Since its inception in September 2011, the brainchild of Judy Webster in Queensland, the Genealogists for Families (GFF) team on Kiva has achieved:
- A growth to 168 team members lending money to help other families grow economically strong.
- 553 loans of $25 or more have been made
- A total of over $15,000 has been lent
- GFF won the 2011 GeneaBlog Award for ‘Best New Community Project’
It’s worth knowing that this is an entirely virtual community of genealogists and their friends or families, who have teamed up to make a difference. Some of us know each other in the real world, some know each other through social media, others have never met.
This is where we’ve lent our money (click to enlarge):
So what’s so special about Kiva?
- Funds are lent to individuals or collaborative groups who are trying to establish themselves economically and support their family: this is grassroots assistance and really makes a difference.
- These are LOANS not donations, so when they’re repaid you can choose to relend or get your money back. I suspect most supporters would relend, so your money keeps on doing good, year after year, without you doing another thing, or potentially giving another $.
- These are loans through organisations which work to overcome poverty, establish savings plans, support entrepreneurial activity, and assist women and children to a better life.
- The repayment timelines vary depending on the business or industry (agriculture has longer timelines), so you can choose whether you want your loan to rollover quickly or slowly.
- You can choose whether to top up repayments as they come in and make new loans.
- $25 per lender is combined with $25 from other lenders to reach the borrower’s goal amount. Repayments are pro-rata at each payment point until the loan is fully repaid.
- There is a minimal default rate: these are people who really want to succeed. Very occasionally the payment might be a little late. We have made the decision that even if an occasional loan defaults, we can absorb that level of risk.
- You, the lender, gets to choose who you want to support, what type of business, in which country or region.
- You also get to feel a sense of ownership and a “feel good” glow!
How do people raise their loans:
- Nearly every lender seems to have a different strategy. Some are doing online marketing surveys to bring in money to support their lending.
- Others time their loans for significant family or family-history events eg birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries etc.
- Others tuck away their small coins until they reach $25.
- GFF gatherings donate a small amount per person and this goes to another loan.
- You can learn a little more about our lending team and why different team members have got behind the project on the Genealogists for Families blog page. While you’re there have a look at why Judy set up this team.
Please join us on Genealogists for Families, we’d love your company and we’re proud that our loans are making such a big difference to other families.