Emergency response

Boston + Cambridge COVID-19 Fund

Help us to help them

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Help Boston + Cambridge Area families impacted by COVID-19

In light of COVID-19, GiveDirectly is delivering cash to families living in the Boston-Cambridge MSA enrolled in SNAP (a federal nutrition assistance program). Each will receive $1K.

The spread of COVID-19 and the economic shutdown it has triggered are hitting hardest the most vulnerable families in our communities. Some are forced to make impossible choices between essentials – food, rent, or medical attention. You can act to change this.

And because this crisis affects us all in a way that no other has, it also invites us all to put ourselves in each other’s shoes. Giving directly is a way to do that.

About GiveDirectly and the Fund

The Boston + Cambridge Area Cash Relief Fund was created by leaders in the technology community.

GiveDirectly is the leading global non-profit specialized in digital cash transfers. Over the past decade it has raised 300M for the extreme poor and for those affected by disasters. It is top-rated by GiveWell, 100% rated by Charity Navigator, and has consistently ranked among Fast Company’s most innovative companies. It is among the leaders in the global movement towards digital cash transfers, featuring regularly in the New York Times, This American Life, the Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and the Economist among others.


Is my donation tax-deductible? 

Yes, donations are tax-deductible in the United States. GiveDirectly is a registered 501(c)(3), and our U.S. federal EIN is 27-1661997.

How much of my donation does a recipient receive?

The number will depend on the total amount contributed. In previous emergency responses we have consistently delivered over $0.90 of every dollar directly to recipients. The other costs of delivering transfers are those required to deliver the funds themselves, prevent fraud, and provide responsive service to beneficiaries.


How do I know recipients will spend cash appropriately?

Both here in the United States and internationally, extensive research shows clearly that households living in poverty generally spend transfers responsibly in ways that improve their lives. The stereotypes that recipients waste or misuse cash or become dependent on it do not hold up in the data (Evans and Popova, 2016; Banerjee et al, 2017). More information is available on our evidence page.

Isn’t the government giving out cash?

We’re glad to see governments setting up their own cash programs, and want them to scale as much as is feasible. We’ve been implementing and advocating for direct transfers for over a decade, and think the bipartisan support reflects the strength of the evidence, and how far the conversation has come.

That said, government responses, while large in scale, can’t meet the full need — whether by excluding some of the most vulnerable (e.g., elderly, undocumented, etc.), not providing sufficient resources, or simply reaching people too late.

What if you get more funds than recipients?

The GiveDirectly team will do our best to get your donation to a family living in your recommended zip code. If for some reason GiveDirectly can’t grant funds to recipients in the zip code you recommend, we reserve the right to reallocate funds to other regions (for example, if fewer recipients respond to us than anticipated or if we’ve already paid all the potential recipients in a given zip code). This won’t happen often. No matter what, we’ll ensure your funds end up in the hands of low-income families in need in the United States.