Writing on the GlobalGoodness blog, GlobalGiving co-founder Dennis Whittle quotes my recent post on Kiva.org and adds his own thoughts:
In the financial markets, there are rules that if a particular exchange is unable to execute an order, they must route that order to a competing exchange immediately.
This is from a nice blog post by Sean Stannard-Stockton. He points out that in the nascent philanthropic financial markets, there is no obligation to re-route donors to another philanthropic exchange under similar circumstances.
At GlobalGiving, we have informal agreements with a number of other exchanges, and we do refer donors to partners when it makes sense. This helps us meet our pledge to donors that they will be satisfied with their experience at GlobalGiving. It also helps our partners grow, and it generates goodwill for all involved, which pays off over the long term.
Together with a loose coalition of other philanthropic exchanges from around the world, we have been exploring whether it makes sense to develop a formal inter-operability framework. This framework might include common standards and the ability to automatically fulfill donations referred by other exchanges.
Sean is right: making the non-profit social capital market more effective means that this type of collaboration needs to be accelerated.
I wonder if running out of borrowers actually helps the Kiva brand. Similar to when Nike realizes a limited supply of specialty shoes or other exclusive branding. Do lenders and fans of Kiva feel proud to be associated with Kiva because they have been so overwhelmingly successful in getting attention and spreading their message. Does that little bit of scarcity actually increase the value for participants?
As a Kiva lender, I’m not a fan of the celebrity bandwagon buzz for these types of sites. My ‘value’ does not come from the connection with Oprah or Bill Clinton, which would actually be deterrents for my support.
I first heard about Kiva through my sister, who works for Christian Children’s Fund. They are a partner with Kiva, through their CCF- Sierra Leone project. I researched their MF program, and was glad to note their strenuous research into the borrowers’ repayment plans. I feel that I’ve had more contact about my loan through Kiva than I’ve had from dozens of nonprofits that I’ve supported over the years.