Research Report Direct Cash Transfer as a Vehicle for Speed, Inclusivity, and Equity
Mary Bogle, Sonia Torres Rodríguez
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, philanthropic entities across the US embraced giving directly—transferring cash to people—as an effective and efficient means of providing relief to those hit hard by the sudden economic and health emergency. Since the onset of the pandemic and in partnership with donors, nonprofit organizations, and local government agencies, the Greater Washington Community Foundation has facilitated the administration of approximately $26 million in funds, distributed in increments of $50 to $2,500 to approximately 60,000 residents across the Greater Washington, DC, region. This report describes the goals, strategies, and short-term achievements of the foundation and its partners in developing and implementing cash transfer strategies at the height of the pandemic. Closer examination of the foundation’s role provides insight for private donors, government agencies, and nonprofits into how partnership with local philanthropy can help them deliver a speedy and equitable response to populations hit hardest by a crisis.

Research Areas Wealth and financial well-being Neighborhoods, cities, and metros Children and youth Social safety net Race and equity Greater DC
Tags Families with low incomes Poverty Racial and ethnic disparities Wages and nonwage compensation Foundations and philanthropy Economic well-being Immigrants and the economy Wealth inequality Unemployment and unemployment insurance
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
Cities Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV