Kiva Reviews | Glassdoor

Kiva Reviews

Updated May 16, 2018
59 reviews

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4.1
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Neville Crawley
1 Rating

59 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 10 reviews)

  • "Fun and positive work environment" (in 9 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. "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.


  2. "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 :)

  3. "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.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "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.


  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. "N/A"

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

    I have been working at Kiva full-time

    Pros

    Great organization, great staff, people are very motivated.

    Cons

    It can be difficult to get work done in the open office environment.

  8. "Good Intentions"

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

    I have been working at Kiva full-time

    Pros

    Powerful mission with incredibly bright and committed employees

    Cons

    Lack of strategy and focus, poor internal communication and prioritization

    Advice to Management

    Limit the number of "Top Priorities" and get all departments to work toward the same goals


  9. "Wonderful place to work"

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

    I worked at Kiva full-time

    Pros

    Amazing, dedicated and talented staff, flexible work environment, and a good emphasis on professional development.

    Cons

    There could be a little more transparency from the management team regarding long-term strategy and direction.


  10. "Internship Program"

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

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities for learning and networking, awesome people and cool workplace!

    Cons

    Too many things to do and little time to be involved with everything.

    Advice to Management

    Just keep bringing amazing people to be part of the organization and try to spread all the nice learning opportunities in more times to improve engagement. Maybe some events after work hours!


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