A few months back, Reid Hoffman turned the microlending world on its head with a $1 million promise. Microlending is one of the “easiest” ways in which people from any location can make a difference in the lives of those at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Critics of traditional donation-based aid are met with the assurance that there is an incredibly strong chance (97%) you will receive your money back.
So when Mr. Hoffman decided to make it even easier for people to lend to the poorest of the poor, it seemed like a real no brainer. In fact, due to other generous donations, you can still sign up and lend for free.
Vittana, another microlending site – one dedicated strictly to international student loans – has recently adopted a similar model sponsored by Tim Ferriss. While Kiva’s event focused on getting users involved for free, Vittana and Ferriss have put together a matching model that will match loans up to $50,000.
The added kicker that I particularly like is Mr. Ferriss’s incentive to get others to get the word out. By adding the carrot to readers to share, re-share, and publicize through any means necessary, he’s not only pushing this one event out, but raising awareness for Vittana and microlending as a whole.
I applaud both Kiva and Vittana for leveraging social media and finding yet another way to make it easier in which to help those at the Bottom of the Pyramid.