Kiva

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Recognized as a top International Microfinance nonprofit in the following years:
Medal-big-2009
Medal-big-2012
21 Thumbsup 7 Thumbsdown   Info-sm
"Up" is the number of experts who agree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field. "Down" is the number of experts who disagree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in field.
Kiva
Headquarters Location: San Francisco, CA
Founded: 2005


Mission: Kiva's mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.


Tags: 2012, international, microfinance, internet, donor engagement, microlending, financial services


Kiva
Story: Jose Cuvila lives about 15km outside of the village of Bela, Vista. He is married and the father of one child. After the birth of his child he was forced to quit school and start working. He is very thankful… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
One huge impact that Kiva has had in the sector is the sheer volume of micro loans they have dispersed. They’ve facilitated the lending of over $250 million to more than 700,000 entrepreneurs, and the organization has the capacity to match funds with many of the larger microfinance institutions. Experts also point out that beyond the direct support to borrowers, Kiva’s major contribution to the cause has been to capture the attention of donors. The direct connection that Kiva facilitates between lenders and those utilizing the funds has also increased awareness of the issues many face in developing countries.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Kiva Matt Flannery . Matt began developing Kiva in late 2004 as a side-project while working as a computer programmer at TiVo, Inc. In December 2005 Matt left his job to devote himself to Kiva full-time. As CEO, Matt has led Kiva's growth from a pilot project to an established online service with partnerships across the globe and hundreds of millions in dollars loaned… See full bio.


Transparency Information
Silver-big
This organization has earned the GuideStar Participation Level Silver, demonstrating its commitment to transparency (learn more)


Financial Data
Charity Navigator Rating: 4stars (profile)
Total Revenue:
$11,515,298


From the Nonprofit
The nonprofit has not added any comments yet. If you are a representative of this nonprofit and would like to leave a comment, please email us at feedback@myphilanthropedia.org with your request.


Contact Info
E-Mail:
Phone:
(828) 479-5482      
Facebook:
Follow_fb
Address:
875 Howard Street suite #340
 
San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
Twitter:
Follow_twitter


Kiva Story: Jose Cuvila lives about 15km outside of the village of Bela, Vista. He is married and the father of one child. After the birth of his child he was forced to quit school and start working. He is very thankful for supporting his loan.

In rural Mozambique many people still do not live in proper homes. Years of civil war and economic shocks have inhibited residents from accessing capital and buying building materials for their homes. The last several years have been relatively prosperous and many residents are using micro finance as a means to commence construction of their home. Jose is one such person.

With his loan Jose has nearly finished construction of his home, only small details remain before the project will be considered complete. Jose dreams about being able to go back to school and find a higher paying job to help support his family.

Expert Reviews of Kiva

Evidence of Impact Summary:

One huge impact that Kiva has had in the sector is the sheer volume of micro loans they have dispersed. They’ve facilitated the lending of over $250 million to more than 700,000 entrepreneurs, and the organization has the capacity to match funds with many of the larger microfinance institutions. Experts also point out that beyond the direct support to borrowers, Kiva’s major contribution to the cause has been to capture the attention of donors. The direct connection that Kiva facilitates between lenders and those utilizing the funds has also increased awareness of the issues many face in developing countries.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

Kiva is known as an innovative organization. Their most recent initiatives, Kiva City and Kiva Zip, are examples of this work, and both have the potential to make a great impact. Another of Kiva's assets is their great ability to connect to people. They have leveraged their website, various types of networks, and the media to not only generate more lenders through Kiva, but also shine a light on the sector as a whole.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

Kiva may want to look more closely at the way that they screen participating microfinance organizations. One thing they might consider is examining each organization’s Social Performance Management to ensure that they are meeting social goals, in addition to financial ones. They may also want to reexamine their criteria. Doing this could widen their possibilities and perhaps decrease the reporting burden for participating organizations.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

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X
Foundation Professionals (F)
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Researchers and Faculty (R)
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Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
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Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

High-Volume Microlending

F
Kiva recognizes the value of financial access and digital literacy as a basic human right in today's world. They facilitate over $250 million to more than 700,000 entrepreneurs. This is a testament to their ability to accelerate bringing these rights to people who otherwise would not have access to them.
F
Kiva's impact is in their scale. They have the ability to match concessionary capital with microfinance institutions having a range of financial capacities. They are also making peer-to-peer connections that raise awareness among lenders, as well as providing capital to borrowers
O
Kiva's website has generated a significant volume of funding to increase loan funding levels at microfinance institutions around the world. A total of $280 million in funds have been given through the Kiva website and passed on to microfinance institutions. They have done a great deal to increase the public's awareness of micro-lending and its benefits. Their site provides a personal connection between the lender and a person who will benefit from Kiva funds at the microfinance institution (the ultimate borrower). Kiva's innovation was in using the web as a tool to reach a mass market of individual lenders and connecting them to Kiva's worldwide network of microfinance lenders. Their other contribution to the industry has been in generating significant awareness of microfinance to a mass market.

