Does Giving Make You Happy?

May 13, 2011

Would you make a donation to support these children? * 

Some women get turned on by shoes. They see a gorgeous pair of stilettos gleaming and sparkling in the store window and know they have to have them. That’s how I feel when I see a great opportunity for giving. I want to possess it, invest in it, feel ownership over it.

Kiva Giving Series

This post is the second in my Kiva giving series. Read the first one here:

Meet Victoria 

 Meet Victoria Soto Choque, pictured above. Kiva tells us that:

Victoria, 34 years old of Peru, lives with her partner and four children (ages 16, 15, 13, 5). Victoria is requesting a loan to expand her small business. As a grocery store owner, she will use the loan to purchase basic staples, such as rice, sugar, and pasta, as well as items for her home.* 

For a starting price of only $25, you (the donor-lender), can give a hand in helping Victoria expand her business and improve her quality of life. That $25 that you might have spent on coffee and subway tokens goes a long way in helping Victoria and in giving you a feel-good donor experience. For a total loan of $550 (to be repaid by December 2011) you get a significant bang for your buck.

Are you in? 

Micro Giving

When I created The New Jew in 2007, my intent was not to start a blog on Jewish philanthropy. No, my goal was to start a revolution in Jewish micro-giving (that is, giving in small amounts).

I grew up in an affluent community and my youth was immensely enriched by the experiences I had traveling and volunteering both in the US and abroad. I come to philanthropy with the conviction that everyone has the capacity to give something, they just need to be inspired enough to do it.

At that time, there was no JGooders,* no IsraelGives, no DonorsChoose, or any other programs to support and promote small giving. What was lacking, I believed, was an organization to help inspire giving and channel donations on a personal level, igniting that critical spark at the moment of giving.

* JGooders is now defunct. 

The Big Goal: Israel Nonprofit Gift Catalog 

What I wanted to do was to enable those with “extra” disposable income, regardless of the amount, to donate on a person-to-person or person-to-project basis with direct results.

Ultimately what I hoped for was to work with every nonprofit in Israel to create a wish list that could be entered into a larger gift catalog for potential donors to access via the web.

The options would be beautifully endless.

— Keep Reading: I Want to Hear From You —

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Can You Resist Kiva’s Siren Call? (I Hope Not)

May 12, 2011


Dear Friends,

Tomorrow you will see a new entry on The New Jew, but tonight I have a special present for you. This is my first week as a lender-donor on Kiva and I’ve found it to be such an interesting, fulfilling experience. I want you to join me.

The Offer

So here’s my offer, I will give a Kiva gift card worth $25 to the first three people who comment here and say they want to try micro-lending for the first time. My only conditions- and I won’t hold you to them, it’s only a contract you are making with yourself- are that:

  1.  If you like the experience of lending, you write and tell me why
  2.  You give a gift card to someone whom you think would likewise enjoy it

So who are my top prospects right now? I’m looking at Medhi, Evelyn.

Meet Mehdi (Salam Wa Aleikum, Mehdi)

Mehdi has one day left on his loan- at time of writing, $250 is needed- to help him expand his fruit and vegetable  business. He is interested in expanding his offerings, and hopes the loan will help grow his business, and therefore help him better support his family, whom he cares deeply about.

Here’s how Kiva gets you with the urgency (see graphic). 

Note:

Funding Mehdi was my first longer term loan. Up until now, I have strongly preferred loans that are coming due in the short term (i.e. this fall). Something you should know is that all lenders are refunded at the same time, incrementally. You don’t get one final amount back at the end, but you’re refunded small amounts according to the borrower’s payment schedule, which is outlined in detail at the bottom of the screen.

— Keep Reading: Meet Evelyn; Will You Say Yes? —

Read the rest of this entry »