We enable people without access to traditional banks (including many women) to expand their businesses, educate their children, save for the future and raise themselves out of poverty. Through Kiva, a non-profit organisation working with microfinance institutions, you choose a borrower to support with a loan of just $25. Similar loans by other lenders are combined until the required total is reached. As your money is repaid you can withdraw it or lend it to someone else. Money that is loaned over and over again does more good than a one-time donation. Join 'Genealogists for Families' - together we are making a difference!

14 October 2017

Genealogists for Families: Progress Report

The Genealogists for Families team on Kiva now has more than 340 members from 16 counties (Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, USA, Vietnam and Wales).

I enjoy reading about the borrowers before I decide how to allocate my funds. This pie chart shows the wide range of activities that the team as a whole has supported in the six years since I started this project. Take a closer look at our team's graphs (including this one).

Most team members 'recycle' their investment by relending their money each time it's repaid. By doing so, we have, in effect, loaned a total of $241,575. That has made a huge difference in the lives of many hard-working families who just needed a loan (not a handout)!

Team members - please take a moment to check your Kiva account settings. Log in at https://www.kiva.org/login (it opens in a new window). Go to 'Settings' and work your way down that page, clicking 'Edit' for each section, and 'Save' when you finish each section. You can ignore 'Monthly subscription' if you wish, but it's important to fix your 'Repayment settings' and 'Inactivity settings' and 'Auto-lending settings'. Then, in the drop-down list under 'Settings', choose 'Email settings' and set those to suit your preferences.

If you have not yet joined our team, I hope you will do so as explained here. You must make a $25 loan within a few days of joining the team - then watch for a 'welcome' email from Judy (the project coordinator and team captain).

20 October 2016

Making Money for Kiva via Online Surveys

This is an updated version of an earlier post.

Doing online surveys is an easy way to raise money for Kiva and other non-profit organisations (or for your 'genealogy wish-list').

Reputable sites do not generate spam emails or unwanted phone calls (and in most cases you can avoid giving them your phone number). Some of the surveys are conducted by Universities. Others involve trying new products, and I have 'tested' icecreams, cereal, kitchen wipes, teabags etc.

Some sites pay cash. Others let you choose a gift card (Coles/Myer, Woolworths/Caltex, Amazon, iTunes, Bunnings, etc). All the details will be on the site (look for FAQ or Help).

Survey panels to which I belong include (in order of preference):
  1. Pure Profile: Available to residents of many countries. This site is my favourite, and I always earn $300 per year here. Pure Profile pays you 5c-20c even if you are screened out of a survey. Each time you log in, click 'Surveys' to see what's currently available. You will qualify for more surveys if you log in every day (or as often as possible). The surveys will be more relevant if you regularly check whether there are more questions to be answered about your preferences and interests (click 'Profile').

  2. Australian Meal Panel: For Australians only. When asked for the 5 digit pin, enter 86127. Earn money by doing a 3-minute survey about food once or twice per month, and receive extra payments if you send in supermarket receipts. You will be paid via PayPal or by deposit to your bank account.

  3. Your Voice: For Australians only. I have occasionally earned $50-$70 for a single survey here, but the smaller ones also add up to a decent amount. I recently earned $20 by doing an interesting survey about travel, TV programmes and other topics.
Don't despair if your earnings are low at first. In my experience, it gets better. Many surveys are targeted to specific groups, so you will increase your chances of being invited to relevant surveys if you answer the questions in your 'profile', update them periodically, and (if applicable) do the 'welcome survey' when you join.

Genealogists for Families members with some spare time may find surveys a good way to fund extra Kiva loans - or to earn money for more birth, death and marriage certificates!

14 January 2016

The How and Why of Auto-Lending (updated)

This is an updated version of a 'tip' that I originally posted in 2012. It reflects recent changes to the Kiva Web site.

Many Kiva loans are repaid in monthly installments, but there may be times when you cannot check your Kiva credit on repayment day (for example, if you are travelling, ill or just very busy). To avoid leaving money sitting idle when it could be used for another loan, or to control what happens to your Kiva credit when you depart this life, you can, as a precaution, set up Auto-Lending.

This means that if you have $25 in credit but don't log in within a certain time (which you specify), Kiva can act for you to allocate that credit to a new loan. You can (if you wish) control this by setting criteria such as countries, sectors, risk rating, repayment term, gender, etc, as shown in the example on the right.

It's easy to do. Just log in to Kiva, select 'Settings', then (in the drop-down list) 'Credit'; scroll down to 'Auto-Lending Settings', set your preferences, and click 'Save'.

Check your account settings now. Do they suit the way you use Kiva? Did you choose an appropriate option for 'Inactivity settings' and 'Auto-Lending settings'?
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we can make a difference!

18 January 2014

Kiva Zip and The Big Bad Woof

Image from https://zip.kiva.org/loans/2588
Profile photo for 'Pennye: The Big Bad Woof'
Today I joined Kiva Zip.

For lenders, Kiva Zip works in much the same way as Kiva. We browse loan profiles and choose someone whom we want to support; and we get our money back as our borrowers repay. But with Kiva Zip, lenders can exchange messages directly with borrowers via the 'Conversations' tab on any loan.

