EX- WORLD BANK OFFICIAL LAUNCHES ONLINE LOANS SERVICE

Internet

Dennis Whittle saw an opportunity to tap into what he calls the "secondary market" for donations. He quit the World Bank, and six years ago, he and a colleague started a private, web-based microfinance program called Global Giving.

"Global Giving just enables small-scale grassroots projects to match up with relatively small donors all around the world, who want to help them make a difference," said Mr Whittle.

"The website is kind of like a combination of eBay and Amazon. And the idea is that qualified grassroots projects from around the world can be listed, as long as they meet certain qualifications.

"If you're a donor, and you're interested in HIV/Aids, you can find projects to fund. If you're interested in projects in Kenya, you can find those. It's a clearing house."

A potential donor searches through a list of small-scale projects on the Global Giving website. You can even e-mail project leaders for more information.

Then, the donor can choose to give as little as $10 to a project. Some, though, have given as much as $150,000. Global Giving has raised millions of dollars in donations for smallprojects in the developing world.

BBC