Across Kiva, more than 600,000 lenders have organized themselves into nearly 20,000 teams.
At right are the fundraising results from July.
I wish I had words for how honored I am to be a small part of this group. (That's not false modesty; I didn't create the group, and I don't do much, other than just cheer all these kind people on.)
If you're not familiar with microfinance, it's a Nobel Peace Prize-winning solution to poverty that makes financial resources and education available to hundreds of millions of people.
Kiva, meanwhile, is an amazing platform that allows you to lend $25 or more to schools, clinics, farmers, craftspeople, and other mom-and-pop shops in more than 50 countries.
Does it work? I've spent much of the last two years visiting clients in diverse locales like Peru, Morocco, Bosnia, Lebanon, Rwanda, Nepal, and Cambodia. I've seen the results with my own eyes. Yes. It works. In some places, it works like gangbusters.
And if you'd like to jump in, today is a great time: Kiva is offering 4000 of these $25 loans for free to new members. They're going fast — about 20 have gone in the time it took me to write this far.
Kiva puts up the cash — you just open an account, choose a recipient whose loan you'd like to see financed, and boom — off the money goes. You can then watch as your chosen client grows their business and repays the loan. You'll get hooked, doing good this easily. Pretty soon you'll want to put a little of your own cash to work, too. (My repayment rate has been over 99 percent, so yes, you get paid back.)