Even in Tough Economic Times, Kiva.org Enables Individuals To Make A Difference This Holiday Season

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - July 16, 2008 - Gift givers can still afford a "gift that keeps on giving" this holiday season, without blowing the budget when times are tight.

While rising gas prices and a credit crisis will force many people to spend carefully this holiday season, Kiva Gift Certificates prove that you can still achieve the "double bottom line" in your gift inventory this year - giving a unique and fun gift that helps those in need, and providing the recipient with the opportunity to "recycle" his/her loan.

Kiva Gift Certificates enable your gift recipient to make a loan to a developing world entrepreneur, to work their way out of poverty. When the loan is repaid, the funds can be recycled and loaned to another entrepreneur, or withdrawn from the system to be spent any way they like.

What makes this gift unique?

Kiva.org is the only microfinance organization in the Americas that allows participants to choose the individual person to whom they would like to make a loan. Each loan request includes a photo of the entrepreneur, a description of their business and the loan terms.

This personal lending model affects participants in ways which reach farther than a simple loan transaction. In a recent survey of more than 3,300 Kiva lenders:

  • 69.6% of respondents are more enthusiastic about philanthropy
  • 42.2% of respondents feel, for the first time, that they are making a real difference in the world
  • 37.7% of respondents indicate that being a Kiva lender has changed the way they think about people outside of their home country
  • 18.6% of respondents indicate that being a Kiva lender has changed the way they perceive the poor in their community

Lending to the poor is affordable even now

Kiva.org made a conscious decision to keep the minimum loan contribution low, so that almost anyone can be a banker to the poor.

Recent data confirms that the $25 minimum is affordable, even during tough economic times. Despite recent economic downturns, Kiva.org has experienced continued growth, contrary to the experience of many non-profit organizations:

  • In the second half of 2007, $1 million was loaned through Kiva.org every 19 days. Currently, despite the economic downturn, $1 million is loaned through Kiva.org every 10.3 days.
  • Over the past year Kiva.org has grown, on average, 8% each month in loan volume.
  • In the past year Kiva.org's monthly loan volume has increased by 92%.

How it works

More information can be found on Kiva's Online Press Center: http://www.kiva.org/press/giftcards

  • Gift certificates are easily purchased on www.kiva.org in multiples of $25.
  • Gift recipients redeem their gift online and then choose an entrepreneur they would like to lend the gift to.
  • Throughout the course of the loan (typically 12 months) lenders receive email updates on repayments made and the progress of the business.
  • When the loan is repaid, the funds are returned to the gift recipient, who can lend to another entrepreneur, or withdraw their funds from the system.

About Kiva.org
Kiva.org (www.kiva.org) is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world. Founded in 2005, Kiva.org's mission is to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. Kiva.org currently connects lenders in more than 100 countries with entrepreneurs in 43 developing countries, through 90 microfinance partners. Kiva.org is headquartered in San Francisco.