Kiva Update no.1 Recipe

A way for 101 Cookbooks readers to work together - I've set up and seeded a Kiva group with $1000 in loans (in addition to the dozen or so loans that I previously had in the Kiva system). If you have $25 to loan you can participate...this post is the first update on our progress.

Kiva Update no.1

For those of you who missed the original post a couple weeks back, I've set 101 Cookbooks up as a Kiva Lending Team. As I write this post, our group has 431 members and we've made 257 micro-loans to entrepreneurs in Peru, Cambodia, Togo, Tanzania, Lebanon, Bolivia, Azerbaijan, Ghana, and more. As a group we've loaned $8,425 and there are only a handful of other groups who have loaned more than we have - for example: Team Europe ($11,300), Team India ($10,250), and Kiva Friends with an impressive ($51,600). Nick from Kiva wrote a nice post on the Kiva blog about our group saying,

"On September 3rd, one particular blog post led to one of the largest lending teams on Kiva...The success of the 101 Cookbooks lending team demonstrates the potential impact online communities can have on social issues. A virtual cooking blog to a virtual community has led to over $7,500 in loans to real entrepreneurs in the developing world. Just as Kiva leverages technology to connect willing lenders to qualified entrepreneurs, Kiva users can leverage technology to further Kiva's mission. We believe the same model can be replicated by other blogs and online communities. Thank you, 101 Cookbooks, for using your voice to effect change..." (read the full Kiva blog post here)

It's really exciting. Check this out- from students, submarine drivers, and nurses to writers, truck drivers, realtors, and other bloggers, you can see a list of all the 101 Cookbooks/Kiva members here. I've been enjoyed reading your profiles immensely, in part because 101 Cookbooks doesn't have registration/profiles (yet!) - it has been a great way for me to get a more in-depth sense of who you are. If you haven't already, be sure to upload a photo and tell everyone a little bit about yourself in your profile (or link to your site or blog if you have one).

To participate:

1. Sign up for a Kiva account. If you already have a Kiva account, log in.

2. Join the 101 Cookbooks Lending Team

3. Lend.

We are right on the cusp of the $10,000 mark, and I suspect it won't be long before we are well on our way to $20,000. In short, if you have $25 dollar to lend you can participate and there are new loans featured every day.Your generosity and enthusiasm is infectious, and I'm proud to have you all in my group :) -h

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Good work Heidi. I love your recipes and now your ability to positively impact the world. I just joined Kiva and made my first loan.


Hi, everyone. Longtime reader of 101 Cookbooks, and I’ve been a Kiva member since December 2006 — it’s nice to see the two interests converge. I thought my experience, since it’s relatively long-term, might be useful for anyone who has questions or concerns about the Kiva organization.
Since 12/06 I’ve made 23 loans to small business entrepreneurs or groups in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. I have invested a total of about $200 to date and have rolled the payback amounts into new loans and an occasional gift to Kiva’s operational fund, for a total of $575.
Of the 23 loans, to date only 2 defaulted, and these were 90% repaid at the time, so I “lost” a total of $5.00. The recipients were two Kenyan women who unfortunately got caught up in the country’s political crisis.
7 loans have been fully repaid, and the remainder are in process of repayment. I intend to continue rolling over funds to new loans — it seems like a great way to make an ongoing charitable contribution.
I understand the concerns about lending rates but as has already been said here, Kiva reports the rates are always lower than the going rates for moneylenders within the country or region. Without the third parties’ involvement, Kiva would not be able to disperse its funds to so many qualified recipients.
I’ve been very pleased with Kiva; I see it as a way to make a difference with a minimal amount of bureaucracy. I hope you consider adding it to your charitable portfolio.
(And happy cooking!)


That’s fantastic. What a great way to enable people!


Wow! This is an amazing story. I’m going to see this more often now.


mai aap sa vat karna chatahau

Sandeep Kumar Sharma

I think I know where Kitty is coming from – I’m careful to read over the information on the field partners before my Kiva donations are made, and frankly, I’m a little picky. As I am with most things. I think I’ve made the point before that some of the percentages charged by the field partners to the loanees seems extravagant, but often lower than the going rate in that part of the world – say 34 percent vice the average of 68 percent! That’s a crazy percentage rate for a loan! I do think that is a wonderful medium to help people, but Kitty’s concerns are one of the reasons I like, or organization like The idea of changing a young life to alter the future appeals to me.


