Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year!

What a year 2008 was.

Starting the year on the tail of The Oprah Winfrey Show, attending the Clinton Global Initiative, and being featured on the BBC, Today Show and CNBC's Business Nation, our second ever holiday season (in 2007) saw a massive $2.6 million in loans funded in the month of December 2007 alone!

With such a great start, 2008 really was a year of incredible growth. We doubled our staff number to keep up with the loan volume, which subsequently more than doubled! We launched Lending Teams, partial repayments, KivaVision, Kiva Maps and PA2. We made TIME"s "50 Best Websites 2008", won a Webby Award, and joined 31 other microfinance funders to support CGAP's Client Protection Principles.

We were visited by California's First Lady Maria Shriver, mentioned by Queen Rania at the Google Zeitgeist, hosted our first ever cocktail reception at the Kiva office with members of the microfinance community and hosted our first ever regional conference in Latin America.

We saw a Kiva borrower and lender meet in real life for the first time, sent more than 80 Kiva Fellows around the world to work with our Field Partners and celebrated our 3rd birthday. But most of all, Kiva Lenders funded over $36 million in loan funds to entrepreneurs around the world in 42 countries, giving them a chance to improve their lives with the support of individuals across the globe.

This December has already seen over $3.7 million in loans funded, with more than $2.1 million in gift certificates purchased. You might have noticed that at different times in the past few days we have been down to only a few fundraising loans, or even none! Don't forget that our Field Partners will be posting new loans from January 1st when their monthly limits start over, so there will be plenty of loans needing funding in the coming weeks. Please be patient and keep checking back!

The Kiva office in San Francisco will be closed December 31 and January 1, open on January 2. Please be patient when contacting our customer service team, we will respond to you as soon as we possibly can.

In the meantime, we thank you for your support and for making 2008 such an exciting year.

We'll see you in 2009 - Happy New Year!