I have just had a Kiva loan repaid which reminded me that I had never blogged about Kiva.
Kiva is a microlending organisation that lends money at 0% interest to small business owners in a variety of countries. The lending is done through local agencies who develop relationships with the small businesses involved. You can lend as much as you like and Kiva aggregates the individual lenders until the borrower's target is reached. You can choose the person and business to whom you lend.
For instance, I just had $25 repaid by a lady in Latin America who borrowed $400 from Kiva for a year. I can now relend this money to someone else. I could also withdraw the money if I wanted to.
What I love about Kiva is that the money can get reused and recirculated. Although I also give money to charities, I try to initiate a new Kiva loan regularly and over the years my 'pot' of money to lend others will build up. And because the money is lent at 0% interest, there are no issues of exploitation. Kiva also give lenders the opportunity to contribute an extra 10% of the loan to Kiva's administration, but you can choose not to give to Kiva if you don't want to.