Kiva's Speakers Program: Helpful Tips and Information for Speakers

Kiva's Speakers Program | Helpful tips and information for speakers

Thank you for joining us to speak at an event and spread Kiva's work and mission to a larger community. The Speakers Program is a way to connect and reach out to individuals and communities interested in microfinance, poverty alleviation and the role Kiva plays in the global community by bringing a Kiva staff member or former fellow into the community to share their knowledge and experiences.

This page is a resource dedicated specifically to the Kiva Speakers Program. As a speaker you can access Kiva-approved resources and tools to share with your audience and help make your speaking event run smoothly.  

Best practices for speakers

  • Confirm your speaking event
    • Please be sure to confirm you are speaking with both the Kiva Speakers Program coordinator ( and the requestor.
  • Utilize the general Kiva PowerPoint presentation
    • This is the foundation of your presentation. This general presentation should be a comprehensive, guiding tool to your presentation, not the entire presentation itself.  
  • Give your presentation a little extra something
    • To customize your presentation, use the customized slides at your disposal. You can add these to your presentation based on the expected audience.
  • Be prepared for questions
    • Questions may arise during your presentation and we want you to be prepared! Please take the time to review some frequently asked questions (FAQ's) and visit our Help Center for additional answers.
  • Be personal, passionate and yourself!
    • Your story is Kiva’s story too; so don't be shy about making it your own. Let your excitement show, it's contagious and Kiva is about people! You
      are Kiva too, so just be yourself.
Tips for fellows
  • Tell stories
    • Your audience will view you as a Kiva insider, and they will be looking to you for insight into the organization. You have had the rare opportunity to interact with real people whose lives are being affected by microfinance. As a fellow, you have gone beyond just loaning money, to getting your hands dirty for the sake of helping improve people's lives. Be sure to tell stories about clients you met, notable interactions with loan officers, or any other anecdotes that help to explain what it really feels like to be involved in microfinance as a Kiva fellow.
  • Get personal
    • Explain what the Kiva fellowship is so the audience understands your experiences and journey at Kiva. Tell a story from your fellowship that your audience might be able to relate to or appreciate. An anecdote about your fellowship demonstrates: your prior involvement with Kiva (i.e. before joining KFP) and how your fellowship has impacted your life, at present. Make your presentation one of a kind with photos, video and other media from your fellowship. This will help your audience connect better with you and your experience in the field.
  • Take the time to provide some context
    • An idea and suggestion for organizing your Kiva experience: Make an informal timeline of your fellowship. This might help paint a clear picture of the role of a Kiva fellow.

Kiva-approved content resources

Please take time to review the information found in the following presentations to ensure the data accurately reflects any updates to statistics, facts or FAQ's. Recently updated data can be found on Kiva's statistics page.


  1. Kiva slide template
  2. Kiva PowerPoint training template
  1. Kiva 101 slides: These slides describe Kiva's mission and outline the sucess factors behind Kiva's unique funding model.
  2. Microfinance slides: Please refer to these slides for a more in-depth look on Kiva's role in microfinance. 
  3. Social performance slides: Inform your audience about how social performance and microfinance go hand-in-hand at Kiva. 
  4. Kiva Zip slides: Kiva Zip makes 0% interest loans for 100% social good. These slides describe how Kiva Zip works.
  5. Kiva Fellows Program slides: Kiva fellows are an integral part of the Kiva team, acting as Kiva's eyes and ears in the field and helping to expand limited resources. 
  6. Kiva in faith-based communities slides: Kiva is an engaging way for faith-based groups to impact poverty alleviation through microloans. 
  7. US lending slides: One of the realities of microfinance is that loan amounts required to alleviate poverty can vary drastically from one region to another, including the U.S. 
  8. Lending team slides: Encourage your audience to join or start a lending team if they have not already done so!  These slides provide step-by-step instructions.
  9. Crowdfunding slides: These slides define the concept of crowdfunding and provide current market examples.


Audience members may (or may not) have a variety of questions regarding Kiva and microfinance. We want to adequately prepare our speakers with answers to commonly asked question that may occur during or after any given speaking event. The community support ( team has provided and continues to update answers on Kiva's Help Center page, please feel free to visit this page for more detailed answers to FAQ's.

  1. Why are your Field Partners’ interest rates so high?
  2. Does Kiva prohibit certain businesses from fundraising on Kiva?
  3. Does Kiva work with for-profit or nonprofit Field Partners?
  4. How does Kiva fund its operations?
  5. Does Kiva do due diligence before taking on new Field Partners?
  6. Why are there no Field Partners in country X?
  7. Can I get a loan for my own business?

Still can't find the answers? Email Us!

General FAQ: (community support)
Speakers Program:

1)  Why are your Field Partners’ interest rates so high?

As of April of 2011, the average interest rate and fees charged by our Field Partners has been about 37%. This helps to defray the high operational cost of facilitating microloans. Because our Field Partners don’t have to pay interest to Kiva for the loans that they administer, Kiva loans help Field Partners reach communities and populations that may not otherwise be served. All Kiva Field Partners charge interest, but Kiva will not partner with an organization that charges exorbitant interest rates, and we require Field Partners to fully disclose their interest rates. Kiva partners only with microfinance institutions that have a social mission to serve the poor, unbanked, and underserved.

