I was surfing around and ended up at a Yahoo story about Kiva.org, a website that matches lenders with entrepreneurs around the world. The idea is that in other countries – what we often call the third world – small businesses need microloans, and we can make minor loans to them. They partner with microlending organizations in the target parts of the world so your money is watched over by local organizations.
It isn’t considered a charity by the IRS because you are loaning the people the money, so no tax deduction. Nor do they charge interest. It is an altruistic act to do the loans.
I invested $25 to help a Ukrainian woman expand her retail business. Go check them out yourself.