Atheists Atop Microfinancing Leaders on Kiva

Viktor Nagornyy reminds me that atheists are sitting atop the leaderboard at Kiva.com — a website that “allows people to lend money via the Internet to microfinance institutions in developing countries which in turn lend the money to small businesses…”

We used to be in second place for a while, but we are currently (and comfortably) in first place!

Go us!

Currently, the number 1 donating team on Kiva is “Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious.” Yes, that’s right. The team has over 3,000 members. It made over 10,000 loans. Wait for it, wait for it… The team loaned more than $300,000. It is incredible that atheists were able to come together and work for a common cause to help developing countries prosper. A simple step to a better future for the entire world.

The interesting thing is that number 2 team is Kiva Christians with over $200, 000.

That’s incredible. And kudos to the Christians for being in second. Not too shabby, either. (Though, I’m secretly thrilled the atheists are ahead of them.)

There’s no need for us to get complacent. Join the 3,000+ member group, give a few bucks, and be part of a shining example of atheists who do good because it’s just the right thing to do.

  • Godfrey

    Sweet! I’ve been looking for a new place for my charitable deduction to go from the current, which has some quasi-xtian affiliations. I use weekly deduction from my check, so I’ll have to find Kiva’s identification code. Even if I don’t get my money back, I can help, and still write it off.

  • The Unbrainwashed

    How about giving our money to A) American owned businesses (note the current economic climate) and B) productive, high potential businesses that aren’t tiny underdogs?

    Of course, the left loves giving money to foreign entities and those with little hope of success.

  • RG

    Happy to say I’m in that group. Maybe this news will cause the group to grow even more. If you haven’t given to Kiva take a look. Start one loan for $25 and I promise you’ll want to give more. It’s very satisfying to get the money back into your kiva account after it was paid back and hearing how it helped. Then to be able to use that same money to help someone else.
    Plus the money I’ve put into my Kiva account is doing much better with an interest rate of 0% than the money in my 401k.

  • Michael Phillips

    Cool, this was very easy to sign up for and it was simple to scroll through the different groups to see what kind of project each was trying to get funded. Thanks for the good idea. Even if I never see the money again, it was the right thing to do, and hopefully these groups will make good use of the money.

    As for Unbrainwashed, isn’t the idea to help people who don’t have the same opportunities that exist in America? If you want to help out “productive, high potential businesses”, why don’t you just hand over your paycheck to AiG, Citibank, Merril Lynch, and Lehmann Brothers? Oh, I forgot, thanks to the conservatives’ “handling” of the economy, we’ve already done that!! So let’s give the little guys a chance, I doubt they’ll disappoint us more than the pillars of industry have.

    I say it’s time to put our money where our mouths are and support people who are trying to improve their desperate situations, even if they aren’t Americans!

  • RG

    Yes yes unbrainwashed, the crazy left always wanting to help the poorest of people.. forgive us for not having the same clan oriented mindset as you. it’s us vs. everyone else. your right, borders should define who i care to help… we are morons aren’t we.. thanks for finding a way to paint us all with one brush stroke. life is simpler now.

    I buy stocks.. not much different than Kiva. only I don’t profit, i break even.. which is more than i can say for stocks right now.

  • Vincent

    It’s not really “secretly” thrilled if you post it on your blog. :)

  • http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.com Neuroskeptic

    How about doing that, The Unbrainwashed? You’ve been doing that for years, right? You’re not typing at a Chinese-made computer wearing your Chinese-made clothes and drinking coffee from somewhere down south, right?

    Right?

  • Michael Phillips

    “Of course, the left loves giving money to foreign entities and those with little hope of success.”

    Of course, Unbrainwashed, you realize the meaning of the word “loan”, right? Versus the huge bailouts your favorite corporations are begging for currently; those are gifts your great grandchildren will be paying for. Isn’t that nice of them?

  • artemis

    Some microfinance partners use extreme coercion to make sure their borrowers repay the money (e.g. thowing families out of the community, cutting back on food to children in the family so that the money first goes to repay the loan, etc).

    Is there any way to know which organizations in Kiva don’t engage in these tactics? I’d rather risk losing my money than be party to unethical collection techniques. The 0% default rate of most of these orgs is disturbing.

  • http://noadi.blogspot.com Noadi

    Great! I already made one Kiva loan a little while ago (with plans for more) but didn’t know about this team. Just joined.

    By the way I happen to own a small productive American business thanks to the investment of people who believed in me. Kiva lets me give people who want to do what I’m doing a chance get started in places where they can’t get a bank loan or borrow from a family member with the cash like I did.

    Besides these are LOANS, it means they get paid back and since Kiva has a payback rate most US Banks would kill for I’m unlikely to lose much money out of this.

  • Diagoras

    I didn’t even know that such a wonderful organization existed. I’ve signed up and made a donation. :)

  • artemis

    Wow! According to the Kiva help center FAQ, the average interest rate the borrowers have to pay back is 21%, some are 30% or more (you can look up the individual lenders to see). And probably the reason that the payback rate is so high is that there are no laws protecting the borrowers from unethical retribution for not paying back loans. “payback rate most US Banks would kill for” may be a little too accurate. There are reports of dramatic increases in suicide among Indian farmers in debt — they just can’t pay back these loans with 20, 30, 40% or more interest.

    If it seems too good to be true ….

  • DCKate

    I’ve been lending on Kiva for over a year, but I didn’t know there was a team… I just joined up :-)

  • Eliza422

    I didn’t realize this lending team existed. I have just gone to switch over to it. All my new loans now will go to this team. Awesome!

  • bigjohn756
  • Plainfieldrob

    Just joined – didn’t know it existed.

    Atheists still in front…

    4657 members
    $653,650 in loans

    Kiva Christians

    2177 members
    $473,000 in loans

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