- Region of impact
- Africa, United States
- Total funding
- $2.4 million
- Funding began in
- Economic Opportunity
Empowering the most marginalized communities through direct cash transfers
What they do
Studies suggest that 700 million people around the world live in extreme poverty. People who are fighting for immediate essentials are rarely able to invest in their future. And unfortunately, many nonprofits designed to offer set types of goods and services aren’t able to meet the unique needs of individual recipients affected by the world’s worst crises.
GiveDirectly has very a different idea: that an effective way to have a long-term impact on humanitarian crises is to give people direct cash transfers with no strings attached. Funds are delivered via simple mobile transfers. Recipients can then invest the money in whatever is most pressing - whether that be planting crops, replacing a roof, avoiding debt, or sending their kids to a better school. No matter the decision, GiveDirectly meticulously tracks each donation in order to ensure that the aid is being spent effectively, and invests in robust fraud detection and prevention systems.
All this data collection has also produced a larger revelation. GiveDirectly's ongoing research shows that letting the most marginalized communities be their own financial decision makers doesn’t just lift them out of poverty, but has a ripple effect that influences everything from local market rebound, agriculture and labor practices to education and women’s rights.
How we're helping
Google.org has supported GiveDirectly’s work since its early days. Google.org saw so much potential in GiveDirectly’s research that we gave them a $2.4 million grant in 2012. The grant helped the organization scale direct cash transfers to more Kenyan families and duplicate its program in Uganda. Two years later, a second round of funding enabled GiveDirectly to expand to additional countries in East Africa as well as conduct a study in Western Kenya. With Google.org’s support, GiveDirectly has impacted the lives of more than 75,000 people living in poverty in East Africa.
A study released last year on GiveDirectly’s work in Rwanda found that large cash transfers had a meaningful and significant effect on reducing malnutrition when compared to an existing nutrition program. This research highlights the importance of benchmarking various interventions against cash programming. The framework of benchmarking against cash is now being used by USAID in several studies in the development space, helping to bring greater efficiency to their work.
Want to save the world? Try using cold hard cash
May 24, 2016VIEW STORY
GiveDirectly's breakthrough 'Free Money' Model grows as evidence mounts
February 10, 2014VIEW STORY
The charity that just gives money to poor people
August 23, 2013VIEW STORY
Want to help people? Just give them money
March 28, 2013VIEW STORY