Throw Me a Loan

Your apartment’s feng shui’d. Your dog’s name is Downward. And karma is practically your religion.

Practice what you preach with Kiva, an organization devoted to helping the working poor achieve financial independence. In 2005, after observing the plight of small business owners in Africa, Matthew and Jessica Flannery started the nonprofit to create an efficient means of providing loans.

Kiva, Swahili for “agreement” or “unity,” partners with microfinance institutions, giving them funds to distribute loans. The partners then post peoples’ needs onto Kiva.org, and the loaning process begins.

Loans go toward everything from bicycle repair and rice to beauty shops and cattle. You may help fund a single businessman/woman, or loan to several people. (Loans start at $25.)

The best part: Partners provide updates and photos on Kiva.org, so you can track your recipients’ successes. Eventually, you’ll be paid back and may reloan if you fancy. Which we highly recommend.

After all, what goes around comes around.

Available online at kiva.org.