Not only do the nonprofits on our “recommended” list deliver effective, impactful poverty interventions, but many have features on their websites that let you get a deeper feel for that work and what your donation is actually doing.
DMI’s Radio and T.V. Campaigns
Development Media International (DMI) is a pioneer in creating and delivering mass media campaigns that change health behaviors and save children’s and mothers’ lives. Impact modeling suggests that DMI’s radio campaign on maternal and child health in Burkina Faso saved over 8,700 lives in the past three years.
You can also see two animations created by award winning animator Yoni Goodman that have been run in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (with English subtitles), titled “Neighbours” and “Big Sister,” here. DMI’s evaluation partner in DRC – the Kinshasa School of Public Health – found that this family planning campaign significantly increased the number of women using modern contraceptives. Women who had heard the campaign were also more likely to seek advice from a health agent or discuss family planning options with their partner.
GiveDirectly, as the name implies, provides direct cash transfers to the extreme poor so they can make improvements in their lives as they see fit. GD is committed to passing on 91% of every dollar directly to recipients and to transparency throughout their process. This emphasis on transparency led to development of GDLive, where you can see photos of clients and statements in their own words, in real time, relating what they have chosen to spend their funds on, and how it has impacted their lives and families. (Clients opt into doing this–it is not required). You do not need to be a donor to read these client accounts on the GD website, or to sign up to follow a client as they report on their impressions and progress at each stage of the cash transfer process.
Questions recipients are asked include:
- What is the biggest hardship you’ve faced in your life?
- Describe the biggest difference in your daily life since you started receiving payments from GiveDirectly.
- In your opinion, what does GiveDirectly do well, and what does it not do well?
- What did you spend your transfer on?
The GD website also has an informative “Evidence” page with sections on research about cash transfers and GD’s own work and research.
Fred Hollows Foundation’s Sight Simulator
Fred Hollows Foundation provides a range of eye health interventions to protect and restore the sight of those living in extreme poverty. Their website features a Sight Simulator that lets you see what different levels of vision impairment actually “look” like. Using the simulator, which is based on Google Street View, you can enter an address and see what that location would look like if you had cataracts, retinopathy or glaucoma, with varying degrees of severity. You’ve heard of walking a mile in someone’s shoes; the Sight Simulator allows you to spend a few minutes looking through someone else’s eyes. The experience makes it clear how much good your donation can do by supporting such services as trachoma screening, eyeglass dispensing, or low-cost 10-minute cataract surgery that literally “cures” blindness.
Try it out here: http://www.hollows.org/sightsimulator/