Last week we gave you some ideas for what to get the animal lover on your gift list. This week, we're going international -- looking at various international aid organizations that you might purchase a charitable gift from this holiday season.

We first heard about microfinance a few years ago and have been fascinated by it ever since. It's so DIY and personal and operates on the level that we can really see making a difference. There are many organizations that provide microloans and work on microfinance projects around the world. The big boy is the Grameen Foundation and you can donate in a very traditional way (just hand over your cash). But a more intriguing new player on the microloan scene is Kiva. Kiva started earlier this year and works slightly differently. With Kiva, you are a direct lender to a specific small business in one of the countries it works within -- currently Tanzania and Uganda. And then, ultimately, you get your money back (without interest -- don't be greedy), all the while receiving updates about the progress of your business. The personal touch here is a winner.

Heifer International has been around for a while, but we don't think that means it should be forgotten because who wouldn't want to get a goat? Or, at least, have someone else get one on your behalf. If the goat is too pricey, you can give part of a goat -- or our next favorite, the honey bees.