Are you asking this 3-word question before you give?

Shout out to The Atlantic for asking our favorite question regarding charitable support:

A new trend within the humanitarian sector—the increasing popularity of simply transferring cash to people in need—now allows for the establishment of a charitable benchmark. In other words, before a donor gives a gift—say, to support an agricultural training program in sub-Saharan Africa, or to provide food in the aftermath of an earthquake in Pakistan—they would first ask themselves if their money would be better spent if given directly to the same aid recipients and letting them decide what to do with the money. A no-strings-attached transfer of funds may sound indiscriminate, but as a panel of development researchers from the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) pronounced last year , “Cash transfers are among the most well-researched and rigorously-evaluated humanitarian tools of the last decade,” and should be thought of “as the ‘first best’ response to crises.” Given that the evidence has shown cash transfers to be an inexpensive and “highly effective way to reduce suffering,” the panel’s report went on, “The question that should be asked is ‘Why not cash?’”

‘Why not cash?’ is the essential question. Recent studies have shown – repeatedly – that giving cash directly to the people who need it most helps them much more than a filtered donation. ‘Why not cash?’ is the driving force behind Buoy Up’s desire to make giving easier, and the reason d’être for organizations like Give Directly.

We live in a world where donations filtered through some of the largest charities never make it to the recipients (we’re giving you the side-eye Red Cross, Wounded Warrior, and Susan G Komen). We want to help you give to the charities that actually give to the intended recipients in a way that’s easy for you. But even more, we want to encourage you to get involved in lifting up the people around you – however that looks for you.

What do you think of The Atlantic’s asking “Why not cash?” Let us know on Twitter.

image credit Marco Bello, Reuters, via The Atlantic

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