Kiva Reviews | Glassdoor

Kiva Reviews

Updated September 17, 2018
63 reviews

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3.7
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Neville Crawley
5 Ratings

63 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Work-life balance is amazing, with flexible hours and options to work from home on certain days if you need to" (in 9 reviews)

  • "There was absolutely no better work environment out there" (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • "Unpaid internship without stipend" (in 9 reviews)

  • "Unpaid (non-profit) and can be time consuming at some points" (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great organization doing good in the world"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kiva full-time

    Pros

    Amazing team focused on providing loans to those in need

    Cons

    Compensation is low but benefits are pretty good

    Kiva Response

    Sep 17, 2018 – CFO & Global Head of Operations

    Thanks so much for your review and for the impact you and your colleagues are having at Kiva. Don't hesitate to reach out should you have a desire to share more information. pam@kiva.org


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Not what it used to be"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kiva full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    There was no place like Kiva. Best team, culture, passion, talent out there. People deeply cared about making the world a better place and were doing everything possible to make that happen. You woke up excited to go to work because your coworkers were your family, and you were all in it together to truly change lives. There was absolutely no better work environment out there! Everyone wanted to work for Kiva, and you felt deeply appreciative if you were one of the "lucky" ones who landed a job. The salary was low, but you knew that working for a nonprofit, and everyone was okay with it because the culture and outstanding benefits made up for the difference in salary that you could be making at a for-profit in the Bay Area.

    Cons

    The new CEO has sadly changed everything. Rather than recognizing that the problem was with a lack of strategic direction from management, the CEO blamed all problems on staff. He is bringing in tons of people from the outside with no input from the current team and taking away responsibilities from current talented staff, giving all new projects to outside contractors. He claims "new" ideas as his own instead of recognizing that lower level staff have been working on these ideas for years and just never had management give them the green light to make them happen. The new exec team is largely very corporate and doesn't show signs that they are authentically there for the mission. It is run like any other tech company now and focused on technology, technology, technology instead of the mission (if people wanted to work for the latest technology, they could make 2x the salary at basically any other company in the Bay Area, so this is ridiculous). There is no input from the staff and existing Kiva users on how things can improve. Instead, it's the "we need to revamp everything" approach in order to be more like Amazon, Facebook, etc.

    Half the staff has turned over in the last ~12 months. Terrible morale that is not acknowledged by the exec team despite constant attempts to get them to talk about it. All people that are still there that aren't recent hires are looking for new jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Your team is your most valuable asset. Listen to people that have incredible ideas but never had the platform to make them happen. Don't ruin a beautiful thing.

    Kiva Response

    Sep 17, 2018 – CFO & Global Head of Operations

    While it is difficult to hear, thanks for your candor. I care deeply about the team and would welcome the chance to hear from you directly. While I am a new member of the Executive Leadership Team, I... More

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Rough time to be at Kiva"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kiva full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Exciting work, esp working with the partners on the ground.

    -Interesting mix of tech and nonprofit.

    -Warm and welcoming people trying to do good in the world.

    Cons

    Kiva was an incredible place to work for a long time. Unfortunately new management doesn't have the skills or desire to retain what was so great about it, namely the culture and mission.

    -Extreme top-down approach - Direction and ideas come from the CEO only, not even other management team members, let alone the wider organization. New ideas and projects are not collaborative, information is hoarded, and people do not look out for one another anymore.

    -Huge recent turnover - There was a mass exodus in 2018 under the new CEO, who has taken an extremely top-down, hierarchical and un-transparent approach. A few good people remain, but most are trying to leave.

    -Heart gone from leadership - Much of the mission-driven management left under new leadership and the new CEO replaced them with mercenaries. New management has no relevant background leading to poor decision making.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff! Valid, innovative ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. And be more thoughtful about how things are communicated- this just has to improve.

    Kiva Response

    Sep 20, 2018 – CFO & Global Head of Operations

    Thanks for your honest feedback. I definitely agree that innovative ideas can come from anyone in the organization and in particular at Kiva where I find that most employees have passion for the work... More


  4. Helpful (4)

    ""Thunderdome" review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Strategy Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Strategy Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Kiva full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Good samaritan service - above/beyond - helpful - supportive/collaborative
    -Symbiotic partnerships
    -Inclusive
    -Results Drive vs. Time card duty

    Cons

    -Excess grace (too nice, need "tough love" / radical honesty / glassdoor reviews)
    -Soft-minded (kind of like leaving notes on the board)
    -Poor Communication (from mgmt about about any major decision)
    -Ambiguous (about whether we believe in our values)
    -Resistance to change/new (fear)(of poor leadership)
    -Lost of trust in leadership (to say the least)

    Advice to Management

    -Self-sustaining priority - someone has to pay

    Kiva Response

    Sep 20, 2018 – CFO & Global Head of Operations

    Thanks for your feedback and review. If you’d like to share more specifically with me or someone else in leadership, please reach out and we can schedule time. Pam@kiva.org


  5. "There's no place like Kiva"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kiva full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Kiva is a place where you'll feel welcome, included, and even loved. Everyone who works there is driven by a passion for helping people, for making positive change in the world. It's a young crowd with a lot of energy and zest. They are earnest and always looking for ways to improve systems, always focused on how to better serve borrowers and lenders. The mission is incredible and everyone is bought in. Work-life balance is amazing, with flexible hours and options to work from home on certain days if you need to. The benefits are generally fantastic, with an option to take a trip to visit a field partner every other year.

