Find out how best to motivate your networks. We've got you covered every stage of the way.

 

Kiva’s method

At Kiva, we use the power of the crowd to get your business funded with a platform similar to Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe. When you crowdfund with Kiva, your loan is funded by small contributions from people all over the world. Lenders lend in increments of $25 or more, so any given loan is likely supported by hundreds of Kiva lenders! Crowdfunding also spreads awareness of your business through your community, the 1.7 million lenders on Kiva, and beyond. The more people you engage, the quicker your loan will fund. And unlike the other sites, Kiva has no fees or rates for our loans.

It’s also important to note that these are loans, not donations, thus as you make your monthly repayments, your lenders will be paid back. 

Once we approve your loan application, you’ll begin fundraising. There are two steps in this process: private fundraising and public fundraising.


Photo Credit:  Peter Hellberg

Private Fundraising phase

The private fundraising period is integral to Kiva’s social underwriting process. Your loan is approved partly based on your character, and this is how we ask you to prove your character to us.

Kiva will give you 15 days to gather the support of 5-25 friends, family, and community members to kickstart your fundraising campaign. Once you reach your lender target, you will have proven your creditworthiness with Kiva and the public fundraising phase will begin.

To succeed during your Private Fundraising Period, we recommend these steps:

  1. Begin by giving phone calls to those in your immediate network. Use this phone call to explain what Kiva is, details about your business, walk them through the lending process, and ultimately push for them to act and contribute to your campaign.

  2. Send out personalized emails to 25-30 people in your own network, using these templates. Think outside the box in terms of your network — not just your friends and family, but also your customers, neighbors, co-workers, and greater network of peers. Remember to emphasize that they can make a difference for you and your business with only a minimum contribution of $25. 

  3. In the proactive outreach to your network, emphasize your vision and how this loan will make a positive impact on your business.  It’s also vital that you explain to your network that this is a loan, not a donation. Therefore, as you make your monthly repayments, your lenders will slowly be paid back and can either withdraw the amount to their PayPal account, or recycle the funds and lend to another borrower on Kiva!


Photo Credit:  Mitya Ku

Public Fundraising phase

As soon as you reach your required number of supporters in the private fundraising period, your loan automatically transitions to public fundraising. Your loan profile appears publicly on Kiva’s website for all of our 1.7 million lenders to see.  Now your community and the Kiva community will have up to 30 days to fund the rest of your loan, at least $25 at a time.

Once your loan is publicly fundraising, you will have 30 days to fully fund your goal. Though being visible to the Kiva lender network gives you a huge boost, borrowers who also continue to fundraise on their own fund faster and are much more likely to raise the full amount. It is very important for you to constantly create awareness about your business.  Continue to lean on your network, ask your friends to spread the word about your business and loan link, and use social media as much as you can during this fundraising phase. If you put in the effort to rally your friends and family, you have a 93% chance of fully funding!

To succeed during your Public Fundraising Period, we recommend these steps:

  1. Our Fundraising Calendar recommends day-to-day actions for you to take that leverage your network and tell new people about your business.  

  2. Make sure your loan profile is an accurate representation of your business — high quality photos and stories are appealing to lenders. Go here for best practices on how to create an exceptional profile.

  3. Post in your conversations tab! Your conversations tab is the best way to thank your lenders and provide updates about your business. Lenders favor borrowers who are engaged throughout the fundraising process.

  4. Extend Your Network: Think creatively about other groups, organizations, or networks not in your immediate network.  Even if you haven’t worked directly with them, you can always get your friends to spread the word to their networks, colleagues to share the news at church, etc.  Be entrepreneurial!

Between your community and the Kiva community, the success of your loan is determined by the wisdom of the crowds — so show the crowd you’re worth it.

Our team is always here to support you in your fundraising efforts.  Please be in touch with us at borrowers@kiva.org so we can give you recommendations on how to get to 100%!


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Disbursals & Repayments

When your loan is fully funded, your loan will be disbursed to your PayPal account in 5-7 business days. Your first repayment will be due via PayPal one month after the disbursal of your loan.  All repayments will fall on the same day of each month and we will send you a repayment schedule.

All loans are disbursed, and repayments collected on PayPal. Make sure your PayPal account is linked to your bank account so you can easily transfer the funds from PayPal to your bank.  To learn more about this process, check out our repayments page.

If the money is not showing up in your bank account, don’t worry. You will need to log into your PayPal account to claim the money and transfer it into your bank account at no charge.

 

For more detailed templates of what to do during each stage see our templates section.

If you have any questions, please contact us at borrowers@kiva.org. We’ll make sure a human gets in touch with you!