I have been fascinated with Kiva.org for sometime but have not jumped into lending on the concept yet. Part of my hesitancy is that I feel awkward about earning a return on these micro-loans for international development. I do not see them fitting with my goal of trying to offer a higher return, but as a former Peace Corps volunteer I am excited about the concept of micro-finance and would like to participate.
Therefore, I am sending the following note to Kiva.org:
I think it would be great if I could make a tax deductible donation to Kiva but a little differently than I have seen suggested on your donation page. In effect, I would like to see you offer micro-foundations. Foundations offer immediate tax deduction, but require the use of the money for charitable purposes. Vanguard offers such a service for those who can donate $25,000 or more. I would like to see you bring the foundation to the average American in the same way you are bringing micro loans to the poor.
I would like to make a donation and then use my donation to select particular loans. I would like the option to state that any monies paid back either accrue in my account to allow me to lend on future loans or they go back to cover Kiva’s operating expenses. I would prefer to never have the option for any personal gain once the funds were donated.
Basically, I want to donate the money without any option of return, but I still want the fun of lending to individuals’ micro-loans. Additionally, I would like the immediate tax deductible donation that a micro-foundation could offer.
I think it would fit well with your goals and the goals of many people who lend through your site. The micro-foundation concept might also earn you some additional press coverage.
I’ll let you know what I hear from Kiva.