Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why Kiva Lenders Lend

We pushed out a release earlier this afternoon (and brought down the site for a little bit – sorry about that!). Briefly, the changes you might notice are:
  1. We changed the metrics ticker on the home page a bit so it represents some more information we have
  2. The Fellows blog is now on the Kiva site for easier access. Check it out; it has some great stories from the Kiva Fellows about their experiences as they work to help our partner Microfinance Institutions work most effectively with Kiva
  3. We've changed the My Portfolio>My Account>Transaction History page to include links back to the borrower profiles
Another current initiative at Kiva is that we've been sitting down with lenders to try and determine what makes lenders lend. We'll use the feedback from these conversations to figure out how we can improve the lending process so that lenders are sure to get what they want from it.

One thing that blows me away as I talk to lenders in person is how much Kiva satisfies a need for lenders as well as for borrowers. So often, we focus on how Kiva loans empower borrowers to achieve their dreams. While that's still very true (and very important), lending through Kiva also empowers lenders to feel like they're doing something to make our world a better place. With our focus on getting more and more borrowers funded, the lender benefit is easy to forget. But the more I talk with lenders, the more I'm realizing how very central that lender empowerment is to what we do.