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!

27 September 2012

Year 1: Genealogy Benefits and Team Achievements

Genealogists for Families is one year old today. When I started this project (to continue a family tradition of helping others) I did not realise that there would be so many genealogical and personal benefits for our team members!

The Genealogists for Families motto is 'We care about families (past, present and future)'. As family historians we know that our lives have been shaped by previous generations, and we care about the world that our children will inherit. Through Kiva, we can make that world a better place.

To combine genealogy with Kiva, some of us make commemorative loans on dates that have special significance for our family.

When I asked team members what they thought were the benefits of belonging to 'Genealogists for Families', most said that they wanted to make a positive contribution in the world, and that they liked the sense of community; but that could apply to any lending team on Kiva, so what are the specific benefits for members of a genealogy team?

  • From the Meet the Team guest posts in this blog, plus team members' lender pages on Kiva, we get to know new people and learn about new genealogy resources. (For example, Fiona heard about Yvette's Dutch genealogy Web site, followed the advice there, and found an ancestor who had previously eluded her.)

  • We swap tips for genealogy at team social events and on social networking sites. (Kerry said, "I love the networking - getting to know other genealogists so that you can ask their advice.")

  • We increase our chances of contacting 'new' relatives. Contributors to the 'Meet the Team' series mention surnames that they are researching, and at least one team member has subsequently been contacted by a previously unknown relative.

  • An Australian team member was given a personal tour of National Archives overseas by another team member who works there.

  • When two team members made their first visit to State Archives, another member (a professional genealogist) offered to be their guide for the day.

  • Australians helped a team member in Britain by contributing local data to her One Name Study.

  • Links on our Kiva lender pages and in 'Meet the Team' posts provide free publicity for our Web sites and genealogy blogs. This may also attract new clients for team members who are genealogy professionals.

What have we achieved in one year?

In addition to winning an award for Best New Community Project...

  • Our team has grown to 215 members (who live in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Spain, USA and Wales).

  • By re-lending money as it was repaid, we have loaned a total of $28,500. (Jan 2014 update: With continued re-lending, and over sixty new team members, the total sum loaned has now reached an amazing $88,000!)

  • Many of our 1,082 loans (the number increases daily) were to large groups, so I estimate that we have helped over 3,500 families. 

These two colourful charts show the many activities for which our loans have been used, and the countries where the borrowers live.

Activities for which our loans have been used

Countries where our borrowers live

If the only thing stopping you from joining Kiva is the $25 needed to make a loan, you could raise the money by doing online surveys (from which I earn at least $25 each month) or passing around the hat at an informal social event. It will be worth the effort, because a small loan really does make a big difference. Please join us!


  1. I think you've created a wonderful community and a lasting memorial to your father. Thanks always Judy.

    1. Thanks, Pauleen. On a personal note, I also want to thank you for your 'behind the scenes' advice whenever I have needed an objective opinion.