Category Archives: microfinance

Unitus Advisor Addresses Controversy

This is a guest post from Geoff Woolley, a former Unitus board member who will be leading the next stage of Unitus [see update below] as they exit microfinance and seek a new area of “maximum social impact.” For background see the original Unitus announcement, my post on Unitus, Tim Ogden’s Guide to the Unitus/SKS […]

New York Times Looks at Unitus/SKS Story

Stephanie Strom of the New York Times is out with an overview of the Unitus/SKS story. Her story focuses on the interrelations between the two organizations and the IPO proceeds that Unitus will be receiving. For the first time, Muhammad Yunus, the father of microfinance and critic of for-profit microfinance approaches, weighs in on the […]

Unitus To Guest Post on Tactical Philanthropy

I just got a call from Geoff Woolley, the person named to lead “Unitus 2.0” as they redirect their efforts away from microfinance and towards a new area of “maximum social impact”. Given certain legal issues around the SKS IPO, Geoff is unable to immediately take me up on my offer to have him guest […]

Why Every Social Entrepreneur Should Be Paying Attention to SKS & Unitus

This is a guest post from Tim Ogden. Tim is Editor-in-Chief of Philanthropy Action, a journal for donors, and Executive Partner of Sona Partners, a thought-leadership communications firm. Follow him on Twitter: @philaction and @timothyogden. By Tim Ogden Today, the world’s second microfinance IPO happened: SKS shares went on the market in India. All expectations […]

Unitus Update

Unitus has sent out an email to supporter that helps clarify their reasons for exiting microfinance. I may have more to say about the topic later, but today I want to give Unitus the opportunity to tell their side of the story. Dear Unitus Donors:   On July 2, having accomplished our initial core mission, […]

Unitus: Mission Accomplished?

Unitus, a leader of the microfinance movement, announced today that they are suspending their microfinance activities and redirecting their resources to an as yet unidentified “area of maximum socio-economic impact.” Acting president Ed Bland said in the press release: "The fact that we have become largely unnecessary in the microfinance arena is fantastic news and […]

David Roodman’s Reaction to Kiva Changes

David Roodman, who started the whole Kiva debate with his post Kiva is Not Quite What it Seems, has posted his reaction to Kiva’s updating of their How Kiva Works page. Roodman ends his post with this: The bottom line here is that Kiva has made a quick and long stride toward keeping Matt Flannery’s […]

Kiva Updates “How Kiva Works”

About an hour ago, Matt Flannery, CEO and co-founder of Kiva, tweeted the news that Kiva had officially updated the How Kiva Works section of their website. Impressive reaction time on Kiva’s part. From the updated website: 1) It all starts with our Field Partners, which are microfinance institutions operating around the world. Our Field […]

DonorsChoose vs Kiva

Most people in the Kiva debate have stated that the fact Kiva loans have already been funded prior to them appearing on the Kiva website is misleading, but that this pre-funding approach is better for the entrepreneurs that Kiva’s users are trying to help. However, it has also been pointed out by many that DonorsChoose, […]

Philanthropy Debate in a Twitter World

The recent debate about Kiva is the first major philanthropy blog debate since Twitter added a number of philanthropy focused users to their Suggested User list. What makes the debate doubly interesting is that Kiva and their CEO Matt Flannery are two of the Twitter users on the Suggested User list. So let’s look at […]