A few years ago I was looking for a way to make a small but meaningful donation somewhere that seemed chronically underfunded, when I discovered a 501(c)3 organization called Kiva. Rather than being a charity per se, they are a kind of loan broker for individuals all over the world that can't get traditional loans. This appealed to me -- you know, subvert the system and all that boomer stuff. 😏
Loaners like me and you can select the country and the individual to provide a loan to. The most common amount given is just $25, but that is aggregated by many other loaners until a borrower's full requested amount is reached. It's an amazing system and the website is very well organized to make finding a specific person to loan to easy to locate.
When the borrower pays back on their loan, it goes to your Kiva account and you can then relend to someone else, and keep the money circulating to people and places in need. Or, if you want, you can simply withdraw what you've loaned once it is all repaid.
Each borrower has a little profile to tell you a bit about them and what they want the money for, how it will help improve their life. You also can see details on whether they are working with other funding sources, how many other Kiva loaners have loaned to them so far, and how much of their request has been funded to date and how much longer the request period has to run -- and more.
Just to give you a tiny example of some of the borrowers that are quite common, here's short list:
a Thai woman who wants another washing machine for her laundromat
a Kyrgyzstani woman who wants a cow to sell the milk
a Kenyan woman who wants seed, fertilizer and a solar grow light
a Guatemalan woman who wants to stock her pharmacy
a Cameroonian man who wants to expand his barber shop
a Malian man who wants more equipment for raising /selling produce
a Peruvian man who wants compost for his coffee growing fields
a Ghanaian man who wants to pay for labor on his cocoa farm
Check this out if you are looking to help make the world a better place ==
Yeah that sounds bad, until I find that the average salary for Kiva employees is $100k, making the split between CEO and employee extremely small compared to companies like Starbucks (14.7 million for the CEO compared to 24k for the barista) or Chase with about 68k for the average workers versus 31.5 million for the CEO. I don't mind people making money fairly when their mission is to help others do the same.
What I really like about Kiva, @RetirementAngelaVA is that you can loan just $25, and it usually will get repaid. There was a time when $25 wasn't easy for me, but when it got easier, I liked the pay it forward aspect of this. 😉