What are we learning from Texas?

Disaster response is, sadly, often a disaster. We give hundreds of millions of dollars to big organizations with great name recognition but poor track records executing. Sometimes we collect truckloads of random stuff and ship it ourselves, hoping that it happens to be what people need. (Guess how that story ends.) If ever there was […]

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On accepting fundraising donations

Donors have been asking us why they can’t direct online donations to pay for fundraising, which could potentially generate tremendous leverage for them (details below). It’s a fair question. Here’s how we think about it. For context, we’re not happy with the status quo in which donors typically have very little information about how their […]

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Long term impacts of cash transfers here at home

In April, a team of researchers from Brown, Toronto, Northwestern, and UCLA published a fascinating study on the long-term impacts of cash transfers in the United States, looking at impacts on kids whose mothers received transfers from a pension program in the 1910s-1930s. The paper isn’t experimental (the US government probably hadn’t seen the memo […]

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Measuring effects

Today we’re introducing a small but substantive change to the way we present impact evaluation results on our landing page. Previously we reported the size of impacts relative to average values in the control group (e.g. a 58% increase in assets); now we report the size of impacts relative to total transfer costs (e.g. a […]

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Doing Good Better (at Scale?)

Will MacAskill’s excellent new book, Doing Good Better, is now on bookshelves. The book lays out the thinking behind the Effective Altruism movement, with thoughtful perspectives on how to do the most good with both money (donating) and time (choosing a career). GiveDirectly features throughout as a highly effective way of working and giving. We […]

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Announcing $25M grant from Good Ventures

This week, Good Ventures announced an unrestricted $25M grant to GiveDirectly (some coverage: Good Ventures post, GiveWell post, Vox, Inside Philanthropy, CNBC, Huffington Post, Forbes). A large investment like this reflects a lot of confidence in the team and the vision, and we’re grateful for that. In just a few short years, the discussion around […]

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GiveWell (re-)recommendation

We’re thrilled that GiveWell has listed us as one of their top recommended charities once again this year. It’s not an easy mountain to climb: GiveWell reviews hundreds of organizations in unbelievable depth, and recommends very few – this year, only four. I’m grateful to my teammates here at GiveDirectly, as their strong performance is […]

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Fighting fraud in Uganda

We recently dealt with our worst fraud case to date, with 2% of a round of transfers in Uganda diverted. This incident brought to light vulnerabilities which we have since addressed, and we don’t expect changes in performance going forward. We are making it a point to write openly about this case, however, because nonprofits […]

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Corruption: The Elephant in the Room

In discussions of international development, corruption is often the elephant in the room. Funders don’t like to hear about it; nonprofits and governments don’t like to talk about it. During routine visits to recipients, our field team uses technology that automatically records a time and GPS marker for each piece of data they collect. But […]

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