Brandon is from North Carolina, where he studied journalism at UNC Chapel Hill. After interning at Kiva in 2012, he joined the staff full time in 2013 to serve as the Community Marketing Coordinator, Kiva's liaison with the 25,000 lending team communities. In his spare time, Brandon enjoys medium-format photography, biking around the bay, and keeping in touch with friends and family on the east coast.

Kiva Blog Updates

Apr 23, 2015 KV Kiva HQ
El Nido, Palawan. Photo by Brandon Smith.
Plan to shoot during golden hour

Paublina, Kiva borrower. Photo by Brandon Smith.

One of the easiest ways to improve travel photos is shooting in better light, and the best light is often in the hour after sunrise and before sunset. That’s because the light takes on a warm golden hue and hits the subject from the side instead of the top.


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Apr 7, 2015 KV Kiva HQ
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Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, Bali, Indonesia. Photos by Brandon Smith.

Bali may be best known for its crystal-clear waters, lush green hills and Hindu temples, but it’s also home to a rich artistic tradition with deep cultural roots. Bali’s many artisans are renowned for their craft, and...

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Jan 15, 2014 KV Kiva HQ
If you’ve been lending on Kiva for a while, you might already be familiar with our commitment to innovation — from loan products like chlorine water dispensers with Evidence Action to site features like the lending collections page.

One of the ways we promote innovation at Kiva is by testing new site experiments that might be useful — features such as, loan tagging and the borrower previews that appear in lending team messages. While many of these features end up being wildly successful, there are others that don't catch on, need more polish, cause a large...
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Dec 12, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

We're excited to have the following post from Will Sutton -- a Kiva Contributor. Will is a father, entrepreneur, and writer who discusses topics related to personal finance and business.
Kids should learn the fundamentals of finance from a young age, and since schools generally do little to that end, the responsibility falls mostly on parents. Showing children the importance of saving money, the dangers of credit card debt, and the benefits of effectively managing their finances are all essential elements of parenting. In...
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Dec 12, 2013 KV Kiva HQ
We’re thrilled to announce that this morning, Kiva received a Google Global Impact Award as an entrepreneurial team who thinks on a global scale and has a “healthy disregard for the impossible.”
We’ll be using this grant to launch Kiva Labs, a new initiative that delivers the power of crowdfunding and microfinance to critical solutions in agriculture, clean energy, mobile information, and other transformative technologies.
Tech-driven solutions in each of these areas are driving progress around the...
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Dec 10, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

The holiday season is upon us! As you begin your holiday shopping, we want to make sure you know about a few awesome gifts that help support Kiva.

Give your friends and family a small gift that makes a big difference – the...

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Dec 3, 2013 KV Kiva HQ
Last update on December 30

Following the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, we reached out to our family of Field Partners, borrowers, Fellows and field staff to check on their safety and well-being. We wanted to share those updates -- including additional ways you can help -- as we receive them here.

We've also received a lot of interest in forgiving loans for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, and our Field Partners are currently going through the process of assessing the situation with each of their clients. Since those Field Partners are in the... Continue Reading >>
Nov 26, 2013 KV Kiva HQ
Kiva is very excited to share a new and innovative partnership with our community: StoveTeam International! If you’re interested in health, job creation and the environment, we're sure that you’ll understand our enthusiasm for these exciting and impactful loans.
StoveTeam International (STI) is a non-profit that seeks to address global health issues through the distribution of safe and affordable cookstoves. The organization itself was founded by Oregon native Nancy Hughes after she took a medical volunteer trip to Guatemala. During her journey, Nancy...
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May 22, 2013 KV Kiva HQ
After several weeks of extensive user testing, we’re excited to release a new site update for the lending team "About" pages next week. This is all part of a concerted effort to better integrate lender feedback into our design process, and I’m personally excited about how much we’ve been able to do with this next round of changes. In addition to your emails and comments on the blog and lending teams, we sent out multiple surveys, interviewed a number of lenders and even had lenders visit our office so that we could learn directly from their experiences. I...
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May 6, 2013 KV Kiva HQ
This is the first installment of a Mother's Day guest blog series, highlighting what Kiva makes possible for mothers, whether they are lenders, borrowers, or Kiva partners.

As we approach Mother’s Day next Sunday, we wanted to spotlight three Kiva lenders and their stories about making a difference for moms around the world. Lloyd Thompson honors his mom's charitable spirit from the other side of the world. Susan Linton makes loans in memory of her mother and grandmother. And Julie Patton uses Kiva to educate her own son about giving.

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