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1 / Kiva - Loans That Change Lives / Re: Risk-Based Searching-currency exchange,non-payment,partner rating,delinquency... on: December 05, 2012, 07:50:24 PM
Posted on Nov 15, 2012 - 11:48 am PST #209333
Team Captain
Joined: Jul 9, 2009
I got it back partially functional. However, it's still not updating and will quickly get stale. Kiva blocks 3rd party apps that do more than 300 requests in a minute and KL does a number of things that blow past that number, one of them being rebuilding the DB on the server. There's more work to be done to get it back to 100% which I will need to do soon, I leave next Weds and will not have access to work on it for 40 days. Sorry for any inconvenience.
2 / The Lounge / Re: Republicans, Democrats, & Independents -- Are you ready to rumble???? on: November 03, 2012, 04:30:18 PM
If you can’t acknowledge that after a day when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swing-state polls, then you should abandon the pretense that your goal is to inform rather than entertain the public.

Nov. 2: For Romney to Win, State Polls Must Be Statistically Biased
November 3, 2012, 9:33 AM

Five Thirty Eight
Nate Silver's Political Calculus
3 / Kiva - Loans That Change Lives / Re: Concerns Over Repayment of Loans on: November 02, 2012, 07:27:05 PM
From: Kiva
To: Me
Date: 11/2/2012
Subject: You've received 1 repayment!

Hi Me,

You've received a total of $0.00 in repayments! [for a FECECAV loan]

Get all the details in your portfolio. For repayments on loans made with your own funds, repayments are returned to your Kiva account to keep, re-lend to another borrower, or donate to support Kiva's operating costs. ...
4 / The Lounge / Re: A new pilot exploring mobile payments on: October 28, 2012, 09:27:19 PM
Boogüd is a bamboo bike manufacturing company that wants to do good in the world.

Anybody want to join in?

+ 1
5 / Team Lending / Re: Late Loaning Lenders on: June 14, 2012, 11:56:39 AM
I posted on the LLL team message board,...


Thanks for the improvements to the basketing processes.

On a related process, what is Kiva's current position, and the thinking behind it, on distributing collections for partially funded, expired listings?
6 / Kiva - Loans That Change Lives / Re: Concerns Over Repayment of Loans on: April 16, 2012, 11:01:09 PM
Once again, Kiva misrepresents the facts about late (about a year), and even previously defaulted loan payments.

Email 4/15/2012
You Loaned: $25.00
Newly Repaid: $11.76
Total Repaid So Far: $25.00 (100.00% of your loan)
Repayment Status:  --> Paying back on time <--

Loan update 4/13/2012

The partner has just reported that this loan is fully paid back, and this loan is no longer in default!
7 / Team Lending / Re: Late Loaning Lenders on: January 14, 2012, 08:04:48 AM

I wasn't thinking of Kiva partially funding the loan.  I was thinking of the Field Partner partially funding it.  (Instead of the current situation where they have to 100% fund it.)

Previous requests on this topic made no such distinction.  The point always has been to send all Kiva Lender raised funds to the Field Partners, regardless of the amount raised by a posting's expiration time.
8 / Team Lending / Re: Late Loaning Lenders on: January 13, 2012, 10:15:29 PM
Topics discussed in my 15 Oct call with Gerard.  The full text of the questions can be found here.

New Business

(4)  Expired and Expiring loans.
Will Kiva consider partially funding loans that expire rather than refunding them? 
No, this is not something lenders should ever expect Kiva to do.
9 / Microfinancing / The $300 House on: October 13, 2011, 03:28:38 PM
In case you haven't seen it, here's an FYI.

10 / The Lounge / Re: Three Cups of Tea on: May 07, 2011, 01:04:44 PM
  NPR - Morning Edition: Can You Know Where Charity Dollars Go? Not Easily
May 6, 2011

Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson, with son Khyber and daughter Amira, sit with students at the Gultori War refugee school in Pakistan. A 60 Minutes report questioned some of the stories Mortenson tells in the book and his charity's use of funds.

Listen to story

The controversy over Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson and his charity has donors asking this question: How do I know if my charitable dollars go where I think they're going?

Not easily, answers Daniel Borochoff, president of the American Institute of Philanthropy. He was one of the first to raise red flags about Mortenson's charity, Central Asia Institute (CAI). Last month, CBS' 60 Minutes also questioned how the group spent its funds.

It ought to be legally required that if you're raising money for a cause, you have to be specific about what exactly that cause is," says Borochoff.

But he says that's not currently the case, and charities are often vague.

'Three Cups' Stirs Up Controversy

CAI notes on its website that it spends 85 percent of its money on programs, such as building schools and hiring teachers in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It fails to mention that its "programs" also include promoting Mortenson's books and lectures — something the charity says helps to educate the public about its cause.

"So as a donor, you've got to find out what is the charity's program, because they're not clear about it," says Borochoff.

He adds that donors can do some checking on their own. All charities file tax forms that are publicly available and include valuable information. In its latest filing, CAI clearly states that in 2009 it spent more on lectures and guest appearances in the U.S. — what it calls "domestic outreach" — than it did on overseas schools.

Leslie Lenkowsky, with the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, says it's unclear whether Mortenson's group did anything illegal. Charities have a lot of leeway, by design. But he says there are broader concerns.

"One thing I would certainly encourage all donors to look at are things like composition of board of directors and turnover in key staff," he says.

Central Asia Institute has only a three-member board, including Mortenson himself. That's allowed, but it's not considered a very good model for oversight. An association of nonprofits in Montana, where the charity is based, recommends five board members at least.

"And then there's always the lesson that we all learn from our parents at a young age," says Lenkowsky. "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And the notion that an organization in a short period of time could build as many schools as this one claimed to build, in very difficult parts of the world, would strain one's credulity."

Determining 'Meaningful Change' In People's Lives

So many experts warn donors not to get carried away by celebrity-driven causes. A big name doesn't mean a well-run charity. Questions have also been raised about nonprofits run by Madonna and by Haitian singer Wyclef Jean.

So what's a donor to do? They're often directed to independent rating sites, such as Charity Navigator. But even Charity Navigator's CEO, Ken Berger, says the system has shortcomings. He's revamping it next year to focus more on the actual impact charities have.

"And [to] provide data on what kind of meaningful changes they're providing in people's lives," Berger says. "What kind of statistics do they have that corroborate the stories that they tell?"

Berger hopes this will provide a more complete picture than the financial reports his site now relies upon. In fact, Charity Navigator gave Mortenson's group its highest rating, four stars, because it's financially sound. However, the rating site now also advises donors that CAI is the subject of an inquiry by Montana's attorney general. CAI says it will cooperate fully in that investigation.

Some watchdogs, including Borochoff, think more government oversight and regulation would help put donors' minds at ease. But there's resistance from charities. Tim Delaney, president of the National Council of Nonprofits, says the overwhelming majority of charities already do a good job.

"The answer is not to play gotcha at the back end," says Delaney. "The answer is getting in front of the problem and preventing situations in the first instance."

He says this means providing more training for those who run charities on how best to be transparent and more accountable to donors, so there are no unpleasant surprises.
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