Should charities give cash to poor people, no strings attached? - New York News

Should charities give cash to poor people, no strings attached?

Updated:

By: Jamshid Ghazi Askar, Deseret News

GiveDirectly, a nonprofit charity founded in 2011, is now drawing a flurry of mainstream media coverage due to its simple-yet-counterintuitive philosophy: Giving cash directly to poor people, no strings attached, is the most efficient form of charity.

“The founders of GiveDirectly (were) a handful of graduate students at Harvard and M.I.T. who were studying the economics of various developing countries,” Jacob Goldstein reported for the New York Times Magazine on Aug. 13. “They chose to situate the charity in Kenya because it was a poor country with a well-developed system for sending money to anyone with a cheap cellphone.

“But they also planned to differentiate their charity; whereas most of the government programs give people money for as long as they qualify, GiveDirectly offers people a one-time grant, spread over the course of several months, and without any requirements.”

On Aug. 16, the public radio program “This American Life” profiled GiveDirectly.

“Giving cash with no strings attached clearly has limits,” Planet Money reporter David Kestenbaum said on “This American Life.” “Even if it works in rural Kenya, it may not work so well in Asia or in urban areas. It won't magically fix all the other things that keep people poor. It won't end civil wars or fix corrupt governments or create new vaccines. But even if it just helps poor people climb up a couple rungs, that would be a huge accomplishment. … There does seem to be this shift that's happening, a shift away from glossy brochures and smiling children and happy anecdotes, a shift toward data. Philanthropy is getting nerdier.”

Months before the New York Times or “This American Life” had reported on GiveDirectly, the Deseret News' Mercedes White wrote a story in April headlined, “No strings attached: How one nonprofit is helping the poor by giving them cash.”

"Because of its rigorous research methods and commitment to outcomes, GiveDirectly has made several powerful allies in the world of development," White reported. "It is currently ranked the second most efficient charity organization by Give Well, a nonprofit rankings group with a reputation for statistical rigor. Google also evaluated the group and came away so impressed that it gave the organization a $2.4 million grant to expand the project to other countries."


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Skydiver dies after crashing into NJ backyard

    Skydiver dies after crashing into NJ backyard

    Sunday, April 20 2014 10:56 PM EDT2014-04-21 02:56:44 GMT
    New Jersey NewsNew Jersey News
    A 49-year-old sky diver from Brooklyn died after crashing into the backyard of a home in New Jersey. According to officials, Arkady Shenker wore a specialized parachute during the jump. Shenker was known to be an experienced skydiver who had over 300 jumps under his belt.
    A 49-year-old sky diver from Brooklyn died after crashing into the backyard of a home in New Jersey. According to officials, Arkady Shenker wore a specialized parachute during the jump. Shenker was known to be an experienced skydiver who had over 300 jumps under his belt.
  • Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76

    Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76

    New Jersey NewsNew Jersey News
    Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, has died at 76.
    Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, has died at 76.
  • 2 children die in overnight NYC fire

    2 children die in overnight NYC fire

    Sunday, April 20 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-20 22:57:33 GMT
    Police say 4-year-old half siblings have died in an overnight fire at a home in New York City, and the twin of one of the children has survived.
    Police say 4-year-old half siblings have died in an overnight fire at a home in New York City, and the twin of one of the children has survived.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices