Thursday, July 14, 2016

giveaway giveaway

It's been a while since there's been a Comptonia giveaway, and I've been trying for over a week to come up with a good idea. Yarn? Could do. A book? Maybe. But with so much tension and upheaval going on in the wider-than-my-world, I wanted to do something that would feel a little special. A little uplifting.

A little positive for goodness' sake.

It took a while, but then...light dawned!

I emailed a question, and Kiva emailed right back
and said, "Good idea!" so here we go.

Are you familiar with Kiva? Since 2005, this non-profit group has funded microloans all over the world by combining donations of $25 or more. Donors choose a loan they wish to contribute to, and after that loan is repaid, a donor can re-loan the original donation to another borrower!

All the screenshots are from the Kiva website.
They are nice images; left-click to embiggen.

I. Love. Kiva.

I love the fact that 100% of every donation goes to funding a loan. There is a separate option for donating to Kiva admin costs. This is brilliant. A $25 lender does not have to wonder how many of those dollars are really going to the designated borrower, because ALL the dollars are going there.

I love that Kiva does such a great job of making this program work. The repayment rate is 97.1%. That's due diligence, that is.

I love that more than 2 million loans have been made, in 83 countries, by 1.5 million lenders, to the tune of over 800 million dollars. Oh, and Kiva has a top rating on Charity Navigator.

It's an unusual experience, making a Kiva donation. Reading the borrower information is a tiny, unique window on ordinary lives around the world. There's much I wouldn't have imagined. And much as familiar as the view from my porch.

Maybe a cooperative group of farming women in Vietnam are adding to their small breeding herd of pigs. Or cattle. Or goats. Maybe an urban taxi driver needs to repair the vehicle that supports an extended family, or a shop owner needs enough capital to begin purchasing products at a lower bulk rate. Maybe someone is planting apple trees in Moldova, or growing a business in California. 

The Kiva website offers simple filters to help a donor find the loan they wish to support. Some search filters are geographical. Some filter by the purpose of the loan - such as agriculture, or retail business, or clean energy - or by characteristics of the borrower: elderly, single parent, individual/group, etc.

So, okay...
this is all very interesting, but what happened to the giveaway? Have you forgotten the giveaway? The one I mentioned waaaay up at the top of this post?

It's a $25 Kiva Gift Card
(purchased by me)
for the winner to donate to your Kiva loan of choice.
It's a giveaway giveaway :)

Yay! Right?

If you have already donated to Kiva, the $25 will be added to your account. If you are new to Kiva, redeeming the gift card will set up your account. And in case you have concerns: in my experience, Kiva does not pester donors. I get an email periodically to let me know when a loan has received repayments, so I know when I have enough funds available to donate again - that's about it. And that's actually pretty nice.

So if you want your name in the hat for this giveaway, just leave a comment. Any comment will do, but if you feel like sharing something joyful, that will be appreciated by me and every reader who comments after you, I'm sure.

Feel free to share this giveaway, in any way you like. It's open to anyone on the planet, or on the International Space Station.

I'll do the random number thing next Thursday, the 21th.

Good luck!