Ways to "Do Good' When You're Broke... free credit to invest at Kiva, rice for World Food Programme, and more!

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Do you wish you could actively support worthy charities and organizations, but are in a place in your life where that is difficult if not impossible?  Orrrrrrr, a better scenario for your personal finances (fingers crossed) are you in a place in your life where it IS possible, and you DO already actively support these kind of organizations, but you're always looking for ways to do more?  Either way, go you, your compassion is awesome! 

Here are some cool additional ways to support causes you believe in:

Free $25 credit at Kiva.com -- I've heard about Kiva for a while but hadn't taken the time to check it out...  Currently they're offering an extra incentive for people like me (lazy people?) who would love to get involved but just haven't yet... a free $25 to invest wherever you like!  Oops, I jumped the shark, here's the scoop on what Kiva is to start with...

Kiva works to alleviate poverty around the world by providing people with the opportunity to directly lend money to small businesses of their choice.  For example, I used my $25 credit from this offer to invest in the food stall / store business of Ana Bertila, a single mom and entrepreneur in El Salvador.  She has asked for $1000 loan to repair the roof of her food stall and to expand into a store as well.  My free $25 credit just got her closer to that goal!  The idea is that when she finishes repaying this loan, I will be able to turn around and invest it in another small business, keeping the good going.  I really like that this system allows those benefitting to be more self-sufficient, and also (I would imagine) helps them to feel more self-actualized than if they were merely taking a hand-out.  Not saying anything against a gift freely given in the right place at the right time!  But it is awesome that this microloan approach builds self-sufficiency instead of dependency.  I don't know how long the free credit to get started will last, so check it out now!   As a bonus, when you sign up with my link, I get another $25 to invest as well!  Fingers crossed we have Ana, and many other awesome people like her, to their goals in no time.
Give a free loan, get a free loan

freerice.com -- I've posted about this site before, but it's still awesome!  Play trivia games and the site donates rice to the World Food Programme for each right answer -- the actual funds for the free rice is provided by advertisers along the margins of the site while you play.  Play for a few minutes every day, and it adds up quick!  Over 98 billion grains of rice have been donated over the lifetime of the website...  I don't know how many bowls of rice that comes down to, but I'm going with "a lot."  Yeah, "a lot" is probably safe.

Ten Thousand Villages  This website (and also physical stores depending on your area) sells products that are not only fair trade, but often have a community development focus that provides income for those who might not otherwise have it.  Each item shows the organization that provided it, and details on the artisans.  I love this site for shopping for holiday and birthday gifts... keep an eye open for sales and coupon codes too -- artisans are always paid in full even if you get a good deal.  They have everything from jewelry to scarves to fantastic household decorative items.

http://www.starfish-project.com -- The Starfish Project is an organization that works to empower exploited women in three different cities in Asia, providing them with housing, employment, counseling, etc.  They are actually having a huge sale on jewelry right now... gorgeous and a good cause...  tempted to buy them all...  Similarly a good opportunity for birthday and holiday shopping while benefitting a good cause!

http://gocause.com/  I just came across this one -- a different item is highlighted each week, and if you purchase it a percentage goes to a similarly-themed charitable organization.  Example, this week is a BPA free bento-style lunchbox, and a percentage of the item goes to feed children in India.  Works out great if they highlight something you've been needing!

All those sites are awesome, but don't forget, offering your skills and time through volunteering is truly one of the most valuable things you can give to the causes you believe in.  Sites like All for the Good and Volunteer Match can steer you in the right direction!  The experiences you gain while volunteering are not only personally enriching, but they also contribute to living a longer life too.  Um, clearly win-win all around!  ;)


  1. Great list! I supported through Kiva years ago, time to do it again. Thanks for the reminder! Thanks for joining the Thursday Favorite Things.

  2. awesome list thanks for sharing why not be a friend around the world when ever we can
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

    1. I much prefer helping them help themselves!
      Thanks for the info.


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