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Why donate to Kiva?

Kiva is the easiest way to make a difference: simply lend to a cause you care about, then watch your dollars do good and get recycled.

So if Kiva is all about lending, why do we need your donations?

First up, donations cover the cost of lending.

When you make a $25 loan, every single cent goes to the field. The thing is, for every $25 loan, there’s a cost of around $3 that Kiva needs to cover.

Secondly, Kiva's innovative projects aren't possible without your donations.

We use your donations to build a more financially inclusive world. From matching you with borrowers across the globe to creating ways for more communities to access capital, your donations are doing big things.


These three innovative projects wouldn't be possible without your charitable giving.

1. Kiva Protocol

Why do some people have a bank account while others don’t? The major barriers:

  • A lack of formal identification
  • A lack of verifiable credit history

Solving these two problems means more people can have a bank account and get access to capital. This is good because access to extra capital = more businesses and more support for local communities.

With Protocol, we’ve created that solution. It’s a fast and easy way that anyone can get a bank account. All they need is a national identity number and a fingerprint.

Nancy Gbanoi, the first African woman to obtain a digital identity through Kiva Protocol, could instantly dream bigger with access to loans from a bank.

Nancy lives in Port Loko, Sierra Leone. She is a single parent and provides for over 20 family members by farming, crocheting, and knitting. Her local bank told her they could not open a bank account because she couldn't provide an ID card or any credit history tied to her identity.

Nancy is not alone. Over one billion people do not have access to a standard form of identification. But your donations make a difference here.

Now that Nancy has a digital identity with Protocol, when any lender (Kiva partner or not) gives her a loan, she gets a record of it in her digital credit history. The same happens when Nancy makes a repayment.

This process might not seem very special, but thanks to Protocol, she is actively building up a verified credit history! The next time she wants to apply for any loan, she can show evidence of how she could repay any past loans.


2. Kiva Labs

Millions of social enterprises and NGOs are bringing positive change to communities around the world. The problem is, many of these social enterprises and NGOs don’t have access to the capital they need to grow. Why? Because banks say they’re “too risky” or “too expensive”. Frankly, we disagree.

We started up Kiva Labs to address this very problem. And when you donate to Kiva, you help fund the initiative.

Kiva Labs mobilizes partner organizations to scale their own innovations around the world. Labs helps to safeguard and grow these innovations by pairing funding from with some technical assistance and capacity-building support.

Here’s how it works.

  • The Kiva Labs team researches scalable, innovative projects that our Partners can implement
  • Donors like you help fund these projects
  • Kiva Labs maintains a long-term relationship with our Partners and their success


“Thanks to your donations, Kiva is able to identify and grow the most innovative and impactful Lending Partners that are truly making a difference in the lives of borrowers around the world.”
— Goldie Chow, Director of Impact

The three keys to Kiva Labs’ success are:

  • Technical support from foundation partners
  • Our expertise in developing and growing financial solutions
  • Your charitable giving!

Partners are able to expand their reach, which means so can your loans. The Kiva Labs initiative deepens our ability to serve vulnerable populations that are financially excluded otherwise.




3. Kiva Capital

After 15 years of crowdfunding $1.5 billion in loans on, it’s safe to say we have learned a lot about whether investments are reliable, impact-first, and scalable. And we don’t want to keep this knowledge all to ourselves!

The faster we can connect with organizations with the same mission as us, the quicker we can create a financially inclusive world.

Similar to Kiva Labs, Kiva Capital works with organizations rather than individual people. Kiva Capital is focused on making more capital available in the impact space as a whole; it’s how we scale our lending platform to include institutional investors as well.

Your charitable giving allows Kiva to create a bridge between those that want to invest in financial inclusion, and the very organizations that they're investing in.

Our support gives people financial confidence around the world. We wouldn't be able to provide this support without your donations.


Donations support all the things you love about Kiva. More than two-thirds of our donations come from individual lenders like you.

Your charitable giving has a permanent ripple effect on the world. Our global mission isn't achievable without new innovations, and this innovation isn't possible without your support!

About the author

Ciara Middleton

Ciara is a content creator who joined Kiva in December 2020. At Kiva, Ciara supports creative strategy with both visual and written content creation. She graduated with a B.A. in International Business and Marketing from Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania. As a first-generation American with parents from Ireland, Ciara has been surrounded by travel for her whole life and is deeply passionate about cross-cultural equity. She has two brothers, three dogs and loves to read, write, and photograph her way through her professional and personal lives.