Holiday Giving: How LIKHA integrates Kiva at checkout - LIKHÂ

Holiday Giving: How LIKHA integrates Kiva at checkout

Reposted Kiva blog post. Written by Fred Mezidor.


Every season is giving season at Kiva, but the holidays are a unique time when the joy of connecting with our loved ones and thinking outside of ourselves encourages us to find ways to pay that generosity forward. As teams separate to be with their friends and families, uniting around corporate social responsibility and charitable giving often becomes one of those initiatives added to the “we’ll get to it in the new year” list. However, employees are becoming increasingly aware of new opportunities to do more at this time of year.

According to an Ipsos poll commissioned by GlobalGiving UK, approximately 49% of UK employees are in favor of office holiday funds being used for the charities of their choice. 

For LIKHÂ, makers of artisanal homemade goods sourced from the Philippines and distributed through their ecommerce platform, creating an opportunity to donate to Kiva at checkout for the holidays unites their core values with Kiva’s mission of financial inclusivity for all. We connect with the founders on the making of this partnership and how integrating CSR with your e-commerce platform elevates the experience for both your team and your customers.



“The most important thing is having a stable stream of income.” 

LIKHÂ means “to create”. For LIKHÂ founder Nathalie Lim, bringing her idea of a social enterprise that modernizes Filipino craft to life started back in 2018. The task seemed simple: Find a mortar and pestle where great design matched an affordable price. It was not until she was back in her hometown in the Philippines a few months later that she found her match in a marble mortar and pestle made by local artisans desperate to get their wares in front of visiting tourists.

As she noticed how much the artisans were willing to undercut their prices to make a sale, she felt there was an injustice and lack of opportunity for these hardworking creators to receive the proper audience and recognition of their talent. Her business partner and devoted husband Patrick noted that when channels were created for the artisans to sell their products more widely there were overlapping concerns of exploitation and inaccessibility that left little return on investment for the effort put in by this vulnerable population of entrepreneurs.

Working with the artisans requires empathy, Patrick notes, which requires a deeper understanding of not only the needs of the product but also of the daily lives and constraints of those doing the creating. In order to combat the stigma that “handicraft is seen as a livelihood of last resort”, Nathalie and Patrick wanted the value proposition of LIKHÂ to start with the artisans first, providing them with opportunity, infrastructure, market knowledge and financial support that would lead to lasting impact for the community as a whole. A prime example of this is LIKHÂ’s 50% advance payment to cover working capital for raw materials needed by the artisans. 

When asked what providing opportunity for financial independence means to the local community in the Philippines, Nathalie says, “The most important thing is having a stable stream of income.”

This becomes particularly important during times of crisis. “Through the pandemic a lot of these communities have seen all their friends and peers losing their jobs and not having an income for 12-18 months, and they see orders still continuing to come in,” Nathalie shares. “Having that sort of reassurance and stability and actually being able to earn something is a key part of it.” 

Based on their own impact measurements, LIKHÂ artisans earn on average 41% above comparable livelihoods. With this peace of mind, these creators can focus more on honing their skills and craft, supporting their children's education, and building a stronger and more independent community. 


Supporting Kiva at the checkout

“What we love about Kiva is it's got so many dimensions to it… This really is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Alongside their work with artisans, the LIKHA team wanted to amplify their impact by finding and raising funds for a charitable organization that aligned with their mission to support local communities and entrepreneurs. Completely self-funded, LIKHÂ has been supported by the community of other social enterprises whose values align with community engagement, ethical standards, sustainable practices, and empowerment of local artisan communities. Though Kiva’s mission was already a natural fit, Patrick could trust in the impact-first results of partnering with Kiva as he formerly held the position of Director of Analytics for the organization. With the holiday season approaching, this partnership would allow LIKHÂ to introduce Kiva at their many upcoming pop-ups and events, spanning from New York to the Bay Area. 

By integrating a donation at checkout in person and across their e-commerce platforms, both organizations are able to demonstrate their commitment to supporting this global network of entrepreneurs. 

“What we love about Kiva is it's got so many dimensions to it,” Patrick notes. “This really is just the tip of the iceberg. This is the start of a relationship that can go above and beyond in both depth and in breadth.”

“Giving makes people happy.”

Through Kiva, Nathalie hopes they can deepen not only this partnership, but the collective impact by extending loans to their artisans and providing an additional layer of support as the business scales and expands.

“We are effectively in some way, shape or form, lenders to our artisans,” says Patrick. “We’d love to scale that through Kiva loans, for example, that help with things like capital [and]  training.”

As self-proclaimed salespeople, the Lims have found that being able to make that in-person connection with customers and explain the work of both LIKHÂ and Kiva drives donations at checkout.

“Giving makes people happy,” Nathalie shares, explaining how creating a philanthropic opportunity allows the customers to feel that same joy and hope of making the world a better place.

In conversation with their customers, the team at LIKHÂ found that providing their customers with increased awareness about the work being done at Kiva was a resounding motivator. This increase in engagement comes from bridging the gap between people who want to make a difference but need more guidance and trusted buy-in. 

The holiday season serves as a poignant reminder of the power of giving. Establishing connection, as demonstrated by this partnership, links Kiva with LIKHÂ, LIKHÂ with its customers, and its customers with the network of talented artisans.

This holiday collaboration between LIKHÂ and Kiva exemplifies the potential for businesses to leverage their platforms for positive change, showcasing the profound impact that corporate philanthropy can have on communities worldwide. By implementing an easy donate upon checkout experience, organizations can create a meaningful connection with their customers. 

As the Lims passionately advocate for financial inclusivity and stability, their efforts highlight the joy that emanates from giving, uniting customers, businesses, and charitable organizations in the collective pursuit of creating a better world. To partner with Kiva and learn more about programs like LIKHA's, contact us here.