Leveraging the Spirit of Giving to Do Good

29 Nov

Several months ago, one of my work assignments involved looking at “new trends in international development.” It was a large, difficult to structure task, but one which revealed a number of exciting and interesting organizations which are doing great things to try and improve the world in the places that need the most help.

I found that the simple ideas were often the most powerful. Kiva, an organization which allows users to provide small loans directly to entrepreneurs in the developing world, was an example of one of those ideas. By matching a face, name, and story to charitable donations, the “feel good” factor of giving to a cause is substantially increased.

A further extension of that idea, equally simple and powerful, was pointed out in a recent blog post by Guy Kawasaki. Gift certificates, essentially a charitable pledge, can be given to a friend or family member, who then decides which entrepreneur should receive the funding. Over time, that recipient repays the money that is lent to them, enabling the new user to invest in a new recipient.

What a wonderful way to build your user base and encourage a net increase in the amount of money being donated. Good work, Kiva.

Kiva Diagram 2

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