A few weeks ago, we witnessed a debate about Kiva’s microfinance process and their transparency rev up after a series of blog posts discussed the issues and the newly potent philanthropy Twitterverse brought in readers from around the web.
Now the New York Times’ Stephanie Strom has published coverage of the debate:
Last month, David Roodman, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development, pressed a button on his laptop as his bus left the Lincoln Tunnel in Manhattan and started a debate that has people re-examining the country’s latest celebrated charity, Kiva.org.
…“Little did I realize what that click would unleash,” he said in an interview, later adding that the post had attracted dozens of comments, more than 10,000 hits and thousands of Twitter postings.
…Now Kiva is the latest nonprofit group to have to overhaul its explanation of how it works. Where its home page once promised, “Kiva lets you lend to a specific entrepreneur, empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty,” it now simply states, after Mr. Roodman’s post: “Kiva connects people through lending to alleviate poverty.”
…The uproar has proven beneficial in an unexpected way. “If anything, it has drawn more people into the nuance and beauty of this model of microfinance,” said Mr. Shah, who joined Kiva from eBay. “It’s highly imperfect, but it’s like a 3 1/2-year-old child: it has a lot of potential.”
Click here to read the full story.