Forget the Olympics, the real team excitement is going down on Kiva and you don’t have to wait four years to be a part of it.
Kiva Lending Teams are a great way for people to share their passion for lending and supporting borrowers around the world. They're also a great way to connect with other lenders via a similar interest, hobby, or even sense of humor.
Here are seven incredible, tight-knit Kiva lending communities that need to be on your radar. If you like what you see, you can sign up to join one of these teams today, or you can start your own lending team and invite your friends!
Looking for a loan to support health care, the elderly, animals or the environment? Look no further than the Loan Taggers! Small but mighty, the Loan Taggers serve an invaluable purpose. They spend hours going through each new loan posted on Kiva, providing supplemental tags so lenders can find specific loans more easily. Loan Taggers have generously provided Kiva users with a handy and fun way to find the perfect loan for them. Just type a hashtag (#) in the search box on kiva.org/lend to see their work in action!
For global environmental issues, take a look at Green Partnerships. This team’s aim is to better both the communities of borrowers and lenders by focusing solely on borrower businesses that help protect the environment. This team truly understands global connectivity, as one of their captains Helen Deffenbacher states,
“Borrowers in every part of the world and lenders who support them are helping to protect the environment in a diversity of exciting and innovative ways through these Field Partners, providing us with learning opportunities and with examples we can put into action in our own communities."
Kiva’s most popular lending team, Nerdfighters, embodies the meaning of community and has created a unique set of lending team traditions. With a mantra like “We aim to decrease world suck,” it’s no surprise they embrace alternative methods to motivate lending. Team Captain Iain Read started purchasing $25 Kiva Card codes and including them in his message board posts, and eventually made a game out of this by hiding the codes secretly within messages.
Poverty2Prosperity is a local Bay Area nonprofit that looks to alleviate poverty both through microfinance and anti-poverty projects. As the #1 ‘business’ lending team, Poverty2Prosperity draws a lot of members that support their nonprofit and find similarities between it and Kiva’s mission. They even have a fund set up to allow their members to auto-loan so there’s no hassle in maximizing the effectiveness of teammates’ funds toward their goals. Poverty2Prosperity is a great example of bringing two similar communities together to make a difference in people’s lives.
Crazy Country Collectors
Whether you have traveled the globe or aspire to, Crazy Country Collectors team is a great fit for you. This team loves to lend to as many countries as they possibly can - in fact, they regularly post to the message board when loans from new or rare countries get added. The "Collectors" page that's popular with many lenders was even inspired by their geographic-focused fervor: https://www.kiva.org/portfolio/collections.
Cheeseheads for Change
Have you ever challenged a Cheesehead? A word of advice: don’t. While not the largest lending team, Cheeseheads for Change is certainly one of the more dedicated and passionate. The team is composed of Green Bay Packer fans (lovingly known as Cheeseheads) or anyone living in or having ties to the great state of Wisconsin. Their lending team is just another way for a community to extend its pride, dedication and good-heartedness towards a worthy cause like Kiva!
Guys Holding Fish
The final team on our list is a very popular one, albeit with an unusual mission (and name). Guys Holding Fish connects sustainable-fishing enthusiasts with borrowers who make their living by fishing. This close community with a common passion really puts their money on the hook, and continually supports countries with strong fishing industries.
Like many great things, it began as just a kernel of an idea. Team Captain Mark Brown noticed similarities between his own portfolio photos and a few other lenders’, namely they were all holding fish. “On a whim, and not really seriously, I messaged both of them that ‘Hey, we should create a ‘Guys Holding Fish’ team!’"
Richard, Mark's fellow Team Captain, elaborated "I like the idea that the team doesn’t have borders, reaches out across to everyone with a simple ideal and the membership, guys and gals, can express themselves by holding out that fish if they so choose. I hope that potential team members see an element of fun when deciding to join us."
A couple years after starting the team, they're now responsible for more than $4.5m in loans on Kiva. Mark says it best: "It all boils down to one purpose, funding those loans to needy borrowers."
Raised in Marin County, Adam is a recent graduate from Occidental College, where he majored in Diplomacy and World Affairs. In his time at college, Adam studied abroad at the United Nations in Geneva for a summer, wrote his senior thesis on large-scale land acquisitions in Mozambique, and was a member of Occidental's Impact Fund, which put $3000 towards multiple Kiva loans. Currently, Adam works part time as Communications Coordinator for Jazz in the Neighborhood, a local non-profit thats mission is to provide Bay Area jazz artists a guaranteed salary for performances, and mentor young aspiring jazz musicians. Both Adam's work at school and abroad confirmed his interest in international development and sustainability, and he is excited to be joining Kiva as a Community Support Intern. In his free time, Adam enjoys following his Bay Area sports teams, playing basketball, and dining on all the great food San Francisco has to offer.