Kiva Atheists Hit $1,000,000 Milestone October 8, 2009

Kiva Atheists Hit $1,000,000 Milestone

Less than I year ago, I wrote about the charity 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 allows you to lend money in groups, and the Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious group has been among the most generous teams for the past year.

I am now able to say the following with great pride:

The atheist team has more members than any other group. They have 6,002 members as I write this. (Kiva Christians are in a distant third.)

The atheist team has given out more loans than any other group. They have given away 33002 loans. (Kiva Christians are in a distant second.)


The atheist team has given away over a million dollars in loans as of yesterday. (Again, Kiva Christians are in a distant second.)

It’s a beautiful sight to behold:


Kiva is thrilled about the milestone, too, posting a congratulatory message on their blog.

In a press release, an atheist team representative writes:

AASFSHNR, just over 1 year old, is the first group to reach $1,000,000. Despite the modest goal of $50k in four months, 10 days after creation AASFSHNR hit $10,000. As the loans were paid back, or new money was lent, the group total climbed faster and faster.

Head over to the team’s blog to congratulate them. Or, better yet, join the team, make a microloan, and help change lives because it’s the right, Humanistic thing to do.

(Thanks to Peter for the link!)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • muggle

    Hemant, this is wonderful. Tell me more. Well, don’t. I’ll read over the site.

    Just one question immediately. I’ve been thinking about giving to this cause for some time but my own funds are limited. What’s the smallest amount you can donate? If I can swing it, I’ll head on over and join.

  • John

    $25. When you get repaid just keep lending that amount over and over again.

  • andrew

    i dont mean to be pedantic, but to say they have “given away” may be seen as a bit misleading since the money is eventually repaid. I would say ‘have contributed’ or something to that effect.

    other than that, im going to go over to their website and sign up!

  • Varda35

    $50 of that is mine!!

    And the minimum contribution is $25….but you will almost definitely get it back … then you can loan it again! Kiva is awesome.

  • medussa

    I checked out Kiva after your prior posting about it, and signed on. $300 came from that alone.
    This milestone wouldn’t have been achieved without your help, Hemant.

  • Edmond

    How can there be a minimum contribution? Any charity should accept ANY donation, from $0.01 to Time and Energy.

  • beckster

    Any charity should accept ANY donation, from $0.01 to Time and Energy.

    Human psychology is such that if you say you will accept any size donation, most people will donate as little as possible to make themselves feel good. If you put a minimum donation, people will still donate but will donate more than they otherwise would if there was no minimum. A little mind trick .. .

    Plus it costs money to process each donation online so a donation of only pennies would probably cost more to process than it is worth. I learned this the hard way when I was starting up a non-profit using online donations.

  • It isn’t a donation, it’s a loan. You can donate however much or little you want to Kiva, but the minimum you can loan to an entrepreneur is $25.

  • Gordon

    Signed up and made a loan, thanks @Hemant for the suggestion.

    I couldnt credit you in my registration because it wanted an email address.

  • cypressgreen

    This is AWESOME! Hemant, you are costing me money, you adorable fox, you. First it was Foundation Beyond Belief, now this! I donated $100 plus the $15 towards admin costs and credited you by way of your web site URL.

    Thanks for bringing these worthy groups to our attention. I’m guessing my 8yr old son will want the give me $ to add to my loan…he always wantes to give away to stuff like those starving kids on TV and I never know who to trust.

    It was hard to choose…Atheists or FSM…hmmm. Well, I went with FSM.

  • Erik

    The christian team has a slightly higher per-loanlending rate than us, though. They average $31.37 while the atheist team averages $30.37. Everyone loan just a little bit more so we can beat them on every metric!

  • Jeffrey

    Well, I didn’t mean to literally suggest that someone donate one cent, but surely no charity would reject a $24 donation while hoping for a $25 one?

  • Spurs Fan

    I think this is very encouraging and while some may find it childish, our tone of “healthy competition” is good for both groups (skeptics and Christians alike) to continue contributing more.

  • CatBallou

    I just joined and made my first loan. Thanks, Hemant, for encouraging this.
    I’m going to make my donation to Kiva separately, though, because my employer matches charitable donations!

  • okay, okay–I’ll give another loan since Kiva says my current 4 loans is below the 4.8 Kiva average…

  • RBH

    Jeffrey wrote

    Well, I didn’t mean to literally suggest that someone donate one cent, but surely no charity would reject a $24 donation while hoping for a $25 one?

    Once again, it is not a “charity,” and the loans are not donations, they’re loans that are paid back and can be loaned again. We’ve been rolling over a $500 account I gave my wife for her birthday for nearly two years, and I’ve actually lost count of how many loans we’ve made. I guess I can find that on our account page somewhere.

    Now I gotta figure out how to cut down on the email barrage from the atheist group!

  • @RBH,

    There is a preference you can change in your Kiva account so that you only receive 1 email per day which shows all team posts for the previous day.


  • muggle

    Thanks, everyone. And I can certainly manage that. I like that it’s a loan but will probably keep loaning it since I much prefer teaching a human to fish, so to speak…

    I’ve limited means to support (support! that’s a better word as it covers giving and lending) and am necessarily choosy about where my few dollars go. Mostly political but some worthy charities.

    I know, for instance, how worthy the Red Cross is first hand so they are on my list. While I tend to lean towards political change, I also keep an ear to the ground for hands that help without the condition of lips that sermonize.

    I just moved to a different suburb of my city and am happy about the move. They are surprisingly diverse and broad-minded and though the area looks quite wealthy (and mostly is, I was lucky to find an apartment within my grasp) we have not found the snobbery inherent in a lot of suburbs including the previous one we lived in that half the reason to be snobby but was.

    My Town has an organization that helps seniors stay in their own home by use of volunteer companions. You have to be able to drive (so you can help with groceries, doctors, etc.) so I can’t do that and my own health is failing. Because my health is poor it makes me conscious of the need. I know I’m lucky to have my daughter. I’ll be supporting (I think I like that better) them too because not everyone is so lucky. Even if you have a loving adult child, they often have to move away for work or other reasons.

    I’ll be the first to argue that it isn’t obligatory on anyone’s part to support charity by money or deeds but, hey, don’t expect support if you aren’t willing to give it and it doesn’t take much common sense to figure out you can either do your bit to make the world a better place, leave it as bad as you found it, or make it worse. Those are really the only three options we have — no matter what we believe.

  • Eldon

    You can “give” or “loan” at Kiva. Loans are minimum $25. But you can give to Kiva as well. If you fund a loan, before you sign out, Kiva will ask for a “tip,” in the form of a donation to cover expenses they incur. So have at it! The more the merrier.

  • Tim

    As a Christian, I would like to congratulate that group.

    Spurs fan, it is in no way childish to promote the healthy, friendly competition. It is in fact the mature and adult thing to do instead of trying to beat the other team in order to press your believing/unbelieving ideas on someone else. THAT is childish

  • muggle

    Well said, Tim.

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