GiveDirectly was founded by Michael Faye, Paul Niehaus, Jeremy Shapiro, and Rohit Wanchoo, who were studying economic development at Harvard and MIT at the time and also looking for the most effective way to give their own money to reduce poverty.

They found that cash transfers had a strong evidence base, and that the rapid growth of mobile payments technology in emerging markets had opened the door to delivering cash transfers securely and efficiently on an unprecedented scale.

They created GiveDirectly as a private giving circle in 2009 and opened it to the public in 2011 after two years of operational testing.

Back to List