Monday, November 26, 2007

Get your money back.

You don't have to read So What Can I Do long to know that I'm a big believer in donation. We can donate almost everything: clothes, money, even life. But sometimes making a monetary donation just isn't practical. Thankfully there are many ways to do good for others and get your money back. Check out these lending opportunities:

--> This nonprofit organization allows the public to finance microloans throughout the world. Lenders can choose the entrepreneurs they want to support. With their very low rates of default, lenders almost always get their money back though they don't earn a return on their investment. I first wrote about Kiva two years ago.

--> This for-profit company just launched last month. They allow the public to buy securities that fund microfinance organizations throughout the world. "Lenders" earn a return on their investment, but are not able to choose who they fund. Learn more by reading this interview with the founder.

Kiva and Microplace may appear similar, but they have different business models. There's no reason you can't lend through both, especially since you'll likely get your money back. For broader lending opportunities, consider these options:

--> Loan to people in the US and elsewhere. If you practice due diligence you may well earn a nice return.

--> Loan to people in the US and elsewhere. If you practice due diligence you may well earn a nice return.

--> Loan to family members and friends. Having a third party involved could help reduce or prevent disputes and broken relationships.

And if you need a loan to start a small business, stop using payday lenders, get out of debt, pay medical bills, etc. consider registering with one of these companies as a borrower. Lenders, if you choose carefully, you'll be able to help someone in need and earn a return on your investment. is devoted to just these kinds of opportunities. Now that's socially-responsible investing.

"Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable." — Maya Angelou


Karama said...

Check out these to posts for more on microloans:

* Donations to fund microloans
* Click to fund microloans

Karama said...

I got a very nice note from Amir (one of my favorite names) the other day:

"I really admire your site.

I'm not sure if you're aware that prosper and lending club pay you $25 per new lender that you refer them. But, I noticed that you aren't using a referral link. Don't pass up free money for something that you feel good about promoting anyway.


So in the interest of everyone getting a little extra, if you choose to join Prosper as a lender please consider doing so through this link: Thanks all, and thanks Amir.

Happy new year!