Engaging the General Public

N
I believe that Kiva’s major impact has been their ability to shift “ordinary” people’s attention to consider the needs and realities of people that live in very different conditions and realize they have very little opportunities. This contribution goes beyond the loans that can be provided to the clients in different parts of the world. The greater impact is that they have brought awareness and commitment of a new community of people in the fight for a more just world.
N
Kiva's impact on microfinance has mainly been in exciting the general public through a very innovative online fundraising technology that has tremendously influenced not only the world of microfinance but many other sectors as well.
N
Kiva has a great model for raising loan capital from the general public.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

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Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
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X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Continuous Innovation

F
Kiva's leadership has an exceptional capacity to innovate while leading. 2011's launch of the Kiva City initiatives in Detroit and New Orleans expanded Kiva's reach to high impact domestic work. The recent launch of Kiva Zip (still in Beta) shows the extraordinary potential to identify and launch a model that could completely change the way the world facilitates financial exchanges.
F
Their strengths are innovation, new market expansion, and their ability to balance sustainability with innovation. They also have a commitment to social impact measurement, and have had a huge depth of impact.
N
They have the most innovative approach to microfinance and huge future potential for further positive impact on developing small and micro enterprises.

Excellent Marketing & Communication

N
Kiva has had a great marketing strategy. In 7 years they have achieved incredible success. I think they had an excellent way to communicate their vision and to convince people to join, and even to confront the criticism they have received. One great challenge they face is handling the millions of transactions they have from more than 683,000 lenders. And they definitely have a great impact on their lenders with the way they track their operations, because the number of lenders is consistently increasing.
O
Their strength is the PR they have generated for the industry, their innovative website, their ability to leverage online communities and networks of friends and families in order to grow. Kiva's innovation was in using the web as a tool to reach a mass market of individual lenders and connecting them to Kiva's worldwide network of microfinance lenders. Their other contribution to the industry has been in generating significant awareness of microfinance to a mass market.
N
They have an interesting model for involving a large number of people in microfinance through funding.
N
Their strengths are their raw marketing power and awareness. Kiva taps into a basic donor need to feel connected to the end user of the program.
N
Their strength is their fantastic story-telling. They are creating linkages with a mass population.
N
Kiva is a publicity machine.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

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X
Foundation Professionals (F)
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Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
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Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Rethink Vetting Process

N
One of the areas of improvement that I would suggest is that they should get more information about the Social Performance Management, which measures the social bottom line of an organization, of the microfinance institutions to which they “invest” or lend the money. They need to make sure that every single microfinance institution with which they are working is committed to putting their mission into action and to be accountable for their results. I would like to see them develop a different methodology of selecting and identifying the clients that are receiving loans. The alternative methodology could reduce the burden to the microfinance institutions when they are asked to send the profiles of each of the clients. The current model represents not only a burden to the microfinance institution, but it brings confusion if the money from one lender does not go to that specific client.
O
It may be a challenge to keep the momentum 'fresh' and to continue growing. It is also hard for Kiva to find qualified, solid microfinance institutions. Their 'sweet spot' is microfinance institutions with strong operating ratios, but ones who are not so big and strong that they can access the capital markets directly and thus don't need Kiva's funding (or need to deal with the data input requirements made of them to fuel the Kiva website). Going forward I have concerns about how they will try to deliver loans directly to borrowers in the developing world through a network of "agents" that they intend to build themselves, by-passing the micro-lenders. This requires an entirely new set of competencies, like a banking back-office, and raises concerns over how they will enforce loan collection (to be done through MPesa). But we will see!

Expand Aproach

N
Their work does not reach the poorest. They also have some problems with transparency. Kiva does not stimulate savings or the local mobilization of capital.
N
Kiva is focused exclusively on supporting traditional microfinance, with a distinctive bias toward providing low-cost portfolio financing for relatively small, even nascent and often innovative microfinance providers. Their influence in the world of microfinance is mainly in their communications to the general public that makes small loans online to micro-entrepreneurs.

Create More Industry Impact

N
In terms of actually furthering the industry, I don't think they have impact. Their microfinance partners are not changing their approach in response to Kiva.
N
Kiva's role in the sector is somewhat limited by its model. The focus on providing portfolio financing only limits its ability to engage in supporting innovation or improvements in the sector.


Leadership

Kiva
Matt Flannery 
Co-Founder and CEO 
Matt began developing Kiva in late 2004 as a side-project while working as a computer programmer at TiVo, Inc. In December 2005 Matt left his job to devote himself to Kiva full-time. As CEO, Matt has led Kiva's growth from a pilot project to an established online service with partnerships across the globe and hundreds of millions in dollars loaned to low income entrepreneurs. Matt is Skoll Awardee and Ashoka Fellow and was selected to FORTUNE magazine's "Top 40 under 40" list in 2009.  In 2011, Matt was chosen for the The Economist “No Boundaries” Innovation Award.   He graduated with a BS in Symbolic Systems and a Masters in Philosophy from Stanford University.

From the Nonprofit

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