Frequently Asked Questions

Why Join the Cheeseheads For Change Lending Team? - If you're already a member of Kiva.org, the reason for joining a lending team is to be part of a group with similar interests or in the same geographical area as yourself. It really makes Kiva a more personal experience interacting with real people instead of a just a faceless web site, it builds a sense of community and lets members know they're not alone, it keeps people more engaged than they would be without the team, it gives individuals another source of motivation to stay involved, it gives team members a sense of working with others to achieve a goal greater than any one individual could accomplish, and it gives everyone a chance to proudly represent the Packers and the great state of Wisconsin to everyone else on Kiva and across the world. What are the downfalls of joining the team? Really nothing, it doesn't cost anything to join, loans still completely belong to you, it just updates the team's loan statistics along with your individual statistics, and if for any reason you don't want to be part of the team anymore you can quit anytime without repercussion.

Why Join Kiva.org? - For those that aren't familiar with Kiva, Kiva.org is a web site that uses a concept called microfinance to help alleviate poverty around the world. Kiva acts as a market place between individuals like you and me who have money to lend out to make the world a better place, and non-profit companies (also known as Microfinance Institutions or MFI's) with locations in poor areas that lend small amounts of money to the working poor to help them get ahead. The process goes that the lender (you and me) finds an entrepreneur (poor person) on Kiva's web site that you want to make a loan to (in increments of $25), you pay Kiva the $25 via PayPal (either with a PayPal account or just a credit card), and in turn they send the money to the MFI who in turn sends the money to the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur uses the money for whatever they described in the loan request (buy cattle, crops, supplies, etc) and over a set period of time the MFI collect payments from the entrepreneur, they said the payments back to Kiva, and Kiva credits your account with the loan payments, and in the end you get your $25 back to either lend out again to another entrepreneur or withdraw from your Kiva account and do whatever you like with. You don't receive any interest on your loan, just your $25 back, and at this time there's roughly a 99% repayment rate so there's a chance of losing money, but personally to date I've made about $5,000 worth of loans and have only lost $22 in bad loans. As far as Kiva goes, they don't take any part of your loan, all $25 goes to the entrepreneur, similarly, the MFI doesn't take any part of your $25, but they do charge an interest rate on the loan to cover their cost.

The idea is that poor people aren't lazy and don't want to be poor, they just don't have the capital to improve their lives by getting out of the cycle of poverty. So by lending them money, you help them help themselves to get out of poverty and in the process help others around them do the same thing. It's all sustainable since you get your money back in the end; Kiva accepts donations to cover their operating expenses and the MFI's charge interest on the loans to cover their costs.


How do I become a member?
      
Step 1: Go to Kiva.org and click the "Register" link in the top right corner of the web site.

      

Step 2: Fill out your account information on the registration form, check the "Terms of Use and Privacy Policy" checkbox, and click the "REGISTER" button.

      

Step 3: While logged in, go to the Cheeseheads For Change lending page (http://www.kiva.org/team/cheesehead) and click on the "JOIN TEAM" button.

      

Step 4: Make a loan through Kiva's Lending page.

      

Step 5: Finally, while checking out on the "My Basket" page, you can have the loan count toward Cheeseheads For Change.