Friday, July 24, 2009

Update on Our Pilot in the U.S.

Hi Everyone –

We wanted to provide an update to our previous post about our pilot program in the U.S. Kiva’s Board of Directors met last night and had a chance to review the pilot program. Specifically, we reviewed the following material:

In addition to the above slides, we discussed with the Board a lot of the feedback we’ve heard from other channels, including emails, feedback on the Community Conference Call, Lending Teams message boards and postal mail we’ve received directly from you, as well as blogs and discussions on this thread at

The Kiva Board had a lot of questions given the significant amount of both criticism and support of the U.S. pilot from the Kiva lender community. After a lengthy discussion, we’ve decided 3 things:
  1. Based on overwhelming feedback that Kiva is about giving people choice, Kiva should continue to give our members the choice to make loans to U.S. entrepreneurs.
  2. We've received tons of feedback regarding the perceived poverty level of certain borrowers who were part of the U.S. launch. Kiva intends to sit down with our U.S. based Field Partners and share this feedback so that they can post loans that align more closely with Kiva's poverty alleviating mission.
  3. As we consider future opportunities to expand within the U.S., we will exercise caution and keep the ongoing feedback of the Kiva lender community in mind.
We will also continue to monitor the data, the feedback from the lending community, and the effect of this pilot on the Kiva platform overall.

While this period at Kiva has been simultaneously exciting, challenging, and, at times, draining, we overwhelmingly feel grateful to be part of something that has proven to mean so much to those who are a part of its community.

In the meantime, we would invite you to continue the dialogue that you have been having, both with us and with each other on this thread here:,3922.0.html

Please remember that the strength of the Kiva community lies in its ability to attract a diverse group of people to one simple fundamental idea: lending for poverty alleviation. We commit to respecting your lending choices, regardless of whether you choose to lend to U.S. entrepreneurs. Please be respectful of each other; while we may differ in our opinions, we are all drawn to these issues because we care about alleviating poverty.

Thank you for your interest and your participation.

The Kiva Team