Also, NPR's Marketplace did a story on this as well.
VIGELAND: So, what's the benefit to you of doing this?
KRISTOF (NY Times Columnist who donated/loaned money to people on Kiva) : A couple of different things. I mean, it is a way of feeling like you're making a difference, of doing so in a way that encourages economic activity, which ultimately will provide more employment to support the economy. I also think that there's really a benefit, though, of just engaging with the rest of the world, and of seeing who you are helping. And you know, in this case, I happened to lend to two men, but that is actually unusual in microcredit. Usually, the borrowers are women, and one central purpose of microcredit has been to raise the status of women in the developing world.
VIGELAND: As people, as consumers, as our listeners are deciding how to allocate their charitable giving, how is this kind of effort different from, say, just giving a charity donation to an aid group? Because for example, there is no tax deduction here.
KRISTOF: I think most people, in the case of Kiva, essentially roll over their loans. When one is paid back, then they roll it over to somebody else. And look, there are a million incredibly important potential recipients for donations. You know I, as you know I believe passionately in Darfur, malaria. You know, but, I think that especially for somebody who wants, you know, visibility, and they kinda want to know directly who does their money go to and what does that person look like? Kiva is, or that whole approach, is one useful addition to their portfolio.
Anyway, I was just listening to two nuns talking about how we have so much in America and if we, the folks with the money, could just live a little more simply, someone else could live a little more well.