Summer Campaign Nominee Profile: GiveDirectly
CAUSE: GLOBAL POVERTY
LOCATION: KENYA, UGANDA
GiveDirectly transfers cash to households in developing countries via mobile phone-linked payment services, targeting extremely low-income households.
GiveDirectly is a 501(3) nonprofit organization focused on “sending money directly to the extreme poor” by “managing transfers end-to-end using electronic monitoring and payment technology.” Founded in 2010, GiveDirectly measures financial performance on two dimensions:
- what it costs to deliver a dollar into the hands of the poor
- what it costs to raise a dollar
Based on GiveDirectly’s 2016 financial statements, the organization transfers 88.4% of donations directly to recipients in East Africa. Furthermore, GiveDirectly spends less than half of one cent ($0.045) per dollar raised which far exceeds most industry standards. GiveDirectly’s ability to transfer and raise money efficiently have resulted in nearly $35 million in transfers through 2017. Direct cash transfers allow families to buy much-needed food and shelter, educate their children, and start small businesses.
- GiveDirectly has provided $79.4M overall since 2011, reaching about 85,000 households or roughly 400,000 people.
The average recipient in Kenya lives on just 65 cents per day.
In a randomized controlled trial, it was found that earnings went up by 34%, assets increased by 52% and children went without food on 42% fewer days after receiving GiveDirectly's cash transfers.
What do you get for your donation?
A $500 donation would provide $450 directly to recipients to use as they wish. An independent impact evaluation has shown that GiveDirectly's cash transfers increase recipients' assets, food security and mental health.
GiveDirectly checks in with people at each stage of the cash transfer process to see how things are going. You may follow along with them at GDLive - a space for recipients of cash transfers to share how they were able to improve their life after receiving a cash transfer.
As an example, after receiving her first $97 installment, recipient Anjelina states that, "I spent my first transfer to buy food, pay school fees for my grandson and start business of selling small fish to earn a living."
Why is GiveDirectly recommended?
- Cash transfers are one of the most thoroughly researched anti-poverty tools. Dozens of high-quality studies have found that cash transfers improve a range of outcomes including child health and schooling, nutrition, and income.
- GiveDirectly is committed to transparently measuring and improving its impact through randomized controlled trials. By targeting the extreme poor (recipients live on $0.65 a day on average), GiveDirectly enables recipients to transform their lives with the cash transfer.