Kiva Reviews | Glassdoor

Kiva Reviews

Updated Mar 7, 2020

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3.8
71%
Recommend to a Friend
61%
Approve of CEO
Kiva Chief Executive Officer Neville Crawley
Neville Crawley
18 Ratings
  1. "A successful marriage of tech, finance and non-profit."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kiva full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I have worked at Kiva in its early growth stages. I left the company for other opportunities, and then I rejoined Kiva inspired by the new growth phase. I feel excited and positive about new initiatives that help scale its mission of financial inclusiveness. The company has seen a fair share of tough times and good times. Kiva has held together through this by staying true to its mission. The success has been possible because of passionate and sincere people that Kiva manages to attract to this date. Kiva is a living example of the strength of collective good that spans diverge community. Amid San Francisco's hyper-growth companies where it is easy to lose your self, Kiva is where you can find yourself back again. There are a lot of opportunities and freedom to grow. There are a lot of areas to collaborate. There are a lot of areas to learn and thrive from diverse thoughts. Kiva has a strong alumni network - you build connections forever. We are in a phase of modernizing existing architecture, and our new initiatives are embracing new technology. The process of going through this change has been thoughtful, and it has naturally encouraged broader engagement and collaboration. The process has also inspired more engineers to step up with a sense of ownership. I excited about this new wave of energy.

    Cons

    Being a not for profit means there are resource constraints at every level. The management is sensitive and understanding of this, which makes it easier to digest. You are on your own to define how to grow and how you shape your contributions. For some, this may not be easy, and yet for some, this could be liberating.

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    Kiva2020-03-07
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Run far away and ignore the fake reviews written by management."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Kiva full-time

    Pros

    I get to do great work with great people. It’s nice to work somewhere with a mission you can get behind.

    Cons

    The extent to which politics take over management is not good for the employees and quite frankly, dangerous. The organization is now being run by a group of men who have never worked in nonprofit before, with a board that is completely unaware of the turmoil going on inside.

    Kiva2020-03-07
  3. Helpful (1)

    "New experiences, social impact, great work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Frontend Software Engineer, Protocol in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kiva full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Before looking for my next role, I made a checklist of requirements and I didn’t settle for any place that didn’t fulfill all of the desires I had for a job. I wanted something with: - social impact - high level autonomy in my work - projects that I could allow myself to become obsessed with and inspired by - Work related to financial technology - Work that would give me more exposure to cultures of foreign countries - Something that would allow me to use my skills in both engineering and design simultaneously, since I did a lot of research in interaction design during college but followed the engineering track for my major I interviewed at a lot of different companies to get a good sense of the market, got a number of job offers but turned them all down because I was already pretty happy at the company I was at. When I interviewed at Kiva, I became very excited because the role checked all of the boxes. It is my understanding that although most tech companies retain employees for a few years, there are a good number of employees who have remained with Kiva for nearly a decade because it’s a very special place to work. The organization went through a number of changes before I was hired, and it sounds like there were some conflicting opinions during the restructuring of the org, some growing pains, and a succession of a couple of new CEOs to take the place of the old, as well as some culture shifts… but I wasn’t there for any of that. Over the past 9 months of working at Kiva I feel that I’ve only seen the good parts. I also had a chance to: - Travel to Freetown, Sierra Leone and spend a total of almost three months out there by choice - Wrote my first Medium article about my experiences in SL - Help build and design digital identity technology intended to be used by multiple countries’ governments to further the goals of financial inclusion globally - Attend meetings with managers and deputy governors from the country’s central bank, civil registry, managers and employees of various financial institutions, microfinance institutions, community and commercial banks, etc. to understand firsthand all of the problems that these people experience while trying to provide financial services to citizens of SL - Give demos to many of these managers and employees - Be a part of a PR event with the president of the country, which was aired on national news about digital identity in Africa - Assist with creation of a public facing demo video to be shown at said PR event - Attend conferences on identity and technology with our team - Travel abroad with my team and bond over a shared common culture in a foreign country - Assist with preparation for pilots in real bank branches - Lead UX research planning Other really minor perks: - Flexible hours, unlimited pto, dogs allowed in the office, really kind coworkers who all want to make an impact

    Cons

    I don't know, I'm pretty happy here so I'm not in the mood to think about cons right now.

    Kiva2020-02-26
  4. "A fast-paced environment where tech and mission come together"

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

    I have been working at Kiva full-time

    Pros

    A committed team, an ambitious mission, and lots of fun problems to solve. But the best part is that when we're successful, it means more people have an opportunity to improve their lives. And that's unique in Silicon Valley, or anywhere else.

    Cons

    Kiva is a combination of multiple organizations with very different skillsets and that are rarely seen under the same roof. Specifically, a tech organization, a financial/risk one, and a business development one. While in many ways it makes Kiva special, it also creates tension since those organizations speak different languages.

