Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.
Teams of lenders form to add an element of fun, communication, and competition.
The SFU Kiva team ranks near the top among the Canadian University teams and near the top 50 among the 1700 university teams around the world.
To join the Kiva SFU team first sign up with Kiva.
Take a moment to become familiar with Kiva. Click on "about".
Click on "register".
Once you are registered it is important to join the SFU team before making any loans so that your loans will count toward the SFU Kiva team accomplishment.
- Select "teams"
- Use search box for Simon Fraser University. Click on "join the team". While there, click on the photo of the Quadrangle and explore the aspects of the team such as "messages", "members", etc.
Now you are ready to make a loan.
- Click on lend and explore the filtering capability along the left edge.
- Click on any of the borrower requests for detailed description of the request.
- Select the loan[s] you wish to support, click on check out, consider the default donation to Kiva and reset if you wish, make payment via credit card or PayPal. At each step be sure and scroll to the bottom for "continue".
Feel good about giving a hand up rather than a hand out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here you'll find answers to common questions about Kiva. Click a question to reveal the answer.
Why should I join the SFU team on Kiva?
The SFU team on Kiva is a grassroots initiative that is open to students, faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, family and friends, who would like to participate in this micro lending activity as a team. It is an exceptionally effective and efficient mechanism to participate in foreign aid efforts via microlending, to deepen your connection to SFU, and to feel good about doing a little good in the world. For a glimpse of team activity go to: SFU team on kiva
How can I be sure that my donation is well spent?
First, it is not a donation. The money you deposit is all used for lending except when you voluntarily make a donation to Kiva for operating expense. Kiva does "nudge" you for a donation on the shopping basket page but it is easily reset to zero. You can participate in lending to borrowers without ever making any donation to Kiva.
You can see an independent evaluation of Kiva at: charitynavigator
Is my donation to Kiva tax deductible?
Any "donation" to Kiva is tax deductible against US income. Many of us have some US income via mutual fund dividends. Remember that the money you put into your Kiva account via lending is not a donation. Only the explicit "donations" made when checking out the loans you have selected are donations and the default can be set to zero. You can fully participate in Kiva without ever making a donation. At the end of the year Kiva e-mails a tax receipt and you can download the details from the Kiva web site.
How is the SFU Kiva team doing?
Log into Kiva, click on "teams", "my teams", use drop down select "overview", select "impact".
A quarterly update is usually e-mailed to the SFURA forum about once a quarter.
To see the SFU team standing relative to other universities;
Go to "teams", in the box "all categories" use the drop down menu and select "colleges and Universities", scroll to bottom and select page 5. You will likely find SFU on page 5 [ranking 41-50] or on page 6 [ranking 51-60]. Note the listing is in rank order of $amount of loans and that we are playing among "big league" Universities.
Can I set my Kiva loan repayments to be automatically re-lent?
Yes. Think of your Kiva account as a bank account. You put money in, lend it out, payments come in, and you either withdraw the money to PayPal, relend it, or by default it will eventually go as a donation to Kiva.
For automatic re-lending:
Select "settings", "credit", scroll down to "auto lending settings", select your criteria, be sure and save settings. Automatic lending can serve as a living memorial continuing to do a little good until it is depleted by bad debts [default rates are less than 2%] and donations to Kiva [which can be set to zero].
Can I get my money back from Kiva?
Yes. If for some reason you become disenchanted with microlending or with Kiva then you can get back some or all of your money. The money that you put into Kiva is depleted by bad debts and donations you have made otherwise it will all be back in your account as loans are repaid. Whenever there is a balance of cash in your Kiva account it can be withdrawn. Just under the "available Kiva credit" select "withdraw". Note that you can only withdraw to a PayPal account. On your death your executor can do so as well or, if you have appropriately set up automatic lending it will continue to a little good in the world serving as a living memorial.
What did I forget to ask?
See the Frequently Asked Questions on the Kiva site.