Atheists Near the Top of This Charity Website September 10, 2008

Atheists Near the Top of This Charity Website

What is Kiva?

Kiva Microfunds is an organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to microfinance institutions in developing countries which in turn lend the money to small businesses…

Kiva recently announced the concept of “leading teams,” which lets an individual donor give in the name of a specific group.

Right now, a group called “Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers and the Non-Religious” is the second most popular team, with 320 members as I write this.

In first place? A group called 101 Cookbooks. They have 357 members.

*Shaking my head*

This is definitely an idea worth supporting. We hear far too many complaints about atheists not giving enough to charity; too often, those complaints are warranted.

This is a chance to benefit those less fortunate — and, as a bonus, you can do it in the name of atheism. Right now, the atheist group is also one of the largest in terms of which groups have given away the most money — over $12,000 from the heathens, which is simply incredible.

Let’s help the atheist team get to #1 in terms of number of members. More importantly, if you can give any amount in the name of a group, rest assured it’s going to a good cause.

(Thanks to Balthazar for the link!)

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  • molly539

    If you want to help someone become self-sufficient and self-supporting, Kiva is a great way to go. You can make loans for as little as $25.00, which when combined with other people’s loans, help make small businesses in developing countries grow. I am on a fixed income but felt that this is a way I could contribute to helping others. Thank you for promoting Kiva and the good work they do.

  • Varda

    Actually the best part of Kiva is that you aren’t giving your money away! You are lending it to people who use it to better their lives and then you get paid back! There’s only minimal risk. Everyone should check it out. I’ll be sure to find the atheist group and join up.

  • Watts

    Awesome! I am a long time Kiva user but I had no idea this group was around. Thanks!

  • Eliza

    I learned about Kiva at Conversation at the Edge 2 yrs ago and made a donation. I’ve been able to re-loan that same money to other people multiple times over the 2 yrs. Kiva emails me when someone has repaid all or part of a loan, and I can go back to their site & re-direct the paid-back amount to another person in need. You can decide exactly which person or group to loan to, & can search by geography, intended use the loaned money, amount needed to complete a loan, time spent on the list waiting for loans, etc. I really like it. (I also donate to organizations which use up the money & ask for more, but the re-use of the same funds repeatedly has a special charm.)

    And now, as an existing Kiva member, I’ve been able to add my name to the list of Atheists etc – “coming out” at Kiva! Thanks, Hemant!

  • The traditional atheist response to suggestions of what to do with ones money, is to do nothing.

  • mike

    My parents introduced me to Kiva last Christmas. It’s a nice system — I don’t have much money loaned out but it’s nice knowing that I was able to help one person so far. The next loan will be on behalf of the atheist group, for sure.

    I think higher visibility for non-religious philanthropy is a fantastic thing, and we definitely need more of it. Anyone know of other good examples?

  • Ha! 101 Cookbooks is a great site. I’d forgotten about it. Good for them. But I’m joining team atheist.

  • I’ve been a member of Kiva for a while now, but I didn’t do the community thing, I have now though. Thanks for the post!

  • N

    So it appears that vegetarian cooking enthusiasts are more charitable than either atheists or christians. Who knew?

    101 Cookbooks is an awesome site, though.

  • Liz

    Ha! I read 101 Cookbooks. Just last week the blogger talked about Kiva, and within a few days all of the lending opportunities were gone!

  • Jeff Satterley

    As of right now, Atheists have 362 members, and 101 Cookbooks have 361…

    Take that 101 Cookbooks!

    We are also now second in total amount of money loaned, behind, $44K vs. $12K.

    If I wasn’t a starving grad student, I would most definitely give more money….

  • Robin

    I learned about the Grameen Bank back in 1990 in my Int’l Studies course. Big fan of the program. Highly suggest any book by Muhammad Yunus on how microloans impacts lives.

    Forgot about Kiva until an article in the Commercial News yesterday. It’s a great program. Signing up tonight!

  • Karen

    I have been a KIVA donor for several years. It’s very rewarding and it’s a great way to get your kids involved in helping others around the world.

  • Robin

    Karen, I agree completely. We explained the concept to our kids tonight at dinner. Our 13 year old really liked the idea and plans to contribute some of his own money. Our 11 year old made the decision of how much to give as a family. It was great.

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