Turn Feb. 14 into Generosity Day with Kiva!

On a cold December evening in 2008, Acumen Fund's Sasha Dichter found himself in a familiar situation. Riding home on the train, he was approached by a man raising money to help the homeless. Reflexively, he denied the man his request and buried himself in his phone.

But this time something felt different. Something clicked in Sasha’s head. He felt like he had done the wrong thing by not giving the man any money. 

"Pretty soon, 'no' becomes who you are, and what you do when somebody comes to you asking for help," Sasha has written of his experience.

Worried that this was who he was becoming, he launched his own generosity experiment. For the next month, when asked to give, Sasha said “yes” to everything.

Feeling changed after his bold undertaking, he decided to coin "Generosity Day" as a way for everyone to replicate his experiment. One day for everyone to practice radical generosity. No saying no.

Valentine’s Day became the perfect platform. Recently, the holiday devoted to love seems to have become increasingly more focused on pretty flowers and expensive dinners. What if instead of worrying about which box of chocolates to buy, we could focus on saying “yes” to people who really need a boost. Engaging in acts of generosity, be them big or small.

Kiva is fully committed to reclaiming February 14, 2013 as Generosity Day. 

One way to exercise generosity this upcoming February 14 is to dedicate a Kiva loan. Whether you're dedicating a loan to your sweetheart, family or friends, this simple action promotes generosity several times over:

  • First and foremost, you help make a borrower's dream a reality.
  • You give someone else the chance to see what small loans can make possible around the world.
  • You also help Kiva grow! Repayments on dedicated loans are returned to Kiva as donations, helping us cover our operating expenses and reach even more borrowers around the world!
To dedicate a loan, simply choose a borrower like you would normally. You'll see the option to dedicate during checkout, and when you're done, your recipient will get both a dedication email and a personalized page (pictured below)! You even have the chance to include a special message about why you chose this loan just for them.

It's the perfect gift for both Valentine's Day and Generosity Day in one!

For more on Sasha and Generosity Day, watch his TED Talk.

Have questions about how to dedicate a loan? Send them our way at contactus@kiva.org.

About the author

Emily Wakefield

A native of southern California, Emily is a recent graduate from Santa Clara University where she studied Economics and Spanish Studies. The highlight of her college experience was the semester she spent abroad in Granada, Spain. She knew she wanted to pursue a career in economic development after reading Half the Sky. Emily will be joining the Marketing and Communications team as a Blog and Social Media Intern and is especially excited to find new and creative ways to spread Kiva’s work to more people. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, listening to country music, and re-watching Friends episodes for the millionth time.