May 19, 2014
Kiva Microfunds (commonly known by its domain name, Kiva.org) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to entrepreneurs and students in over 70 countries. Kiva’s mission is “to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.”
Since 2005, Kiva has crowd-funded more than 1 million loans, totaling more than a half a billion dollars, at a repayment rate of 99 percent. As of Nov. 2013, Kiva was raising about $1 million every three days. The Kiva platform has attracted a community of more than 1 million lenders from around the world.
Kiva operates two models—Kiva.org and KivaZip.org. The former model relies on a network of field partners to administer the loans on the ground. These field partners can be microfinance institutions, social businesses, schools or non-profit organizations. KivaZip.org facilitates loans at 0% directly to entrepreneurs via mobile payments and PayPal. In both Kiva.org and KivaZip.org, Kiva includes personal stories of each person who needs a loan because they want their lenders to connect with their entrepreneurs on a human level.
Kiva itself does not collect any interest on the loans it facilitates and Kiva lenders do not make interest on loans. Kiva is purely supported by grants, loans, and donations from its users, corporations, and national institutions. Kiva is headquartered in San Francisco, California.