Is There a 'Best' Way to Give?

Here at POINT, we are all about revolutionizing the way millennials interact with charity. But we are also on the lookout for other groups who are revolutionizing charity in their own ways, to see what other people are coming up with. That’s where this article comes in– it talks about a team of four MIT and Harvard graduate students who decided they might be able to be more effective with charity by going straight to the source – giving money directly to the people who need it, no strings attached.

This is unique in the charity world. They identify people who are living in extreme poverty, and give them $1,000. This is not given to an organization to trickle down, or a loan with the need to repay, or conditional based on what the money is used for. It is cold hard cash these people can do whatever they wish with. And for people who are used to living on approximately .65 cents a day, $1,000 can go remarkably far.

It’s still too new to know if this is really more effective than traditional charity methods, but it’s something to keep an eye on… the only way to learn if there is a better way to do something is to try it!

If you were given $1,000 tomorrow in cash, what would you do with it? In the case of recipients of this type of charity, they apparently “are spending their payments mostly on food and home improvements that can vastly improve quality of life, such as installing a weatherproof tin roof. Some families have invested in profit-bearing businesses, such as chicken-rearing, agriculture, or the vending of clothes, shoes, or charcoal.” 

Food, shelter, and investing for the future. It’s a lovely reminder that despite all the differences between human beings around the world from different cultures, there are some things that all of us have in common.

What do you guys think about this new type of direct charitable giving? Too what degree should we consider those who don’t use it for the reasons mentioned above? 

Tweet me (@Grainger_Danger) or email me (sarahgrainger@pointapp.com) with your thoughts about what type of charity you would prefer – direct, free, unrestricted money or more traditional charitable programs and projects?

To meeting universal needs,

Sarah Grainger
Blog Contributor


No guilt trips, no sad stories. Just a chance to do something good.