• Funding Trends

Social Media in Action: Kiva Tells All

By Moria Byrne12 November 2009

Truphena Anyango, a Kiva loan recipient, tends in her shop in Kenya. Kiva has been using social media to promote its microfinance services online. Photo by: John Briggs/Kiva

Social media has served Kiva well. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn allow the microfinance organization to gain product insight by interacting with clients, and reach diverse types of audiences - from industry professionals and philanthropists to technically savvy individuals.

Twitter, for one, provided a venue for people to defend and show support to Kiva amid a growing controversy following a blog by David Roodman. The Center for Global Development research fellow said Kiva’s microlending is “partly fictional.”

One Twitter post read: “I’m a little surprised at the ‘uproar’ about kiva lately. didn’t we all already know the $ goes to MFIs? Kiva just tells the story better.”

Such involvement by Kiva supporters is what Chelsa Bocci hopes to spread even more. As director of community marketing, Bocci manages community growth and engagement through Kiva’s lending teams, social networks and events.

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About the author

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Moria Byrne

Moria joined Devex's Washington bureau in September 2009 as an international development correspondent fellow. She is a communications specialist with a background in international development public relations, publishing, education and journalism. Moria has worked for Catholic Relief Services and, as a Peace Corps volunteer, lived in the Philippines for two years.


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