Web-Based World Change - A blog by Christine Arena

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Web-Based World Change - A blog by Christine Arena

Christine Arena is the author of The High-Purpose Company - The Truly Responsible (and Highly Profitable) Firms that are Changing Business Now. Like what you just read? Get your daily dose of corporate insights at www.christinearena.com.
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Web-Based World Change http://3bl.me/kfq8tr


The 3BL Media blog roll is a select list of the most influential, respected, and authoritative voices in corporate social responsibility. Compiled from the 3BL Media staff’s extensive contacts with longtime CSR commentators, these blogger soffer relevant news, opinions, and ideas about all things CSR in one convenient place.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 11:11am


Micro-lending website Kiva.org recently hit a major milestone. Since launching four years ago, the organization has facilitated $100 million in microloan transactions between individual lenders and low income entrepreneurs all around the world. Lots of charities target the poor, you may ask, so what makes this organization unique? It’s the approach.

In order to achieve its mission of connecting people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty, Kiva employs a strategy of inclusion. It turns what was once an opaque process in both lending and charitable giving on its head, creating greater levels of personal involvement and future commitment.

A few weeks ago Kiva founder Premal Shah described this process to an audience of thousands at the 2009 Women’s Conference, saying: “When you give to big organizations, you don’t know where your money is going. Here you do. There are short feedback loops and direct transparency. When you browse entrepreneurs’ profiles on Kiva, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you know exactly where your money is going. You can see that you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence. Because of the technology we enable, you get an e-mail from that person and establish a connection. That makes it personal.”

What Shah describes also encourages the experience of web-based world change to go viral. People excited about a new process tend to spread the word, and Shah says Kiva has benefited tremendously from this natural momentum: “We don’t even have a marketing person at Kiva, it all just spreads from word of mouth. For every dollar we spend at Kiva, we raise $10 online.” 

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