Post # 1
My husband and I received a wedding gift in the form of money to be used on the microlending site Kiva.org. I was not familiar with the site and did my own research which revealed less than stellar things about the site. It is not a charity site, it is a site where you can lend small sums of money to business or causes locally or in third world countries who cannot get traditional financing. They are loans and the site says you will be paid back. My research uncovered that many of these recipients pay abnormally high interest rates on the loans.
While I understand the intent of the gifter, I can’t help but be a little put off by this gift. My husband and I have charities that we are passionate about and I would just feel so much better if I could just donate that money to a charity of our choosing, rather than sifting through hundreds of “causes” and not exactly having a good feeling about doing so. I just wish this person would have asked us if we have a charity that we would like her to donate to in honor of our marriage.
The person who gave this to us has been texting me every few weeks to see if I have made any loans but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I would not feel comfortable talking to her about my concerns either.
Does anyone have any experience with kiva.org or similar feeling to me about? Any advice would be much appreciated.
Post # 2
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
I’ve used it before and have only heard good things about it in general. The independent charity rating site Charity Nagivator gives it a 97 out of 100 rating, one of the best of all the groups rated. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12978
Kiva is great, your investment can literally permanently change the lives of a family who just needs a small investment to get their business up and running.
When someone gives you a gift, unfortunately you don’t get to choose what it is. You shouldn’t be put off that it’s not exactly what you would have chosen. Why not try to embrace stepping outside your comfort zone and making a difference in a family’s life in a new way?
Or send me the info and I’ll take over from you! Lol. Seriously though. You can literally change someone’s life, and then the money gets repaid and you do it again for someone else, over and over. It’d be sad if that opportunity didn’t get utilized.
Post # 3
My Fiance started with a donation of a few hundred dollars. He constantly gets his money back (about 90% of his loans have been paid back), and then he reinvests it all. He lets me choose the charities, and I will say that some have better payment fulfillment than others. I’d recommend you don’t donate to India, because they have laws about repayment that cause a issues. Otherwise, it’s been great. I love reading the stories and feeling like we are actively helping someone’s life.
Post # 4
I don’t blame your misgivings about it. This is the first I have heard of it and I’m not a big fan of the fact that they just say they don’t partner with organizations that charge “unreasonable” interest rates. Define “unreasonable”. What is unreasonable to one person may not be to another. It would be different if they had at the very least a maximum cap they could commit to. I’m pretty picky about my charitable donations, so I all I can recommend is do research and see if you can get to a place where you’re comfortable enough with it.
I also think it’s pretty tacky for this person to keep checking back to see if you’ve done it – once you’ve given a gift it is the gift recipient’s to do with as they please and the gift giver needs to butt out. This seems like a gift that’s more about the gift giver than it is about the gift recipient. I would do one of two things. Either research and try to find one that you feel most comfortable with, the next time they ask you can answer honestly, and if they keep bringing it up after that just turn the conversation to something else until they get the hint. Or turn it around on them and make them pick. “You know, I’ve just been so busy and haven’t had time to research because the options there are overwhelming. This seems to be something you have a lot of knowledge about and are so passionate about. We’d be honored if you would select one on our behalf.” Feel free to add in a “keep us posted about how it’s doing” if you feel like it (but they may keep you posted unsolicited if they keep following up about it now anyway) or a “these are generally the types of charities we normally donate to if you can find one on kiva that is similar” and let them do the work. The money appears to already be spent there, essentially, if I’m undestanding their website, so might as well do it.
ETA: So I saw this on the kiva.org website: “Where can I find details about my Kiva Card purchases? Your Kiva portfolio is a great resource for finding out anything you need to know about your past Kiva Card purchases. Want to print a copy? Confirm a delivery date? See if a recipient has redeemed a Kiva Card? This page has it all!” So they can see whether or not you’ve redeemed it, apparently. So the repeated texting is pretty much just being nosy and/or prodding you. Ugh.