Happy National Volunteer Month from Kiva!

Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month?

This is a particularly special time for us at Kiva, as so much of our operations rely on the dedication and support of our 500+ volunteers around the world!

Close to 500 Kiva Fellows have helped us make sure our partnerships are running smoothly.

Kiva supporters volunteer their time in a number of ways to fuel our mission. Whether they be interns gaining work experience in our office, Kiva Fellows traveling the world, or multi-lingual editors translating loans from their living rooms, all of our volunteers are essential to keeping the organization running.

Every year, we receive nearly 1,000 applications for our Kiva Internship Program. In 2012 alone, our interns volunteered over 50,000 hours at our San Francisco headquarters. From legal, to marketing, to micro-lending logistics, internship positions cover almost all interests. This is no “make copies” and “fetch coffee” kind of internship -- the people in these positions are relied on just like full-time staff members and get a great foothold in the nonprofit world.

One intern recently said, "Kiva's Internship program fosters a great environment for collaboration and companionship between fellow interns and staff alike. The friendships and connections you can take away from the program are invaluable."

Interested in applying for Kiva's next intern class? Applications are due by May 5. You can apply at kiva.org/volunteer.

Another avenue for Kiva supporters (the adventurous ones) to get involved is our Kiva Fellows Program. Kiva Fellows travel to and live in the host countries of our 150+ field partners for anywhere between 3 to 12 months. Since the program’s inception in 2007, over 400 volunteers have served as Kiva’s eyes and ears on the ground -- expanding Kiva’s impact by building key relationships, developing sustainable practices, and improving current MFI processes. Without the support and feedback of Kiva Fellows out in the field, working with so many partners to administer thousands of loans would be nearly impossible. 

Kiva Fellow Fred-éric with a Village Bank president in Senegal.

Those looking for another way to support Kiva can be hugely helpful as volunteers with the Review and Translation program. Kiva editors and translators volunteer from their own homes around their own schedules, translating and reviewing loan profiles from around the world that are eventually posted to Kiva’s website. These volunteers dedicate a minimum of 2 hours per week, and some all-stars have reviewed over 1,000 loans!

Gail, our March Volunteer of the Month, has translated over 1,000 loans!

You can check out our Volunteer Picks for top loan picks from our corps of volunteer editors and translators -- those who know them best!

So in honor of National Volunteer Month, we want to extend a huge THANK YOU and virtual hug to all of our volunteers that make our work at Kiva possible. Without you, we would never been able to empower 1 million borrowers or make over $400 million in loans

If you have any questions about how to volunteer with Kiva, email us at blog@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.