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Why I give directly: A strong guarantee

Avian Weber writes from Australia about the qualities he looks for in a successful non-profit organization in the latest post from our “why I give directly” blog series.

Donating money and giving to the poor have always been close to my heart. After traveling through numerous developing countries, including India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, it became apparent that I could have a significant impact on the lives of those less fortunate with what I considered only a small amount of money. I saw lives and families transformed in this way.

Black and white headshot of Avian Weber


Now I’m back in Australia and, although there will always be people in need, I’ve found it very difficult to find causes here with the same potential impact as those in developing nations. The government services in Australia are by no means perfect, but a person living on the streets here has many options available to help her out of that situation that do not exist in other parts of the world.

When selecting a charity to give to, I wanted to know where my funding was going, and how I could best hand my money over to those in greatest need. GiveDirectly is a super organization that puts over 85% of your donation directly into the hands of those in need. What better way to give? Few other charities can provide such a strong guarantee, with such a great reputation.

GiveWell’s endorsement guided my decision, and I had great confidence in the highly experienced board of young academics and entrepreneurs. President and co-founder Paul Niehaus graciously spoke to me on the phone when I first made contact with the team to ask some questions, and it was a great opportunity to get to know the organization on a more personal level.

We have now established a group, Australian Friends of GiveDirectly, and have been donating to the organization ever since. I hope to one day join a team on the ground in one of the countries that has been impacted by this wonderful organization.