$800, 67 loans, 31 countries

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Way back in 2011, WebSort ran a 1-day World Usability Day promotion. This included a promise to give a small percentage of our earnings to people in need, and we chose to do this  through an organization called Kiva.

Three years later, we thought we would take a moment to check in and see exactly what those dollars have been able to accomplish so far.

How Kiva works

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Kiva is a non-profit organization that takes the concept of crowdfunding into the world of microfinance with an eye towards alleviating poverty and giving individuals around the world a chance to access the capital they need to better their lives.  Here is how they put it on their About page:

"We envision a world where all people — even in the most remote areas of the globe — hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.

We believe providing safe, affordable access to capital to those in need helps people create better lives for themselves and their families."

By all accounts, they seem to be doing a pretty impressive job of working towards those goals.  Since Kiva was founded in 2005, they have had over 1.2 million lenders making almost $608 million dollars in loans to 78 different countries.  Kiva is also a four-star rated charity at CharityNavigator.org

How UX Punk contributed to Kiva's initiative

The portion of our World Usability Day sales that was earmarked for Kiva was $800.  Not a huge amount of money to begin with, but just look at how those dollars have multiplied:

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Since we re-lend the money as soon as it is paid back, we've been able to make 67 loans for a total of $3,225 contributed across 31 different countries. Isn't that crazy amazing?

Here's some examples of the loans we have contributed to, and what they've used the money for. All of these loans were fully funded by lenders.

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Reham, an 18 year old woman from Jenin in Palestine, was able to fund her first semester of university education.

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Peter, a farmer in Siongiroi, Kenya, was able to build a new farm shed on his maize, poultry, and dairy farm.

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Viraksoern, a 24-year old teacher from Cambodia, was able to attend an entire English language course run through a university.

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Nadeed, a mother of five in Pakistan, needed to purchase a tailoring machine so she could contribute to her husband's business.

Why Kiva is super cool

The great thing about Kiva is that you don't need a large amount of money to start helping out. Loans can be made with just $25, and if you keep an eye out, there are times when your loans will be matched.  And even though we were prepared to take a few losses when loaning to individuals, none of our loans have defaulted yet. NONE. And out of 67 loans, only four have ended with a loss, and that was due to currency exchange. How awesome is that? The people who need the money get it. And we can be sure our money is making a real difference.

So if you want to get your good on, feel free to check them out. Use this link to let them know that we sent you :)

Published on Sep 24, 2014
  • Sarah Stevens
  • Sarah is a customer specialist at Optimal Workshop.

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