Microfinancing – a good way to donate?

It has been a pretty fucking sweet year at Chateau Zombie.

I started a blog, started to get my financial shit together, sweated over asset allocations, got an article on rockstar finance (thanks to who nominated it), wrote a letter to myself, invented the financial independence RPG….. oh yeah and got engaged.

But I can’t help noticing it has all been a little bit selfish.  Drop kicking consumerism in the balls, reducing your outgoings and finding an huge, yet super awesome, target for your savings is good.  Very good.  It certainly seems like a step in the right direction but it does sometimes all feel a little self centered.

Donating to charities
I’ve done a few things to raise money for charity (the three-peaks challenge, a 24 hour cycle, Lands End to John O’Groats) and I organise a charity fun run each year.  Normally for Cancer Research UK or the Make a Wish foundation.

But I am always a bit suspicious that donations go towards paying for some toad-like CEO to drive his bloated body about in a Mercedes or a ‘do-gooder’ that also demands a high salary because they are worth it.  I’m not against higher salaries in principle, but a bit of transparency wouldn’t go amiss.

Microfinancing
After a bit of research I found these guys – Deki, based a little close to home in the West Country.

They provide a platform that let’s you lend to individuals, largely in Africa, where a small amount could make a huge difference.  The loans are used for a variety of things including livestock purchases and education.

The loans are repaid back to you (with an impressive 99.8% repayment rate) and you can then choose to use it for another loan, the gift that truly does keep on giving.  Far better than leaving your cash in some shite account earning 0.25%.

I signed up and made my first donation and it took all of 10 minutes.

The process in a nutshell;

Think some nice holistic hippy thoughts;
Set up account at Deki;
Choose a entrepreneur you want to lend to through the website;
Fire some funds over to Deki (minimum of £10);
Wait for 6 to 12 months;
Receive repayment and then use the money on another loan or keep it.

and… that’s it.  Easy.

I have lent £10 a month for a couple of months and will continue to do so, see how it pans out and post an update in the future here.

I’ll have to make do with a couple less latte’s a month 🙂

Just thinking some hippy thoughts

Spend less on tat, lend to Deki, Save More & Escape the Horde.

Mr Z

(Thanks to DD for giving me the inspiration to get round to writing this with a recent post)

10 thoughts on “Microfinancing – a good way to donate?

  1. weenie

    Thanks for mentioning it on DD's blog as I had never heard of it and like you said, it took me 10 minutes to sign up and make my first donation.

    I do donate to charity in other ways, eg sponsoring my friends who do the various runs in aid of Breast Cancer Aware, I always sponsor male colleagues who do 'Movember' and the fantasy football league I run at work donates to MacMillan Cancer. Last year, I was able to do quite a bit of volunteering (reading with year 6 kids at a local school) but work's been too busy for me to get the time off to do it this year.

    Moneystepper's mini-challenge for May was something to do with charity so I donated to Magic Breakfast (it was during the elections and all I kept hearing about were food banks so I thought I'd help out hungry UK school kids!)

    So two donations this month – I'd like to do something regularly so this Deki sounds just the thing although I think I will organise myself a bit better next year.

    Maybe you can start up 'Team Zombie'! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Dividend Drive

    I second weenie's thanks here. Much appreciated that you mentioned it on my charity post. Even more appreciated you have written up more on it!

    The process was certainly simple so far! Will wait to see who it goes in total!

    I unfortunately had developed a cynicism about certain charities. The amount they spend from donations on administration seems–often–to be wholly disproportionate to what is required. Sadly, lots does seem to be wasted. Deki seems to allow you to cut out most of the waste (though, I am sure there is still some in there somewhere).

    The fact that you get your capital back and can decide what to do with it then is great. It means, even if you are a little tight on cash, you can feel more comfortable in giving as if in the future you do need the cash it can–if necessary–wing its way back to you (eventually).

    I am probably going to rewrite the post I started on the "DD Donation Drive" to fit my new scheme with this in it!

    Thanks again!

    Reply
  3. Mr Zombie

    Yeah it is quick, time will tell if the 99.8% repayment rate is accurate 🙂

    Movember is always good, but I have been cultivating a beard for a year now and pretty sure I will miss next year as well.

    The reading with 6-year old kids sounds good, pretty fun? I was wondering about volunteering, maybe some free math tutoring for GCSE and A-Level. Maths is fun, right?

    I did wonder about starting up a team on there 🙂

    Mr Z

    Reply
  4. Mr Zombie

    Exactly! Let's see how it pans out, will be nice in 12 months time to start having a few coming back to re-lend along with a new donation.

    I looked into working for a charity after qualifying as an accountant and was surprised by the wages you could get.

    DD Donation Drive? Intriguing…

    Mr Z

    Reply
  5. Cerridwen

    Thanks to you and DD for bringing Deki to our attention. I'll certainly be getting involved.

    I have standing orders to a variety of charities but I had to get really cross at Unicef lately because they keep on phoning me and asking me for more money, despite my repeatedly telling them that I will increase my donation if and when I choose and asking them please don't waste my money on making annoying phone calls, it's counter productive.

    Reply
  6. Mr Zombie

    Hi LCIL,

    I initially found Kiva and then decided on Deki as it was a bit smaller and closer to home.

    Yeah it seems like a great idea, so much better than 'handouts' I think.

    Will have a read, thanks for the link, will see if they have it in the local library 🙂

    Mr Z

    Reply
  7. thefirestarter.co.uk

    I asked for a gift donation for both deki and kiva last Christmas instead of a "real present" and it seemed to go down pretty well with the people I asked so might be doing that again for my birthday next week. Saying that it would be good to get some of my own money involved, I think £10 a month won't go a miss so I will join you on this one for Deki.

    Thanks for the motivation! 🙂

    I've had a few payments back from Deki but have not checked Kiva since I set up the account and made the first donation.

    Another thing to note is if you decide that you never want to take out your initial loan (i.e. you will always reloan it) then Deki (not sure about Kiva) can add on gift aid so you can loan out even more.

    Cheers!

    Reply

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