Talking to Fara Novin

Talking to Fara Novin


Talking to Fara Novin

Today we’re talking to Fara Novin!

  1. Please tell us a little bit more about yourself.

My name is Fara Novin (It’s Persian). I am a divorced mother of two adult sons. I live in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado.

  1. Where do you come from?

An Immigrant- I was born in Iran and moved to the US as a teenager many moons ago to finish high school and pursue my education at an American university.  During the first two years being away from my homeland there was a revolution and regime change in Iran which changed the lives of many forever-  including mine and that of my family who all ended up making this country our home for good. We later became naturalized citizens. I call myself American by Choice.

  1. What do you do? [your job, hobbies, etc. if you’re retired, what did you use to do and what do you do now]

I am a  psychology major graduate of University of Colorado and in my 2nd career as a full time real estate broker for the last 27 years. I enjoy it very much and love helping people realize their dream of home ownership, invest in real estate and especially guiding young people to get on the path of owning their own home and watching their equity grow as well as upgrade their lifestyle.

  1. When & How did you first hear about Kiva?

A good friend of mine Rusty who was a lender told me about Kiva and all the wonderful things they do. That was about 8 years ago and I in turn have managed to get many people interested in becoming Kiva lenders and supporters.

  1. Do you favor any particular lending theme? i.e. agriculture, retail, a particular country or groups of women?

I tend to favor women as well as young men trying to better their lives. Mostly in developing and under served countries.  I do read the bios and see who’s story resonates with me. My borrowers include young students, mothers trying to raise funds to pay for their children’s weddings or medical bills. Women trying to start or run a small business. Seamstresses, small retail shops, etc.

  1. How do you decide who to make a loan to? [Do you research in detail or just pick the first four or five in the list?]

I often start by searching for loans based on time left or amount left. I feel I can make the best impact by helping raise what’s left and also jumping in at the last minute before time runs out on the borrower. From there I view photos and read bios of the applicants. Some will jump out at me, Some stories resonate for one reason or another.

  1. Have you been associating your loans with a particular team? [Kiva has over 15,000 teams!]

No. I have been on my own as a single lender.

  1. How soon after your loans have been repaid do you lend the money out again?

Quite soon. Within days or a couple of weeks.

  1. Do you regularly add to your Kiva balance or do you just work with what is already in the account?

Not often or on a regular basis. Only when I see a borrower that I really want to help and there’s not sufficient Kiva credit in my account.

  1. Have you had many defaults [loans not fully repaid] and, if so, does it concern you?

I have had two over the years and No. It really does not concern me.

  1. Why would you recommend Kiva to others?

It is truly one of the best ways I have been able to help people help themselves. Of all the various causes, charities and fundraising efforts I have been a part of, Kiva is my top favorite organization to recommend.

  1. How many of your friends have you convinced to be a part of Kiva?

My mother, my son, about 4 friends as well as a poetry club I attended once or twice. One of the members asked me to go make a presentation at their meeting about Kiva. They were impressed, raised some money and had me get them signed up to start lending.

I often give Kiva gift cards to graduates to get them familiar with the organization and also started on becoming a part of this amazing group. I  look for and find many opportunities to do this- for weddings or other occasions when they request No presents. A Kiva gift card is perfect. Sometimes in addition to a gift, I enclose the gift card.

  1. Do you think the Bring Hope to the World Kiva team can reach $100M USD in loans by 2025? (this is our ambitious target!!!)

I certainly hope so. It is ambitious but a great concept.

I have been working on preparing a similar proposal to my ReMax Referral network and am hoping for participation from 1000 members with a $25 investment each.

  1. Anything else you would like to share with us?

Thank you for doing this and getting the word out.

I would suggest allowing people to invest whatever amount they are inclined to, and perhaps offer them the opportunity to cash out. There is a tiny bit of concern in the back of my mind that some may see this as some sort of a scheme. Raising such a high amount possibly without any input or control on their part in managing the funds.  Just something I am mindful of while getting ready to approach my group with the proposal. [Actually, when you are part of a Kiva team like the Bring Hope to the World team, the team has zero access to your funds and Kiva always allows you to invest whatever amount you want as long as your first investment is at least $25. As part of a team you are simply associating your loan with a particular team, you still control your own account 100% by yourself and can cash out your money any time you want as long as your loans have all been repaid.]

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