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    Kiva2020-02-23
  5. "I like Kiva"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Software Engineer 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kiva full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    I really enjoy working at Kiva for 3 main reasons: the mission, my co-workers and the challenge of the work. There aren’t many organizations that provide the opportunity to have such a direct positive impact on peoples lives around the word as Kiva (through our mission). The kind of people that Kiva tends to attract are good hearted, smart and passionate about what they do. These are people who are really good to be around on a daily basis both because they are nice folks but also because they are sharp and you can learn a lot from them. Finally, the work itself is interesting because there are difficult problems to solve in order to have the greatest impact we can in the world. I think this is the case across departments in Kiva. Much of Kiva’s work leverages technology to do what we do, so as an engineer, the work I do ties in directly to the impact we have in the world, which is quite satisfying. It is worth noting that there have been some major transition underway in Kiva. One involves broadening our mission from a narrower peer to peer lending focus to a broader focus on expanding financial inclusion. There have been many heartfelt discussions within Kiva about the how people feel about this change. Personally, I’m happy that Kiva has broadened the mission because I feel it will allow us to have a positive impact on more people. Peer to peer lending is still our primary focus, but with the new mission we’re now able to experiment with things like building national identity and credit bureau systems that over time can help bring more capital into developing nations and help people move up the financial ladder from micro-finance by increasing access to bank accounts. Another part of the transition over the past couple of years has been one of executive leadership. This has also been a challenge for the organization to move away from being led by one of the original founders. Initially when the new leadership came in there were issues with lack of communication from them out to the rest of the org that led to bad feelings and discontent. I give the executive team credit for acknowledging the issue and addressing it head on. The level of transparency we have now with the executive team is more than I have seen in any previous company. I feel it is an exciting time to be at Kiva because there is a willingness to try new things and move in new directions in order to help more people.

    Cons

    Working for a nonprofit like Kiva means not earning as much as you could in a corporate setting.

    Kiva2020-02-23
  6. "Inspiring mission, team, and technology"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kiva full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Kiva is a truly mission-driven organization trying to address challenges people face across the globe. As a software engineer, there is interesting, challenging, and satisfying technical work to be done to serve the mission. There are real problems to solve, some of them benefit from technology (but not all!), and every day I get to work with a great team while never losing sight of the people we aim to serve.

    Cons

    As a non-profit, Kiva is resource-constrained and things can feel a little stretched thin at times. Culturally Kiva encourages a sustainable pace, but with so much to do that all feels important and worthwhile, it's easy to overextend yourself.

    Kiva2020-02-20
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Warped leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kiva full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    a) Great opportunity and platform to address deep poverty and inequality issues around the world; b) Committed,long-serving and knowledgeable staff (who unfortunately are leaving at a fast rate); c) High credibility with funders

    Cons

    a) Cocky executive leadership and spreading to some sycophants in the senior cadres; b) Sycophancy and boot-licking seems to be the way to remain in the organization; c) No commitment to several of the so called core values e.g. inclusion,equity and diversity manifested in "hidden" racialism and clear discrimination of certain people groups from ascending beyond certain levels in the organization. Other wise how do you explain somebody having worked for ten years but has only risen one step beyond the entry level yet has not been rated poorly in performance or even been suspended if s/he is that bad yet their bosses are persons who joined at much lower levels? c) Very inhumane HR practices where one can be dismissed at the whims of their manager for just being disliked; d) Poorly trained and equipped senior leadership/management staff : they anyway have ascended there through politics and boot-licking; e) Hypocritical leadership - the same person who has responded to some of the posts here claiming how deeply she cares about the people and the organization left after slightly below a year after literally wrecking havoc on long-serving staff through a high-handed approach in leadership...It wont be long after when other members of the Executive Leadership Team will not be sure what was the goal for all the changes they have brought about!

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    Kiva2020-01-02
  8. "Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
     

    I worked at Kiva

    Pros

    Great people, mission, overall structure. You feel like you’re making a true difference.

    Cons

    None that I can think of.

    Kiva2019-10-19

    Kiva Response

    October 24, 2019CFO & Global Head of Operations

    Thanks so much for your review. The leadership team at Kiva appreciates all of the work of our interns and fellows and intend for each of you to have a career enhancement experience during your time at Kiva.

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  9. Helpful (13)

    "New management destroyed the company"

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

    I worked at Kiva full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    -- Kiva used to be an amazing place to work -- incredible team, warm culture, passionate about the "old" mission: "Connecting people through lending to alleviate poverty". -- Strong brand.

    Cons

    -- The founder stepped away as CEO a few years ago. After a long transition period, another CEO was appointed by the board, but lasted less than 2 years. Then there was another long transition period, and then another new CEO was appointed. The new CEO has no non-profit experience. And the board did not really consult existing employees before making the appointment (again). So there has been a lot of CEO transition, with the accompanying disruption and lack of clarity. -- More importantly, the new CEO has destroyed the culture of Kiva, and misunderstood what was special about Kiva's business. He changed Kiva's mission to remove the part about "connecting people", which was Kiva's unique selling point. And he objected to one of Kiva's values being "Respect". Literally half the staff has turned over since the new CEO arrived. -- After all the radical shake-ups, strategy changes and mission update, growth dropped in 2018 vs. 2017. I guess this is what happens when all the staff leave.

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    Kiva2019-07-23

    Kiva Response

    August 1, 2019CFO & Global Head of Operations

    Thanks for your feedback. I’m sorry that as a valued alumni you aren’t as excited as I am about Kiva’s new mission to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive. We definitely do this through kiva.org the platform that does connect borrowers and lenders as well as other new impact lines that will allow us to serve even more people globally. Thanks for the contributions that you made to Kiva during your long tenure and I wish you the best.

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  10. "Great learning experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kiva full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    exactly what you need from an internship

    Cons

    you will not earn any money

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    Kiva2019-04-12

    Kiva Response

    April 13, 2019CFO & Global Head of Operations

    Thanks for the review and advice. I know you’ve had a resume enhancing experience and I’m happy to help you with your job search after your internship.

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Found 78 reviews
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