I know that micro-financing as a way to help out people in poor countries, has existed for a long time, but I've not known about it. Just discovered two great places: Kiva and Mix Market.
The way it works, roughly, is you give some money, as little as $25 to be applied to a loan a person wants some place like Albania or Africa. Other people add their money and it adds up to a loan that is then given to this individual who does with it what was intended and then repays the loan. At that point, you get your money back and can again invest in someone else's project.
I like the idea, though, I have to say, some of these people are so poor, it seems a donation is the better way to go . . . .
You can see what you think.