Kiva, the “hottest non-profit on the planet” according to FORTUNE magazine, is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website. Loans are posted to Kiva.org through Kiva's network of field partners in over 60 countries around the world, while borrowers post their loans directly to Zip.kiva.org in the U.S. and Kenya. With as little as $25, individual lenders can then help fund entrepreneurs who have limited access to capital.
Kiva Fellows have a unique opportunity to witness the realities of microfinance firsthand by working directly with a Kiva field partner, or supporting Kiva’s newest initiative (Kiva Zip), for a minimum of 16 weeks. Kiva Fellowships are designed to increase Kiva's global impact, offer participants a unique insider experience into the microfinance industry, and provide a career opportunity of a lifetime. The position is volunteer-based, and all Fellows receive a week of in-depth training at Kiva’s headquarters, plus ongoing access to Kiva’s network of staff and former fellows.
Kiva Fellows are integral to the organization, serving as our eyes and ears on the ground and helping to extend limited resources to maximize impact by fulfilling a core set of deliverables laid out in a personalized workplan. Kiva aims to leverage the unique skill set of the Fellow to accomplish key tasks that are crucial to the success of the partnership or initiative.
Although no two Fellowships are the same, core responsibilities may include the following:
• Train Field Partner staff on Kiva processes, policies and best practices
• Observe, learn and document the Field Partner’s operations and its use of the Kiva platform, making recommendations as appropriate
• Help identify new field partners or loan products that align with Kiva’s model and help to further strategic goals
• Interview Kiva borrowers to assess loan impact, verify data, and gather information for journal updates
• Provide updates and feedback through field reports
• Contribute regularly to the Kiva Fellows Blog
• Create content to help tell the story of Kiva’s impact in the field and engage Kiva lenders
• Capture images and video footage to be used by Kiva’s marketing team
• **Media professionals (videographers, photographers, etc.) may be eligible for specialized media-focused placements
Scale New Initiatives
• Identify and onboard new Kiva Zip trustees and borrowers
• Raise awareness about Kiva Zip through community outreach and public speaking
• Conduct field-based research and analyze findings
• Document best practices and learnings
Successful Kiva Fellows tend to share certain skills and characteristics:
• Overseas experience, preferably in developing countries (not required for placements within the United States)
• High degree of flexibility, self-motivation and problem solving abilities
• Ability to adapt to new cultures and be flexible in new, challenging environments
• Background in finance, consulting, international development, business/social enterprise, social science, media production, marketing/communications, economic/community development, urban studies
• Familiarity and comfort with various web applications and technology
• Dedication to working in the field
• Minimum 4-month commitment
• Ability and commitment to fund the experience
• Enthusiasm for Kiva!
Fluency or advanced communication ability in Arabic, French, Khmer, Mongolian, Pashto, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog/Cebuano, Turkish and Vietnamese are highly preferred or required for many international positions. English-only speakers are encouraged to apply to our diverse Anglophone portfolio.
Where Fellows Serve
Kiva currently has active partnerships with over 190 field partners in over 65 countries, including the United States. Kiva Fellows may be placed with a variety of partners – including microfinance institutions or social enterprises – in any of these locations, or with Kiva Zip in the United States or Kenya, but availability is dependent upon the needs of our partners and the Kiva Zip team, and the ability of a Fellow to successfully complete assigned tasks. As such, individuals that express a high degree of geographic flexibility are more likely to be selected for a placement.
All individuals who successfully complete their Fellowships are highly valued members of the Kiva family and will join the dynamic network of 500+ Kiva Fellow Alumni. Kiva Fellowships are extremely selective and demonstrative of the highest caliber candidates, who are becoming industry leaders around the world.