Pro Tips: Kiva Staff Share Their Favorite Ways to Lend

Around the Kiva office, there're a few things the whole staff gets really into: karaoke and food-related challenges are among our fervent favorites but at the top of that list is lending on Kiva. That’s right, we geek out about work in our down time – a lot. We’ve compiled our best tips on how to lend like a pro, along with some of the funny anecdotes from our adventures in lending.
Be a hero:
"Sort by expiring soon. Lend to the first loan in list."
G-E-O Geography, lend to parts of the world you hold dear:
“I'm trying to make a loan to a borrower at each one of our South American partners - I have about half of them covered so far.“
Look to other lenders. Use our lender-defined tagging system:
“Our lenders tag loans with things like #InspiringStory, #JobCreator or #Parent, which I find to be incredibly helpful in narrowing down where I want to lend to next."
Make a connection, lend to someone who shares your interests:
“I only ever lend to other bakers. And I care very much about how my portfolio looks so I prefer photos of people pulling things out of ovens.”
This baker not only inspired our colleague to lend to him, but also to whip up her own batch of poppy seed sweet rolls!

“I lend to people who sell things that I want to buy like this women selling fried chicken in the Philippines. I also like agriculture loans because I grew up on a farm. It was an organic farm, so I try to avoid chemical fertilizers."
“I lend to borrowers that have loan uses that are either really compelling or really fun (or in her case, both).”
For the organizationally-minded, pick a category and lend to the whole lot:
"There’s a few things on Kiva you can ‘collect,’ like countries, sectors, social performance badges, activities or field partners. I’ve found it useful to configure saved searches for the parts of the collection missing. That way when a loan becomes available that I need for my collection I’m notified right away. This becomes especially helpful when you only have a few, more rare things left on your collection list."

We hope you enjoyed getting insight on some of our favorite lending methods. What tips and tricks do you find most helpful? Let us know in the comments!

About the author

Aurora Lee

Aurora hails from New England and has a background in communications, systems management and economic development. She first realized her passion for nonprofits leveraging social media while working in web communications at MSF. She is incredibly excited to join the content team at Kiva and explore the juncture of technology and international development more thoroughly. She spent nearly a year working in Tanzania with students and was lucky enough to witness the spirit of small-scale entrepreneurship and how it impacts communities firsthand. She holds a BA from Princeton University where she concentrated in politics and was a member of the varsity swimming and diving team. Aurora is a long-suffering, occasionally jubilant, Arsenal fan and copes with being dog-less by volunteering at the SF SPCA.