Fundraiser for GiveDirectly
Dean and Laura
We’re raising funds for GiveDirectly, the first non-profit that allows you to give money directly to people living in extreme poverty. They locate recipients in need and use mobile money to send them cash, no strings attached. In the past decade, they’ve delivered $400M+ to over 1M+ people. The research shows that giving cash to people living in poverty can help drive a range of important, positive changes in their lives like employment, nutrition, health, and education. In addition, cash allows individuals to invest in what they need instead of relying on aid organizations and donors thousands of miles away to choose for them.
Dean’s Journey with GiveDirectly:
I first learned about GiveDirectly when I was a college junior and have been a donor ever since. What drew me in was the rigorous academic research that showed the positive effects of unconditional cash transfers and the efficiency with which GiveDirectly doles out cash – 90 cents of every dollar donated is delivered to someone living in extreme poverty. The logic of moving money out of wealthy areas and into poor areas where the money goes farther was intuitive and compelling to me. For me, $1,000 was a round trip flight from San Francisco to New York, but to a GiveDirectly recipient it’s a year’s worth of income.
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to get more involved in GiveDirectly, most recently visiting the organization’s operations in Rwanda. I’ve been consistently impressed with the people and the culture at GiveDirectly. The organization prizes intellectual honesty, and this is evident even in the chart of study results above, which shows both supporting and contradictory survey results. The people I’ve interacted with have been entrepreneurial, ambitious, and data driven – and this has been true everywhere, from headquarters in New York to the field offices in Rwanda.
GiveDirectly’s impact and presence has grown over the years. GiveDirectly has delivered $580 million to ~1.4 million people over the last decade, and most of this was delivered over the last few years, as consensus for direct giving has grown. GiveDirectly was the fastest growing nonprofit in the world in 2020, and its work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Wired, Boston Globe, New York Times, Vox, BBC, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Fortune, Forbes, The View, Devex, The Economist, among others.
Laura’s Journey with GiveDirectly:
I first heard about GiveDirectly in college while researching altruism and reading about the effectiveness of direct cash transfers.
More recently, I became reacquainted with GiveDirectly through Dean, who’s been a donor for nearly a decade. This past August, we visited the organization’s operations in Rwanda and met dozens of recipients over the course of 4 days.
While I’ve always been impressed by GiveDirectly’s rigorous academic research, seeing the impact on recipient lives firsthand brought it to life. Cash transfers have not only transformed their living conditions and livelihoods – it’s also given them a renewed sense of agency and empowerment. The latter is harder to capture in line graphs, but you can hear it in their stories. When you ask a recipient what they would do with another $1,000, they almost always say some version of, “I’m in better hands now; I would give it to someone else.
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