I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I have to be the voice of dissent here.
Looking over their site, I see no prospectus, I see no long term record or plan, and I see no definite rules for disclosure of their lending procedures. Lest we forget, *this* country is currently in a mortgage crisis for granting loans to people who cannot afford them. Now, I know this is to help people in impoverished nations in a locatarian form or fashion, but it borders on irresponsible.
I’m not implying it’s a scam, but as it stands, it is a nonprofit, it is not bound by federal or international lending regulations, there is no regulated disclosure of how your funds are being distributed, and most importantly, since it is not public, there is no fiduciary duty to you, or anyone else. Another issue is that this is pushing money out of this country, and it is stated on the site that there is no guarantee, and in fact a high likelihood that none of it will come back. That further weakens an ailing economy.
A much better way to help these people would be to invest in emerging market funds. Emerging market funds have extremely high standards of both accountability and disclosure. South American countries currently make up some of the top returning countries in this sector. That helps people, because emerging market funds make their money by producing jobs, building and supporting infrastructure and modernizing countries. If you’re unsure about anything, they are also required by law to hand over their books to you, and are required to publicly post them quarterly. On top of all this, they also leverage their own assets, and in general are in possession of much larger sums of money to help impoverished nations.
A good example of how this works is Belize. Belize is a small nation, with a low national income. Belize, a corporate partner and an emerging market fund worked together to install a nationwide cellphone network. This went a long way towards helping Belize’s tourism industry, which is its primary source of income. It also provided full phone and data coverage to a country whos previous landline saturation had been less than 13%. It also brings me to another point, because all parties benefitted. A large portion of the profits turned right around and went back into the emerging market fund, to be loaned to other such causes. Everyone wants a feelgood story, but in reality, this is a far more effective way of improving their quality of life, while reducing the risk that the money ends up in the pockets of warlords and corrupt government officials.
I truly feel that helping people in nations like this improve their standard of living is important, however, I feel that there is too much chaff with this particular entity for it to qualify as acceptable risk. Give save the children 14 cents a day, and that child eats for a day. Raise the GDP of the country the child lives in by 1.5%, invest in that country’s agricultural sector, and that child has a shot at a better life.


I’m very happy to be part of this team. Thank you Heidi. I love your site for all that it is: a wonderful, visual introduction to new food ideas, and a medium for the extrapolation of information such as I’ve had money sitting in my “account” at Kiva for a while, waiting to be loaned. Often when I log in there aren’t any loans unfulfilled! Terrific! Today there were 7. Also, with a crazy degree in Cultural Anthropology, and a desire to know about the Field Partners before loaning money, sometimes I wait until I find my “correct match” before loaning. That’s the idea right?
So, with that thought, choose where my money goes, I hope I’m not being too forward in asking that you might take a look at a different giving option. I fond of On this site you’ll find listings that come from one page proposals submitted by teachers across the United States. There is such a need, and one can cater their donations to what matters to them – you choose. Bibliophile? There are currently 2,850 requests for books. Technology your gig? 3,613 requests. Want to fund something completely, but you have only $100? Over 100 requests open. Love literacy and history? (7,783 requests). Have a 3rd grader that might like to see how thier loan impacts other 3rd (3rd – 5th) grade classes? (3,801 requests). Grow up in rural Pennsylvania (396 requests from your state), or Mississippi? (268) How about Northern California? (905) I grew up here, although I call it “central” California. I was born in Santa Cruz. My niece is just starting her second year as a teacher in Watsonville. My sweet, blond, 5 foot 2 inch, 96 pound, former competitive cheerleader teaches a group of children she loves – over one third of them have restraining orders against a parent or other relative. She finds herself daily having to say: no, I’m sorry Mr. X (who is a full foot taller than Rachel and outweighs her by about 100 pounds), but you can’t pick up your nephew, and to top off her time in the classroom, she can’t get art supplies. We’re already sending her supplies, but that got me thinking about all the other teachers who don’t have someone. And, then a friend who teaches in Washington DC mentioned that he just submitted a request to I know I went on too long, so to those of you who are still with me, thanks. I hope you’ll take a look at this alternative for giving. Oh, these aren’t loans that get paid back, but they are tax deductible.



logan starr


logan starr

What a great idea! I have joined the 101 Cookbooks Group and made my first loan. I can’t wait to tell others about this.
HS: Thanks Deborah!

Deborah Dowd

Hi Heidi. I just sent my $25 to a woman in Honduras. The money is for her general store and the picture reminded me of your photography – wonderful looking vegetables all lined up on the shelf waiting to be transformed. Thanks for all you do!




great job, heidi and the 101 cookbooks kiva team. food bloggers have the potential to make a great deal of difference and it’s refreshing to see bloggers who actually harness it.
HS: Thanks Bee!


Whoa, I made it on to your website! Thanks for setting up this lending group. I’ve been meaning to join Kiva for awhile.


This is a great idea i’ll kick in after the Christmas rush..I have been donating and helping on keeping the ocean and beaches cleaner…Duncan… Santa Barbara..P.S. I love all the helpful cooking ideas from101


fabulous, congratulations on wonderful work!! i’m going to sign up NOW, thanks for the reminder (i’d intended to do it after reading the original post). it’s so great to be able to participate in something that so directly and immediately assists other people.
oh, and thanks for all the yummy posts and pictures.


101 Cookbooks’ response inspired the readers at another blog, the Friendly Atheist. They took it as a challenge and joined the “Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious” group. This group now has the most members at 705 and has loaned the 2nd highest amount of money at almost $30,000.
Because of your post several hundred people joined a different group and loaned their money! It just goes to show that a small effort can have farther-reaching effects than originally planned for!


Heidi, this was just the reminder I needed. Thanks for making it top-of-mind, and kudos for pushing a very worthy service.

Giff from Constables Larder

That’s incredible -what a wonderful idea!
Thanks for all the inspiration, Heidi -you’re amazing!




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