Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Lending Teams Feature

I wanted to provide a sizzling hot preview of a feature coming soon to the Kiva website!

This fall, Kiva will be launching a new feature that allows Kiva users to create or join lending teams. Each lending team - company, school, religious organization, family, etc - will have a page on the Kiva website that will track and summarize the lending activity of all individual lenders associated with that team.

The way Kiva works is not changing. You will still make loans as an individual. Now you will have the added option of teaming up with likeminded lenders, inviting friends to join your team, and having your loans count towards a team total. Our hope is that lending teams will provide an easier way for Kiva enthusiasts to spread the word at school, work, and elsewhere.

As with many passionate Kiva users, I have told friends, family, co-workers, strangers and pets about Kiva. After a few minutes of explanation, I usually hear something to the effect of, “that is so cool!” or “what a great idea!” or “woof!” However, enthusiasm for the Kiva concept does not always translate into visiting the Kiva website and supporting an entrepreneur. Lending teams is one of the ways we are hoping to bridge that gap and provide an easier way for potential lenders to take the plunge.

The lending teams feature is part of a wider effort to help our supporters get involved and involve others in a meaningful way. Our vision is to provide marketing materials, lesson plans, fundraising ideas and other resources for our active, grassroots base of supporters. Kiva operates on a simple, but powerful premise—a loan of $25 can change a life. We are excited to watch people come together in companies, schools, families and elsewhere to help combat poverty.