Jacquelline Fuller in the Harvard Business Review: "...GiveDirectly has a new concept: What if cash transfers are used as a standard benchmark against which to measure all development aid? What if every nonprofit that focused on poverty alleviation had to prove they could do more for the poor with a dollar than the poor could do for themselves?"
GiveDirectly in the news this holiday season:
- Dana Goldstein in the Atlantic: "So simple, it's genius."
- Dylan Matthews in the Washinton Post: "The idea, in a way, is so obvious it's hard to believe people hadn't tried to do it on this scale before: ending poverty by giving people money."
- Chris Hayes on MSNBC: "A really exciting new organization... at least 90% of the money you donate will go directly to people who need it."
- Matthew Yglesias at Slate: "There's more to life than just this, but I've come to think that directly transfering cash money to people in need is the most underrated tool around for fighting poverty."
We are pleased to announce that GiveDirectly has received a $2.4M Global Impact Award from Google.
Two things excite us about this project. First, over 90% of the award ($2.21M) is earmarked for direct cash transfers to the poor. Delivering these funds will enable thousands of families to pursue their own goals with no strings attached. Second, the remainder of the award ($190K) will underwrite the fixed costs of setting up operations in a second country. This represents another step towards our goal of providing a global alternative to orthodox philanthropy.
We are happy to share the news that GiveWell, a leading non-profit evaluation group, has updated its evaluations for 2012 and now names GiveDirectly one of three "top-rated" organizations. As you may know, GiveWell's recommendations are extremely selective: their process includes field visits and comprehensive reviews of relevant research, and they ultimately recommend only 1% of the organizations they review.
We are thrilled to welcome Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and editor-in-chief of The New Republic, to our board. Chris's commitment to rigor and honesty in giving align him perfectly with our vision, and he brings a track record of leadership and innovation in both new and old media to our team. Chris has shared his commitment to our work in a personal message to the GiveDirectly community.
GiveWell has completed its full review of GiveDirectly and rated us a "standout organization." GiveWell's recommendations are extremely selective: they look in depth at both operations and impact, and ultimately recommend only 1% of the organizations they review.
Vishnu Sridharan at the New America Foundation has a nice blog post on our approach and where it fits in to the big picture.
Paul recorded a discussion on cash transfers for the BBC with Duncan Green of Oxfam and Mike Jennings of the School of Oriental and African Studies. The (heavily edited) recording is available, and Duncan's follow-up blog post includes some interesting ideas.
We are pleased to have been named a "standout organization" by GiveWell, a highly-respected charity evaluator. To date GiveWell has recommended only 1% of the charities it has reviewed.
Paul writes about the case for cash transfers in Businessweek.
See first-hand what locating and enrolling poor households in Kenya looks like. Jeremy recorded the following footage on his most recent trip to the field.
GiveDirectly has been receiving media attention from Time Magazine and NPR, among others. Some highlights:
- Time Magazine's Moneyland blog called our approach "radical, if obvious." They ask: "Instead of using charitable donations to set up elaborate programs (and to cover hefty administrative costs for those programs), all in the name of helping the poor, why not just give the money directly to poor people, in as efficient a way as possible?"
- NPR's Planet Money blog covered our approach, calling it a "simple but radical"
- The Boston Globe's Braniac blog, which discusses "illuminating thoughts from the world of ideas," wrote about our ongoing evaluation.
- The authors at Marginal Revolution made a donation and blogged about it.
- GiveWell blogged about us, calling us "a charity to watch."
GiveDirectly is pleased to acknowledge a $100,000 grant from the Lampert Family Foundation. The Foundation seeks out novel, unorthodox opportunities for philanthropic investment with the potential to generate extraordinary returns to society. This unrestricted grant will be used primarily for transfers to Kenyan households.
Field staff in Kenya have launched a large-scale evaluation of GiveDirectly's work, funded by the National Institutes of Health and led by Dr. Johannes Haushofer of the University of Zurich in collaboration with GiveDirectly's board.
The evaluation will use the gold-standard randomized controlled trial methodology to provide rigorous evidence on the impacts of cash transfer. The research team will measure effects on traditional measures of well-being (e.g. income, consumption) as well as cortisol, a biomarker for stress. More information on the evaluation is available on our evidence page.