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!

15 August 2020

Kiva's Auto Lending - How and Why

This is an updated version of advice that I originally posted years ago. It reflects recent changes to the way Kiva operates.

If you haven't set an inactivity preference, Kiva may be required to send your funds to a state government if your account becomes inactive. It's therefore important to check your account's settings for 'Repayment', 'Inactivity' and 'Auto-Lending'.

Many Kiva loans are repaid in monthly installments, but if you are travelling, unwell or just very busy, you may not be able to check your Kiva credit after repayment day (which is usually about the 18th of the month). To avoid leaving money sitting idle when it could be used for another loan, and to control what happens to your Kiva credit when you depart this life, you can, as a precaution, set up Auto-Lending.

Auto-lending only happens if you fail to sign in within a certain number of days, which you specify. It can be up to 120 days. If you have $25 in credit but don't sign in, Kiva can act for you to allocate that credit to a new loan. You can control the choice of loans by setting criteria such as countries, sectors, risk rating, repayment term, gender, etc.

Here's what to do.

1. Sign in to Kiva, and (in the dropdown list near your profile photo) select 'Settings'.

2. At 'Credit Settings', click 'Edit'.

3. Choose your preferences for 'Repayment settings' and 'Inactivity settings', then click 'Save settings'.

4. Check and adjust your Auto-Lending settings. Click on a link to change that particular setting (days, donation etc).

5. Choose when your balance would be auto-lent.

6. Specify what type of loans would be allocated if you don't log in to do it yourself within the time that you specified. Here's an example.

As I said, auto-lending only happens if you fail to sign in within the number of days that you specify. Please check your account settings! Do they suit the way you use Kiva now, and what you want to happen in the future?
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Join Genealogists for Families. Together we can make a difference!

28 January 2020

How to turn off annoying emails and choose low-risk loans

Some of you may have seen today's Kiva team message from Gill, who is concerned about the possible negative impact of Kiva's promotional emails. I understand the point that Gill is making, but... please, people, do NOT quit Kiva...

If the emails annoy you, just turn them off!

I've explained this many times and in many places, but here are the details again.
  1. If Kiva's promotional emails include an 'unsubscribe' link, use it. Or...
  2. Sign in to Kiva, go to 'Settings' and then 'Email preferences', and un-tick 'News, inspiration and promotions'.

If you're unhappy with your repayment rate or delinquency rate, choose shorter loans, and loans that are lower risk. I've made 610 loans during the past 8 years, and my delinquency rate is only 0.71%. Yes, really!

Use this link to see a list of short-term, low-risk loans. Or...

To choose a borrower, use check boxes to filter the loans by any combination of criteria, including country, gender, groups or individuals, and sector (which often refers to the borrower's business - agriculture, arts, manufacturing, services etc). Use the 'Sort by' drop-down menu to display the loans in various ways. 'Loan length' sorts them with short-term loans at the top.

If you intend to search for similar loans in the future, set your filters and sort order, then create a bookmark in your browser.

At 'Risk rating', 'Delinquency' and 'Default', drag the circles left or right to set your preferred ranges. For example, if you are a cautious lender you might set the Risk rating at 3-5, Delinquency rate at 0%-5% and Default rate at 0%-1%.

This image shows some of the advanced settings in Kiva's 'classic view'; but you can switch to 'category view' if you wish.

Most of us 'recycle' our investment by relending the $25 each time it's repaid. By doing so, we have made a huge difference in the lives of many hard-working families who just needed a loan (not a handout). Please join us!

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 before joining the team - then watch for a 'welcome' email (via Kiva) 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 to your bank account or PayPal account. Others let you choose a gift card (Coles/Myer, Woolworths/Caltex, Amazon, iTunes, Bunnings, etc). Details are usually in FAQ or Help.

Survey panels to which I belong include:
  1. Pure Profile: Available to residents of many countries. This site is my favourite, and (2022 update) I've earned $1,000 in one year here. Even if you are screened out of a survey, Pure Profile often pays you 5c-10c. Each time you log in, check what's currently available by selecting 'Surveys'. Even if it says 'Come back tomorrow', more surveys will usually become available at intervals throughout the day. The surveys will be more relevant if you answer the occasional 'profile' questions about your preferences and interests.

  2. YouGov. Well designed surveys on a wide range of topics, and a good rewards system.

  3. Australian Meal Panel: For Australians only. When asked for the 5 digit pin, enter 86127. Earn money by doing a 5-minute survey about food approximately every six weeks, and receive extra payments if you send in supermarket receipts. You will be paid via PayPal or by deposit to your bank account.
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 to buy family history documents (wills, birth death and marriage certificates, etc).

14 January 2016

The How and Why of Auto-Lending (updated)

An updated version of this post, which reflects changes to the way Kiva operates as from mid-2020, is Kiva's Auto Lending - How and Why.

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

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.
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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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