As always, be sure to read the fine print on Kiva Zip's Web site before deciding whether it is right for you.

As a dog lover, I chose to lend to 'Pennye: The Big Bad Woof', a store that sells organic, holistic food for companion animals. They work with local farmers to purchase chicken frames, lamb bones etc, thus creating a market for leftovers that would otherwise be discarded.

Have you already used Kiva Zip? If so, what did you think of it?
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Have you read the updated version of 'Genealogy Social Events - an International Challenge'?

Genealogy Social Events: an International Challenge

Genealogists for Families social events are mainly about family history, but they are also an opportunity to raise funds for extra loans through Kiva. If we pass around the hat and ask everyone to contribute their loose change, we usually have enough to make an extra $25 loan.

In Australia we do this via a Kiva lender account called 'GFF Aussie Social Events'. Those of you who meet at genealogy conferences overseas might like to do something similar. Consider this a friendly international challenge!

Wondering whether you know any Genealogists for Families team members? Check the pages showing photos and given names.

If you want to plan an event, there are some interesting suggestions in the Kiva Lending Team Playbook.

With small change collected at our Kiva team's social events in Australia (get-togethers for coffee, lunch or dinner), we have already made forty-two loans in eleven countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Georgia, Honduras, Paraguay, Philippines, Tajikistan and Vietnam). Repayments on those loans are now funding one new loan each month.

Could you organise a get-together in your area? Are you going to a family history fair or on a genealogy cruise where you could hand out 'business cards'? Use that link to design and order 250 FREE cards - you just pay postage.

15 July 2013

Inside History's Top 50 Blogs for 2013

It was a thrill and an honour to see that Genealogists for Families was chosen as one of Inside History's Top 50 Genealogy Blogs for 2013.

Many other blogs that made the list are written by members of our team. How many of them can you identify?

(Hint:  some, but not all, are featured in our Meet the Team series.)
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18 May 2013

Bonus Loans and Inviting Friends

You can only see who joins Kiva because of you if they join by clicking on your personal referral link. You can put this in emails, blogs, Web pages, Facebook posts, tweets, etc.

Log in and look under 'Portfolio / Invite friends' - or to invite people to join Kiva and the 'Genealogists for Families' team, quote the link shown on www.kiva.org/team/genealogists/recruit.

If you earn a free 'bonus loan' because someone joins Kiva via your personal referral link, you only have 7 days to use that $25 credit. Kiva contacts you when you receive a bonus, but in case their emails end up in your spam folder and you overlook them, I suggest that you log in and check your credit once a week.

Do your account settings allow Kiva to email you? Log in and check 'Account / Email preferences'.
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07 January 2013

Rest in Peace, Joan Miller

Joan Miller
It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that Joan Miller, 'Genealogists for Families' co-captain, has lost her year-long battle with cancer. On behalf of all members of the project's Kiva team, I extend deepest sympathy to Joan's family and friends. I am sorry that I never met Joan in person because we were on opposite sides of the world, but I treasured our on-line friendship.

Joan's daughter Heather has asked that commemorative loans or donations in memory of her mother should be made through Kiva and 'Genealogists for Families'. You can either:

(1) Make an ordinary Kiva loan, with repayments going to you so that you can re-lend the money as it is repaid. If you write about it in your blog, put a link in a comment below so that I can add it to the list of team members' commemorative loans.


(2) Make what Kiva calls a 'dedicated loan'. During the checkout process, in 'My Basket', select the option 'Dedicate this loan'. With a Dedicated Loan, repayments will be donated to Kiva instead of being returned to you.

In her 'Meet the Team' profile, Joan said that she chose field partners with at least a 3-star rating and a low delinquency rate. Several of her loans were to women in the Philippines. For my commemorative loan I therefore followed Joan's example by choosing Luna in the Philippines, who supports her family by making crafts with shells.
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08 December 2012

Kiva Cards, Lost Emails and Short Loans

Kiva Cards and Gifts:  As you plan your Christmas shopping, please consider choosing Kiva Cards and other gifts that support the work of Kiva (I particularly like the piggybank and the calendar).

Lost Emails:  If you are not getting Kiva's emails, they may be in your spam folder. Most repayments go into your Kiva account on the 17th or 18th of the month, but they could arrive later. You might want to put a recurring reminder in your diary. If you are likely to be busy or away, set up Auto-Lending (you can cancel it later if you wish).

Short Term Loans:  I was recently asked how I had managed to make so many loans. My repayment installments cover the cost of several new loans each month, because I choose many short-term loans (as well as some longer ones). Each loan's page shows the Repayment Term (x.months) and Repayment Schedule (Monthly, Irregularly or End of term). If you don't know how to quickly select a short loan, see point 5 in Progress Report and Team Tips.
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we are making a difference!

Team Loans in need of Funding

If you don't particularly need to select a loan for a specific area, occupation etc, you may be interested in adding your support to a borrower chosen by another team member.

There are several ways to identify team loans that are not yet fully funded. For example:
  • On the team page (the link opens in a new window), above the Family Tree logo, click 'Loans'.
  • At 'Loan statuses to display', select 'Raising Funds'.

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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we are making a difference!