Lender spotlight: Sherry incentivizes lending through art

Kiva loans reach more than 80 countries through more than 300 Field Partners across many different sectors. From education, agriculture and retail to refugees, women and students, Kiva loans benefit many different causes.  

Kiva’s diversity of loans lets lenders feel more connected to their giving by making loans to causes that resonate most with them. Lenders engage with Kiva in many different ways, whether that’s sharing their loans on social media or joining a team of like-minded lenders. 

Sherry Strong has developed her own unique relationship with Kiva lending. As a self-described food philosopher, hobby artist and illustrator, she came across Kiva over 7 years ago and fell in love with the concept immediately. 

Sherry with her original alcohol ink paintings.

“I lend on Kiva because I know how hard it can be for women to get ahead in systems that don't naturally support them,” Sherry says. “I also love that I get to choose to support women who are farming organically which makes a difference for them while they are making a difference for their families and the planet.”

Recently, Sherry leveraged her own passion and talent to promote Kiva lending in her community and share it with the world. She found herself accumulating a lot of her own artwork that she didn’t have the courage to sell. Instead of letting the pieces just lie around, she decided to put them to good use.

With International Women’s Day coming up, Sherry decided to donate a painting to anyone who made a loan on Kiva as an incentive to lend. She created a Facebook page for her initiative called Art for Microlending.

Sherry uses her art to promote her business on social media

The idea took off, and so did her artwork. In response to demand, Sherry now sells her pieces and uses the profits to make loans on  Kiva. She still donates some of her paintings to incentivize lending on special occasions.

Another example of Sherry's artwork as a background for her business posts

Sherry hopes her initiative will inspire other artists to take the art they don’t sell and use it for a good cause like Kiva. We love hearing about the unique ways lenders engage with Kiva - email channingf@kiva.org if you’d like to share why or how you lend on Kiva!

Click here to find a loan that supports a country, industry or cause you’re passionate about.

About the author

Channing Fisher.

Channing first witnessed the ability of entrepreneurship to empower people while studying Spanish in Guatemala. Throughout college, she became interested in microfinance while working in business development in the Netherlands and studying the effects of tourism on Caribbean economies. After graduating from Principia College in 2018 with degrees in Political Science and Business, she began work for a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit and later found Kiva. She's passionate about communicating and sharing the work done at Kiva and elsewhere in the international development space.