Kiva.org is an innovative non-profit organization that takes entrepreneurs from some of the most poverty-stricken areas of the world and essentially gives them the capital to start their own business.  Kiva uses their website as a marketing tool, a weblog, and a means by which members can monitor how much money they’ve lent and to whom.

One aspect of Kiva.org that I believe is a very useful marketing tool is their “Community” tab.  Kiva allows members to join various “Lending Teams” and pool the money they’re lending together towards whatever cause or dogma they uphold (i.e. Kiva Christians, Team Obama, Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender, Team Europe, etc…).  Each respective team is ranked against other teams by how much money they’ve raised.

I like the way Kiva’s purpose is to help the poor by creating virtual VCs in order to create accountability, and their site does an excellent job of turning the cause of raising money into a competition between various regions, belief systems, and (in the case of GLBT) sexual preference.

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