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Kiva Team FSM has raised $4 Million

Published October 5th, 2018 by Bobby Henderson

  

Congrats everyone — Team FSM has reached $4 Million in loans on the micro-lending site Kiva. We’re now the top-lending religious congregation on Kiva, above the Buddhists, Catholics, and Muslims.

  

What is Kiva? Kiva is a organization that lets us give small loans to people in the third world that need help starting small business. We make small, interest-free loans towards the projects we support, and Kiva combines them to fund the loan to the person who wants to build a small workshop, farm, restaurant, fruit stand, etc. These are interest-fee loans in places like Cambodia, Peru, Uganda — places where traditional bank lending to the poor is unavailable (or predatory). Kiva ensures that the loans are paid out and that the money is paid back. A lot of us feel this is the best way of bringing economic growth to the poorest areas.

Nice work everyone! If you haven’t already, please join our team here.



6 Responses to “Kiva Team FSM has raised $4 Million”

  1. Michel Luitze says:

    WELL DONE!

    The Dutch Church is proud of all the friendly Pastafarians who are creating opportunities for people all around the world!

    R’AMEN!

  2. John the Sparrowist says:

    Yeah!

  3. Susan says:

    Small clarification: Kiva lenders don’t get interest on what we lend. But the Field Partners that manage the loans usually do collect interest to pay staff and expenses. The question of charging interest, and how much, is worth understanding. I went looking for discussions about this and found, thanks to Google, that there were several. Here’s one that caught my eye:
    fellowsblog.kiva.org/blog/kiva-and-its-field-partners-myths-and-misconceptions
    Off hand, there are some things it doesn’t mention. One is that Field Partners often offer mentoring services, savings plans,and sometimes insurance, that add to the costs of making loans, but increase the liklihood of a borrower succeeding. Occasionally, there is an unusual Field Partner that doesn’t charge interest and uses special outside funding for operational costs. The other situation is US loans which started as a special test effort, previously known as Kiva Zip. With US loans, there’s no interest and no mentoring support by a field partner.
    But there’s one way that lenders reap a financial “return” of sorts. We leverage our “philanthropy” when we choose to recycle loan repayments. In the eleven years I’ve been lending, each of my $ has done the work of $5. That’s despite the average being skewed by my adding in more money periodically. That’s also far more “return” than if I’d kept that money in the bank.

  4. Captain Birdseye says:

    Hi, Susan, any idea of what the percentage scam-rate is? Or, immediate delinquency? I imagine that field workers go to some lengths to check-out borrowers and it would be very low.

  5. Susan says:

    Ahoy, Capt. Birdseye,

    Good question.

    It’s amazing how often I get to have the fun of quoting my eldest son, who once told me,”In the age of Google, if you don’t know something for more than 10 minutes, it’ your own fault”. Could have poked around on the Kiva.org site, but I followed my son’s advice and easily found the following: https://www.kiva.org/about/due-diligence/risk

    I’ve been lending on Kiva for 11 1/2 years now. I can say that, despite having added in more and more doubloons over time, and while not withdrawing any repayments, on average, each of my dollars has recycled and done the work of $5. That’s a better “return” on my money than if I had left it in a bank savings account. Plus, it’s interesting and gives me pleasure. That’s not to say that some of what I put in hasn’t been “lost.” [But all of it would also have been “gone” had I simply donated it elsewhere. ]
    My personal page of loans shows
    12.52% delinquency rate,
    3.48% default
    .42% currency exchange loss

    Note that there’s a difference between delinquency and default. Default occurs when a borrower or Field Partner has not made scheduled payments for 6 months. Often borrowers eventually catch up. And sometimes a defaulted loan eventually repays. When looking at a new loan, we can click on “Repayments Schedule.” Once a loan is funded, we can see, if we choose, how the borrower is doing at repaying. By clicking on “Advanced” we can also see payments by the borrower to the Field Partner, and then FP to lenders. I don’t usually bother, except to pay attention to a good mix of short and longer term loans, lending only $25 to each loan pot. The shortest ones are 5 months, while the longest few are tree loans that repay only after 10 years. I love investing in trees. I also love getting lots of monthly repayments so that I can relend frequently. But then, I’ve become a Kiva addict. ;-) There’s also auto lending for those with less time. And, some folks make the most of what they have to lend by only choosing short term loans.

    Kiva has all sorts of filters we can use to sort among what can otherwise be an overwhelming number and type of loans. One of them is degree of risk, if that is important to you. Narrowing down the types and / or locations of loans makes it easier to choose.

    We’re lending to people and groups that not only don’t have access to credit, but in most of the Kiva countries, there’s no social safety net. In addition some are affected by conflict. You’ll see on the link that US loan rate of repayment is significantly lower than the overall rate. US loans are interest free, but thus don’t have the cost of a mentoring and supervising Field Partner.

  6. Captain Birdseye says:

    Hi, Susan, thanks for your feedback and keep up the good work. I hope that the scammers that spam us get nothing.

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