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photo by Kieran Ball

Kiva is a web based organization that connects lenders with people in developing countries (and more recently some US cities) who need fairly small amounts of money for a variety of uses. Each loan is given in increments of $25 per lender, so many people fund one loan. I am not sure what the maximum amount is for a request, but most are in the $1,000 – $2,000 range. The loans are not considered a charitable donation – borrowers pay them back over time and lenders’ accounts are credited. That money can be withdrawn or loaned again once $25 accrues. You can add funds to your account as well. The administrators of Kiva do ask for additional funds to cover costs, which are considered a tax-deductible donation. This is a great organization that gives lenders the opportunity to see exactly where their money is going and the profound impact it can have.

Check it out: