Giving cash is a direct, dignified, and proven way to reduce poverty.
Our programs deliver donor and government dollars directly to Americans in need.
Cash for Parents and Babies
Rx Kids, the first citywide prenatal and infant cash allowance program in the U.S., aims to reduce child poverty and improve maternal and infant health in Flint.
$1,500 prenatal transfer to expectant parents + $500 monthly for their baby’s first year of life
~6,000 over 5 years
In the first evaluation of a citywide cash program aimed at mothers and babies, we’ll measure impacts at the individual and community level, including on maternal and infant health, local employment and investment, the rate of people moving in and out of Flint, and more.
Guaranteed Income Program
In Her Hands is the largest program in the U.S. focused on supporting Black women through no-strings-attached cash transfers and the largest guaranteed income program in the South; led in partnership with the Georgia Resilience and Opportunity (GRO) Fund.
Average of $850 monthly for 2 years
654 to date
In Her Hands aims to support Black women experiencing financial insecurity in Georgia to achieve greater income stability and overcome wealth decelerators. The evaluation of this program uses a mixed methods approach that centers recipients’ voices and aims to generate insights to promote more racially inclusive, just, and sustainable social safety net models and policies in the U.S.
We respond to large-scale natural disasters that threaten the livelihoods of low-income families in the U.S. Since 2017, we’ve distributed one-time emergency cash relief to over 10,000 families in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, Ian, and Fiona.
Varies by response
11,100 to date
When natural disasters hit, the sooner affected families receive cash, the sooner they can begin to put their lives back together. Through A.I. damage predictions and remote targeting, enrollment, and payment in partnership with Google.org and Propel, we can deliver disaster relief that’s quicker, more targeted, and better for survivors than in-kind aid. Read more→
COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS
Guaranteed Income Pilot
In partnership with Cook County, the Cook County Promise Pilot aims to inform the design of a permanent, countywide guaranteed income program.
$500 monthly for 2 years
This program will build on the success of guaranteed income programs across the country in increasing residents’ financial stability. The Promise Pilot aims to improve participants’ financial and health outcomes, as well as understand the impacts of direct cash assistance on both individuals and their communities.
The largest privately-funded cash transfer program in U.S. history, which reached nearly 200,000 families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Between March 2020 and October 2021, GiveDirectly digitally delivered one-time relief payments to nearly 200,000 low-income households. Recipients waited ~2 days between enrolling in the program and receiving payments. In recipients’ own words, these transfers helped provide fast, flexible relief, allowing them to keep their homes, reduce stress, and avoid debt. Read more→
Guaranteed Income Pilot
In partnership with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot delivered monthly financial assistance to city residents and serves as a template for future anti-poverty programs.
$500 monthly for 1 year
The City of Chicago is partnering with the University of Chicago Inclusive Economy Lab on a mixed methods research study to understand how the program affects residents’ financial and overall well-being. There are three aspects of the research: surveys, interviews, and linkages to administrative data, like education records or credit scores. Read more→
Poverty in the U.S.
The U.S. spends about what most wealthy countries spend on social protection, yet 37.9M Americans are still living in poverty. The U.S. currently has the second highest poverty rate relative to national income of any wealthy country in the world.
Much of this social spending is poured into poorly designed programs that carry excessive bureaucratic burden, leaving a quarter of eligible families unable to access the support they need to meet their basic needs and invest in their future. And when programs do reach people in need, they often comes with invasive, time-consuming applications and paternalistic conditions.
We know unconditional cash works to dramatically reduce poverty, without imposing excessive and unhelpful barriers to entry. With your support, we can continue building the case for cash-based government interventions and shift more aid directly into the hands of families in need.
Frequently Asked Questions
+Can I apply to receive money?
At this time, we are not accepting applications for cash transfers. Our U.S. programs are targeted to specific populations, who are then invited to participate in a program. More information here.
If you are currently enrolled in one of our programs, please submit your questions here and we’ll respond within three business days.
If you are currently enrolled and would like to share concerns about your interactions with our staff, please email us here and we will respond as soon as we are able.
+Can I choose who receives my donation?
No. As a donor, you cannot choose an individual recipient. Practically speaking, if we did, we would risk being regulated as a money transfer service and losing our charitable status. Philosophically, we work to target people in greatest need, and not those with the most compelling profiles or narratives.
+Don’t donations go further overseas?
Objectively, a dollar will have more impact on a Kenyan living on under $2.15/day than an American living on ~$50/day.
However, we believe working in the U.S. gives us an opportunity to create meaningful change in the lives of low-income Americans and the policies that impact them. It also drives innovation and grows donor-support for our international work. Read more on why we work in the U.S.