Pantano Christian Battles Poverty with Microloans

By Jennifer Taylor

In May, Pantano Christian Church (Tucson, AZ) gave away $25,000—and asked the recipients to give the same.

The money, which the church received as a grant, was offered to members of the PCC community to involve them in a microloan program with Kiva, a nonprofit organization that helps donors provide small loans ($25 or more) to help entrepreneurs around the world escape poverty by starting small businesses.

PCC members could participate in the program by committing a small amount of their own money and receiving matching funds from the church. A $12.50 donation would result in $25—the minimum amount needed for a Kiva loan—or members could give up to $50 and receive matching funds for a total of $100.

Pantano’s website enabled easy sign-up and application for the matched funds. After giving their half of the donation, every participant received a “Kiva Card” loaded with the total $25 to $100 and could choose the recipients of their gift.

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