    I feel honored to have worked there, and will always cherish that experience -- there's really no place like Kiva.

    Cons

    Transparency is a core value at Kiva, but sometimes I felt it went overboard. It's not that transparency is necessarily a bad thing, but the culture of transparency sort of led to an overly democratic structure with too many stakeholders involved in every decision, which makes it difficult to be efficient. Leadership in general was weak, although they've gone through a period of transition at the top for a few years now which is probably the reason, so hopefully the new CEO is helping. If you want to work in nonprofits, you're obviously not driven by salary, but it seemed like Kiva is on the low end even for nonprofits. Kiva also relies on interns to keep running, and these interns swap out every 4-6 months. That means that you're retraining people, explaining basic things from scratch, and maybe shifting responsibilities based on intern competencies every 4-6 months. It can be difficult to plan and grow with this system. There are not a lot of growth opportunities at Kiva -- coupled with the low salaries, that leads to a lot of turnover even though everyone seems to love it there.

    Advice to Management

    The quarterly priority initiatives system needs to go :)

    Kiva Response

    Sep 20, 2018 – CFO & Global Head of Operations

    Thanks so much for your review. As a new leader, I appreciate your feedback and everything you mentioned above is being reviewed over the next year. If you have other thoughts, please don’t hesitate... More


  6. "Excellent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Kiva full-time

    Pros

    Excellent mission drive organization, with dedicated people

    Cons

    Management needs more training on how to lead.

    Kiva Response

    Sep 20, 2018 – CFO & Global Head of Operations

    Thanks for your review. As a new leader, I agree with the dedication of our employees. I’m proud to be at Kiva. I appreciate your thought on management training. I feel that management is a life long... More


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Not a good time to join Kiva"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kiva full-time

    Pros

    Passionate people, lots of fun inside and outside the office, great mission.

    Cons

    Low work ethic, political, top-down approach to overall management.

    Advice to Management

    Trust the people you hired and they'll be more motivated to take ownership of their work. Work on better communication.

    Kiva Response

    Sep 20, 2018 – CFO & Global Head of Operations

    Thanks so much for your review. If you have more to share, I’d like to schedule a chat to hear your thoughts. Pam@kiva.org

  8. "Kiva Fellow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great opportunity to really make an impact while learning about the microfinance industry.

    Cons

    Low stipend, however it is sufficient enough to make ends meet in host country.

    Kiva Response

    Sep 20, 2018 – CFO & Global Head of Operations

    Thanks so much for your review. I appreciate your thoughts on the stipend.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Portfolio Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Portfolio Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Portfolio Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Kiva full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Work with smart, creative and humble group of people
    - More or less flat structure with minimum hierarchy (CEO & President welcome new ideas and discussions -- unheard of in other NGOs)
    - Provide safe space for voicing opinions/ideas, transparent culture
    - Teams are passionate about human development, environment, and the betterment of global communities.

    Cons

    - Diminishing revenue streams is a problem, however, senior management is too comfortable with status quo and has very low risk appetite
    - Very little innovation is encouraged/sponsored, although staff boasts of excellent talent/ideas
    - Do not seek to understand market realities and adapt organization goals/strategies accordingly

    Advice to Management

    - Be more aggressive in experimenting with new products/programs/processes (the quarterly initiatives just do not work for an organization like Kiva! Need both short-term vs. long-term planning)
    - Become more transparent with decisions and why some projects are adopted over others -- where is the business value/USP? This process needs to be better streamlined and objectively measured (for example, cannot invest all resources towards one FTD strategy -- very short-sighted)
    - Need to stop working in silo for your own team; and think big-picture about Kiva's future with clearly communicated & dynamic strategies. Please do not let one person dominate decision-making within senior management.

    Kiva Response

    Sep 20, 2018 – CFO & Global Head of Operations

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful review. I know this was from earlier in the year but if you have additional feedback, I’d love to buy you coffee to hear from you. Pam@kiva.org


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Rehaul the Core"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kiva full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - new CEO is asking the right questions
    - healthy culture
    - interesting work

    Cons

    - coo/cpo is seen as bully, not effective -- product is stagnant and not responding to either our current lenders or potential lenders
    - teams are strong individually but do not work together, this is a top-level problem
    - retention is high but people are becoming less motivated

    Advice to Management

    Explore new ideas, but also rehaul the core -- all pockets of the company agree that this hasn't seen a fair shake, and is a worthwhile investment to grow from what we know.

    Kiva Response

    Sep 20, 2018 – CFO & Global Head of Operations

    Thanks for your review. Since you shared this a number of months ago, I am hoping that we are continuing to work hard on the issues you identified. If you’d like to grab coffee, give me a shout... More


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