Kiva’s dormant funds – a missed opportunity?

I love Kiva as a micro-lending platform and am very excited that they hit the 1 million lender milestone. What’s killing me however is the thought that a significant number of funds is just dormant. What happens with all the money that is repaid?

I would classify myself as a semi-active contributor. According to my account page I have made 38 loans since I joined in November 2011 and contributed over $500 dollars (of new money). Making a loan is pretty straight forward and you should try it out if you haven’t. Get a $25 credit that you can lend for free.

Kiva infographic

The graphic above shows how effectively my money has been used. The ratio of money lent vs. money invested is roughly 1.6. Compare this to Pat’s 3.5! The higher the number, the better.

Kiva is doing a good job at informing me about repayments and encouraging me to relend my credit. Unfortunately their emails get lost in my inbox and the funds go unused. I made my last loan over 7 months ago and currently have over $340 in dormant funds.

Why can’t I automatically relend my repaid funds? In fact this was announced back in 2009. I can’t find this feature though and a lot of the related Google search results are not available anymore. Is there a legal reason why this is not available or does Kiva somehow benefit from dormant funds?

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