Our pledge: All Snak registration payments made via PayPal will be lent out through kiva.org.
Since the start of this program you, our valued customers have made it possible to make more than two thousand loans to individuals in the developing world. Your registration payment does a lot of good this way, because it is lent out again to someone else as soon as it is repaid.
What is Kiva ?
Kiva is a non-profit organization that facilitates microloans to individuals in the developing world. At an average of about $650 the loans are small, much too small for a conventional bank to bother with. However, they have the potential to pull a person or a whole family out of abject poverty. The loans enable people to help themselves by starting a new business or improving their existing one. The people applying for these loans are capable and determined individuals with a will to make changes for the better. We at Snak Software feel that Kiva's work creates a very respectful and effective way to make a difference in the world.
From the Kiva website:
"Kiva connects thousands of borrowers and lenders around the world through lending to alleviate poverty. When you lend to an entrepreneur to start or grow a business, you help them achieve economic sustainability, making a difference for their family and community. Over the course of the loan, you will receive updates about the borrower and business you´ve supported. And as the loan is repaid, you get your money back."
Kiva has a very low rate of defaults on their microloans and there is full transparency about where the money goes. This makes it a safe and very effective way of helping because the repaid loans can be lent out again and again. The applicant receives the full amount that he or she applied for. The applicants pay interest, which is used for the administrative cost, but loans on Kiva generate no interest for the lender.
How can I verify that you are lending out the money ?
Please see the lender profile page at Kiva : http://www.kiva.org/lender/Snak
We expect to process the payments once a week. Generally we cannot match individual registration payments to individual loans, sorry.
What's the catch ?
There really isn't one. You pay for Snak as you would otherwise have done, but if you choose PayPal you will have the added benefit of knowing that you are directly helping someone in the developing world. We believe everyone that learns about Kiva.org and take the time to read the loan requests and the personal information on the applicants will gain a better understanding of what life is like for the majority of human beings on this planet. At this moment you may be browsing the web on a computer that costs more than the average yearly income for 2.4 billion people in the developing world according to studies from UC Santa Cruz, a well respected US university. This means, literally, the amount each of us spends daily on something we could easily do without could save someones life.
Do you benefit from this ?
No. The net effect is that we defer receiving your registration payment for the duration of the loan, usually 6-12 months. At that point we may decide to lend the money out again or we may decide to withdraw it. Currently Kiva has a default rate of about 2.5% meaning a small portion of the money is lost every time.
We also make direct contributions to the Kiva organization itself to help them pay for staff, rent, administration etc. This money does not come back.
I don't have PayPal but I'd like to have my payment go to Kiva anyway.
This is difficult to handle because Kiva only does PayPal and creditcard. Payments made through our regular Kagi payment processor cannot be directly transferred to Kiva. Please send us a note with your request and we will do our best to handle it. Please send the note to email@example.com.
I've found a specific Kiva loan that I'd like my payment to go to.
Please send us a note with the information and we will do our best to accommodate your request. However, by the time we process the payments and make the loans, the specific one you requested may already be filled. Please send the note to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the note field on the PayPal form if present.
Kiva is a non-profit organization. Do I get tax benefits ?
Since you are paying for a Snak license, and we let kiva.org lend out the money there is no tax benefit. Snak Software does not get a tax benefit either as we are a Canadian company.