Kiva Atheists Have Now Loaned Out Over $10,000,000!

Earlier this month, the Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious group on microlending website Kiva hit a major milestone, having loaned out over $10,000,000:

To be sure, it doesn’t mean they’ve given out a total of $10,000,000. It only means they’ve loaned money to people, received some (or most) of it back, and then reloaned it. Still, though, *huge* accomplishment.

The 24,143 members of the Kiva atheist group have given out more money than any other group on the website. (The Kiva Christians are in second place, having loaned out just over $6,300,000.)

If you’re not already a member of the group, you can join right here.

(Thanks to Todd for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • observer

    What, 10,000,000??!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

    I have two problems with Kiva…
    (1) They charge interest. Not cool. I’m the one lending the money. If I don;t get it back, that’s my loss.

    (2) They don’t give you an easy way to filter out religious organisations. You need to look at the loan and google the local partner to see whether they are using your loan to sell Jesus.

    But it’s an easy way to help people, so I use it anyway.

    • Arbitrageur

      You’ll lend money without interest? I’d love to borrow as much as you can lend me. I’ll invest the money in short duration treasuries and pocket the spread for myself.

    • A3Kr0n

      I gave up in Kiva years ago, still…
      You have $65 in your account! You have $65 in your account! You have $65 in your account! You have $65 in your account!…

      • Peak_Prod

        You can pull that money out and keep it, you know.

        And to anyone who cares, the idea is that’s it’s charitable, in that it helps fund loans that likely wouldn’t be funded otherwise. What other charitable giving gives back your offering to be used again or to keep or at all? You will certainly get back more than a tax deduction gives.

        It’s for (among other things) people without toilets to buy a toilet, entrepreneurs to expand a business, or those without means in third world countries to afford higher education. The cool part is that they’re willing to work for it and build on it. (Give a man a fish…) So if an administrative financier needs to earn a living to accomplish this, so be it.

        I just expect that the actual thing being financed has a greater pull than any Jeebus being thrown their way. At least they’re getting something that’s actually helpful.

      • Zoe

        Auto lend. Done.

    • Gus Snarp

      They don’t give you an easy way to filter out religious organizations, but there is one. Use Firefox with Greasemonkey: http://www.greasespot.net/ and the MFI checker script: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/86187

      There’s a managed white list of secular partners and a black list of religious affiliated partners. When you look through the list of loans the religious partner loans will actually appear with a black background. It’s really quite easy.

    • Vicki

      The interest pays for the partner banks that administer the loans. I don’t know about you – but I don’t have the ability to fly to India every other weekend to interview loan applicants. Also, loans without interest would clearly be an invitation for abuse.

    • sparroww

      Kive doesn’t get the interest. It’s the local lender that administers the loan that gets that interest. It pays for all the work they do checking the applicants and making sure that you get your money back.
      I would love it if the borrowers wouldn’t have to pay interest, or pay a lower interest, but that’s the best solution available at this point.

      I’ve been lending through Kiva from early on.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    well, i’m impressed. i hope a lot of people have been helped.

  • John Heylin

    Don’t forget the Church of the FSM is a close second in the Religious Congregation section. http://www.kiva.org/team/fsm

  • Snowdog19

    An atheist is the most stubborn idiotic person alive –to not see the Creator’s work in this world; he is blind to what is important.


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