Have you ever wondered how philanthropic organizations figure out which communities need the most support? Well, GiveDirectly has it down to a science — literally!
GiveDirectly is a nonprofit that raises money for the poorest people in the world and then sends them cash directly. To determine who and where those people are, they are now using a unique algorithm. Not only is the process innovative, but it’s also efficient because it doesn’t require physical contact and allows their mission to evolve along with the economy.
The organization started in 2009 and has since delivered more than $300 million to people in need. The bulk of donations have gone to those living in the poorest parts of Africa.
They started out using national surveys and data from other organizations to find their recipients, but now they’re even more accurate thanks to an algorithm that uses artificial intelligence to look for signs of poverty in satellite imagery and phone data. For recipients who don’t have a phone, they provide one!
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It’s amazing how much they can do with a donation. Tony, an 18-year-old high school student in Kenya, received just under $500. He used that money to pay for his school fees, school supplies, and a bicycle to help him get to and from school.
Before GiveDirectly, he had to leave home by 4 a.m. to walk to school in time and would arrive back very late at night. Now, he’s able to bike, allowing him more time for schoolwork and rest!
For most of GiveDirectly’s history, they have provided money to people in impoverished countries. However, since the novel coronavirus pandemic has affected so many Americans, they have also created a U.S. response with the goal of raising $200 million and helping 100,000 families.
While the nonprofit will continue to adapt to COVID-19 concerns, most of their efforts are focused on reaching the poorest people in the world.
The new algorithm is helping them do just that! They hope to expand beyond Africa and North America to South Asia and beyond.
What an incredible way to empower people! We’re so excited to see how GiveDirectly grows.
Learn more about GiveDirectly on their website, and consider donating here. Large or small, it doesn’t matter; all donations are pooled together so every dollar counts! Don’t forget to share this story with your friends to spread the word.
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