Direct Giving to Those in Need
February 9, 2014
GiveDirectly is an innovative nonprofit that's pioneering new models to help impoverished families.
GiveDirectly identifies poor households in Kenya and Uganda, and then directly transfers donations to their cell phones. Gift recipients are empowered to do what they want with the money. GiveDirectly doesn't require funds be used for any specific purposes.
Evidence shows that recipients (who live on an average of $0.65 per day) commonly use the funds for food, housing, livestock, education, and activities that result in large income gains.
We think this approach makes a lot of sense:
It's empowering. Instead of being told what to do in order to receive financial assistance, individuals are trusted to use funds as they see fit. This truly embodies the spirit of the "gift."
It's efficient. By focusing on direct transfers, ~93% of every dollar goes into the hands of a recipient. That's after payment transfer fees, enrollment-related costs, and administrative functions.
It's smart. By leveraging mobile payments, satellite imagery, and 3rd-party audits, GiveDirectly shows how a nonprofit can combine modern technology and evidence-based research to create scalable models for change.
We first heard about GiveDirectly through GiveWell, a nonprofit that publishes in-depth charity research and recommendations. GiveDirectly received their #1 recommendation for 2013.
Our heartfelt thanks go to the GiveDirectly team for creating such an efficient vehicle for giving, and to the folks at GiveWell and Good Ventures for their inspiring contributions to the nonprofit ecosystem.