How will what you want me to do change my life?

Are you letting me know why I should make a donation, sign a petition, cast a vote or buy what you’re selling?  It’s an obvious statement, but one that’s not always executed on, despite perception. has faciliated more than $100 million in loans in a few short years. Really outstanding, except it could be millions of dollars more. Nearly half of the people who create member accounts on Kiva don’t end up making a loan. One reason for this is because Kiva doesn’t show you the impact of your potential loan at decision-making time. A lender only sees the impact of the loan he made some months after he made it. Instead, imagine this

Welcome Olivia!

Want to see what Jim did with $25?  His $25 funded 20% of the money Amelia needed to buy a refrigerator to store the lunches she makes and sells. Now she sells one-third more lunches by traveling to new neighborhoods. She used to spend every morning making food to sell that afternoon, but now Amelia can make food one day and spend the entire following day selling it, allowing her to reach more customers.

How far can you make your $25 go? Here are a few suggestions to get you started…

Does this give you greater incentive to part with $25?  People who lend through Kiva make an average of five loans, so Kiva’s lending power will grow exponentially, but it’s critical to get people in the pipeline and hooked on the feeling of direct impact.

Framing your message and setting up the action for users doesn’t need to be complex. 37Signals shows their products by how you will benefit from them. Simple, clear language; no humorous, clever or emotional pitch needed. 

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  1. mary kuhn June 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    great suggestion. Not just for Kiva, but in all areas of trying to raise funding for a particular purpose – letting people feel the impact, with some detail.


  2. Rebecca Petzel June 18, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    Pretty sure this is the exact rationale of a new non-profit I recently came acros, called (wait for it) See Your Impact!

    Curious to hear what you think!

  3. admin June 23, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    Rebecca, wow, that’s it exactly! Thanks for the tip. I like the concept a ton. It’s how I think a lot of nonprofit organizations and businesses should frame their work. I just emailed someone I know on the organization’s board of advisors to learn more.

    Thanks again,