Dec 3, 2009
By Bennett Grassano
Kiva receives $500,000 grant from Chevron




As part of its California Partnership initiative, Chevron Corporation has awarded a one-year $500,000 grant to Kiva to assist with operational needs across the organization. The primary use of the grant will be to expand and improve the Kiva platform to economically empower individuals in the U.S. and around the world.

The partnership came about through mutual participation in the 2009 Women’s Conference where Chevron pledged to match $100,000 in Kiva loans. The partnership has since grown into a grant that will enable Kiva to make much needed investments in engineering and microfinance partnership staff across the organization. These investments will not only strengthen Kiva globally, they will also help Kiva reach many more partners and entrepreneurs in an effort to meet our goal of 400,000 total borrowers by the end of 2010.

We also look forward to helping Chevron, California’s largest company, get its employees involved in volunteer and micro-lending opportunities.

We are grateful for the support of businesses like Chevron, which help us support our infrastructure and continue to grow Kiva. Thanks to their help, we’re able to focus on the important things – like empowering individuals to lend to entrepreneurs around the world in an effort to alleviate poverty.

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Bennett has a background as a technology entrepreneur, web developer, community leader, fundraiser, and business developer at leading social enterprises. Prior to joining Kiva, Bennett co-founded an open source e-commerce enterprise, led a coalition to establish an award winning arts education collaborative and Beacon School in San Francisco Richmond District, and worked as a web developer for search provider LookSmart. Bennett also served as Director of Institutional Development for TechSoup Global where he earned a grand prize from the Yale School of Management-Goldman Sachs National Nonprofit Business Plan competition for TechSoup Stock, an online product philanthropy service that went on to distribute over $1 billion in technology product donations to NGOs in 24 countries while generating nearly $20M.year in earned income to support the social enterprise’s mission of helping nonprofits achieve their mission through technology. Bennett leads strategic development initiatives at Kiva with major foundations and corporations including the Skoll Foundation, Omidyar Network, Google, Rockefeller Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, among others.

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