Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crowdsourcing & Gamifying Charity: Supporting Kiva

If you could change someone’s life by lending them $25 would you do it? What if someone else was working with the borrower to make sure you got repaid? What if that $25 not only helped the recipient, but helped her send her children to school? Well that’s the opportunity you have with people like Jessica.

Jessica is part of a community bank called Compromiso y Lealtad (Commitment and Loyalty). It is like a cross between a micro credit union and a small business incubator. It is made up of 20 entrepreneurs who work in different fields. They all live in the community of Conchalí, support each other and receive small business training as a group. Collectively, the group was seeking $3,725. By working as a group, the entrepreneurs will be better able to repay the loan.

Lending these funds is where Kiva.org comes in. Kiva is a micro-lending charity. They provide small loans to entrepreneurs and others in developing countries. Their goal is to help lift people out of poverty and boost the greater economy.

Kiva demonstrates the power of a global crowd. However, there is also power in a social crowd — those individuals that are in one person’s social graph both as direct contacts and as friends of friends. Now, imagine if someone’s participation had a game element to it. Sites like Foursquare, GetGlue and Empire Avenue have demonstrated the tremendous power to affect someone’s actions by providing game-style achievements. The charitable and game motivations combined may not change the world, but they can certainly change the world for a large group of people. Let’s put it to the test…

Empire Avenue is a social network that turns social media activity into game currency. With the aid of game mechanics, it’s a great way to measure your social media success.

To secure more loans for Kiva, a group of Empire Avenue participants have pledged game currency (to buy shares) from anyone that joins the Empire Avenue Team on Kiva and provides a loan.

Text by The Pitchergroup

Read more and join: Crowdsourcing & Gamifying Charity
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