by Julnyes at 9:15 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

What allkindsoftime said.
posted by deborah at 10:50 AM on September 19, 2012

Joined and loaned (starting at the $25 small).

Instant post success; and only my very-small-number non-Ask post!
posted by Kronur at 6:42 PM on September 19, 2012

I just joined and made my first loan too. I am excited. So you've got five new members (so far) from this thread.
posted by AgentRocket at 7:56 AM on September 20, 2012

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