The interest and fees charged by our Field Partners seem high based on what most of us are accustomed to seeing, but those rates are necessary to maintain sustainable institutions. Self-sustainability is critical to creating long-term solutions to poverty, and charging interest to borrowers enables our Field Partners to bear costs and achieve self-sustainability.

As many of our Field Partners serve communities in rural areas, the labor of distributing and collecting loan payments adds to the organization’s operational costs. To read more on this, you should check out the following articles, written by our Kiva Fellows:

It is also important to remember that comparisons of interest rates charged by commercial banks in underdeveloped countries, and with rates charged in developed countries are not good comparisons. A developed banking system can provide funds at lower rates, and when a bank facilitates larger loans, a lower proportion of costs are needed to cover transactional expenses. Microfinance is an expensive business, which is essentially the reason small loans are not provided by large banks. Developing countries also typically have high inflation rates which need to be factored into the interest rates that financial institutions charge. For example an interest rate of 20% per annum in a country where inflation was 22% per annum would not cover costs. The interest rate charged by the institution would need to be greater than 22% in order to simply cover the cost of inflation, let alone other operational costs.

We list our Field Partners' return on assets (ROA) for each of our Field Partners on their Field Partner pages ( along with the interest rates charged so that you can see how much money the Field Partner is making based on the loans they’re disbursing. ROA is a measure of profitability, and currently, our Field Partners average a -1.03% ROA.

Additional information on microfinance in general can be found here: and for more information on interest rates in the microfinance industry, check out:

2)  Does Kiva prohibit certain businesses from fundraising on Kiva?

At Kiva, we trust our Field Partners to determine whether or not a loan request is appropriate. We only prohibit loans for business activities that are illegal in the country of origin or loans that, though legal, violate major UN conventions.

We trust our Field Partners to make these decisions because they are familiar with the communities and cultures where our borrowers live and work. Whereas, a loan might seem offensive to one person, it may be perfectly reasonable in another cultural context.

3)  Does Kiva work with for-profit or nonprofit Field Partners?

Kiva is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, but we work with both for-profit and nonprofit microfinance institutions. In many cases, banking regulations in the country where our Field Partners operate determine whether the organization needs to be a nonprofit or for-profit company.

At Kiva we are committed to working with Field Partners with a strong social mission and those that offer relevant and useful services to their borrowers, regardless of the organization's profit status.

We do extensive due diligence and are conducting social performance audits on all of our active Field Partners. We also require all Field Partners to endorse the SMART Campaign for Client Protection (, which includes transparent and reasonable pricing as one of their client protection principles.

By working with both for-profit and nonprofit Field Partners we are able to expand the reach of our loan portfolio. For example, some of our nonprofit Field Partners serve areas or populations that for-profit organizations don't reach, whereas our for-profit Field Partners may offer savings services to borrowers, something nonprofit organizations cannot do.

All of our Field Partners, regardless of their for-profit and nonprofit status, are committed to doing good in the areas in which they work.

4)  How does Kiva fund its operations?

Self-sustainability is critical to Kiva. We don't take a cut of any of the loans you make, and we don't charge interest to our Field Partners on the funds that we send them.

We support ourselves principally on the optional donations our lenders voluntarily pay to the organization in addition to the loans they make. 

We also raise funds through grants, interest earned on our bank accounts, corporate sponsors and foundations. We are incredibly thankful for this support that has helped us keep up with a fast pace of growth.

5)  Does Kiva do due diligence before taking on new Field Partners?

Before approving a microfinance institution (MFI) to become a Kiva Field Partner, Kiva conducts extensive due diligence by first completing a desk review and then visiting the MFI on site.

Kiva staff looks at a number of things, including potential Field Partner's mission and values to see how they align with Kiva, their financial performance and their state of operations, and the capability of the MFI's current governance and leadership.

Once Kiva has collected as much information as possible on the potential Field Partner, the information is organized and presented to Kiva's Investment Committee for approval.

6)  Why are there no Field Partners in country X?

Kiva currently works with Field Partners in over 55 countries, and a list of these Field Partners can be found on our Partner pages:

We are working hard to expand our partnerships to all regions across the globe at a pace that is healthy for both our current partners and for Kiva.

If we do not partner with an MFI in your area of interest, you can check out the Mix Market, which is a great website that collects data on microfinance institutions around the world. You may be able to find a microfinance institution in your area of interest on this site. Please refer to their website at

7)  Can I get a loan for my own business?

Kiva does not process loan applications from borrowers. If you would like to apply for a loan please contact the Kiva Field Partner (microfinance institution) in your local area. A list of Kiva's Field Partners can be found on the Field Partners page:

If you do not find a Microfinance Institution near you, please try the Mix Market, which is a great website that collects data on microfinance institutions around the world. Please refer to their website at

Please note that Mix Market is an information service and does not provide funding. Also note that Kiva does not participate or have a say in which businesses are selected by our Field Partners. 


About the author

Crystal Chandy

Crystal holds a BSc in Finance and Marketing from New York University and recently obtained her Master’s from the London School of Economics and National University of Singapore.  She spent six years in project and financial management in the private sector. She then spent time teaching English in Chile and building shallow irrigation wells in Malawi. Crystal is excited to intern with Kiva and apply her background and skills to affecting positive change. She also enjoys traveling, hiking and great meals.