Direct Cash Assistance Funds

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests one of the most effective ways to support people in moving toward economic security is to provide direct cash. The fundamental philosophy behind cash transfers is a belief that people should be trusted to make decisions for themselves. Unrestricted, cash payments that do not require recipients to participate in certain programs  — like education or workforce training —  to remain eligible, give people power and agency over their futures.

Direct Cash Assistance

Support Services

We are ready to be a resource and partner with you to:

Design and Develop Direct Cash Assistance programs

  • Impact Charitable works with funder and community partners to design and develop bespoke DCA programs

Program Development and Management

  • In partnership with AidKit (payment platform), Impact Charitable offers complete DCA fund management, CBO training, payment processing, data collection and reporting.

Monitoring and Evaluation Direct Cash Assistance programs

  • We work with both internal and external evaluation resources to understand the impact of Direct Cash Assistance programs and share the results in order to advance the field.
The Case - In Detail

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests one of the most effective ways to support people in moving toward economic security is to provide direct cash. The fundamental philosophy behind cash transfers is a belief that people should be trusted to make decisions for themselves. Unrestricted, cash payments that do not require recipients to participate in certain programs  — like education or workforce training —  to remain eligible, give people power and agency over their futures.

There is a long history demonstrating how large scale cash assistance programs in the U.S. have created positive outcomes for individuals. Using 30 years of data, researchers Bastian and Jones concluded that the Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the least expensive anti-poverty programs in the U.S. The Alaskan Permanent Fund Dividend pays a yearly dividend of around $1,600 to state residents since 1982. There has been no evidence of a decrease in labor market participation. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Basic Income, started in 1996, provides $500 plus per person per year and has shown many positive effects like reduced behavioral and emotional problems in children, and less depression, anxiety and alcohol dependence in adults¹.

Last year, millions of families across the U.S faced a crisis during the pandemic: job loss, eviction, child care, health issues, and more. In response, there was an explosion of emergency direct cash transfer programs. Cash transfers proved to be a much more cost effective and efficient solution in enabling families to solve their problems. Since then, many nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, and government agencies have transitioned to identifying opportunities to regularly use cash transfers as a tool for economic stability.

In 2020, former Mayor Michael Tubbs of Stockton, California founded Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a network of mayors advocating for a guaranteed income to ensure that all Americans have an income floor. There are now 57 Mayors who have joined the network, 25 of which are in the midst of implementing or planning a guaranteed income pilot. Likewise, in the last few months, dozens of other pilots led by community-based organizations and philanthropy across the U.S are getting off the ground. Many of these pilots target specific populations, like low-income families, families with young children, transitional foster care youth, those experiencing homelessness, pregnant women, or recently incarcerated. While we know that cash transfers are effective in reducing poverty, we do yet have a grasp on how they impact other outcomes. These pilots play a pivotal role in informing policy that could offer solutions to addressing the root causes of poverty.

The experience of Impact Charitable with the Left Behind Workers Fund, the first of its supported Direct Cash Assistance programs, prompted interest and ideas in other projects where the process and technology created during COVID-19 could be used for additional focus populations. This growing body of work currently has two active funds, the Left Behind Workers Fund and the Denver Basic Income Project, and other projects in the development phase.  Impact Charitable remains committed to utilizing the Direct Cash Assistance Fund model to continue to support families and communities. If you are interested in learning more about establishing a DCAF, please contact us

¹Jain Family Institute. 2021. “Guaranteed Income in the U.S: A toolkit of best practices, resources, and existing models of planned and on-going research in the U.S.” https://www.jainfamilyinstitute.org/assets/JFI-U.S.-Guaranteed-Income-Toolkit-May-2021.pdf.

Left Behind Workers Fund

Tens of thousands of workers in Colorado didn’t receive stimulus checks or other Federal financial aid. The undocumented and other workers in our community lost jobs due to COVID-19, or haven’t been able to find work at the capacity they once did, and they need our help. They are not eligible for either unemployment insurance or the Federal stimulus funds.

To fill this pressing humanitarian need, the Left Behind Workers Fund (LBWF) was established and has been in operation since April 2020. The project distributes cash grants to individuals and families across the state, and we are seeking continued support of this fund to serve the thousands of more people in need.

Together with trusted nonprofit partners that specifically serve lower-wage workers and undocumented immigrants, Impact Charitable’s Left Behind Workers Fund disburses payments of $1,000 to those individuals impacted during and post-pandemic.  The goal is to empower people who do not have access to any relief programs, to address their most pressing needs (food, rent, bills, health, transportation, etc.).  

In order to deliver LBWF grants efficiently  and securely , the team built a custom digital platform which reviews applications and issues payments. Applicants can easily complete the application and upload any necessary documents using their mobile devices.

From application submission, it takes only 7-10 days to issue payments to qualified applicants, and the program offers a variety of payment options to ensure we can serve banked and unbanked individuals. The application platform is intuitive and easy-to-use, but we also provide instructions and support in multiple languages.

The project was possible through partnerships with trusted community-based organizations across the state to screen individuals and complete the application process. The LBWF has a growing network of over 20+ screening organizations for cash assistance and/or rental assistance. To apply for this assistance, we encourage applicants to reach out directly to LBWF screening organizations that are located in their region to learn more.

  • Adelante Community Development
  • Alianza Norco
  • Amigos de Mexico
  • AMISTAD
  • Aurora Community Connection
  • CBOCES
  • Compañeros: Four Corners Immigrant Resource Center
  • Conectando
  • DPS Homeless Education Network (HEN)
  • El Centro Humanitario
  • El Comite
  • Family & Intercultural Resource Center
  • Focus Points
  • Full Circle
  • GES
  • Hispanic Affairs Project
  • LaMedichi – Manaus
  • Lifespan Local
  • Mi Casa
  • Pueblo’s Family Resource Center
  • SARCO
  • Servicios De La Raza
  • Village Exchange Center (Natural Helpers)

Denver Basic Income Project

The Denver Basic Income Project (DBIP) is giving basic income to individuals experiencing homelessness with the goal of building a healthier society grounded in social justice and centered around improving human thriving. We can do better than our current social safety net. This project is possible through the generosity of private donors, corporate leaders and caring foundations. 

The Denver Basic Income Project believes that providing direct cash payments to the unhoused empowers individuals to make decisions to best suit their needs and provides dignity and agency over their lives. Basic Income is an unconditional, no strings attached approach to providing an income floor to our most vulnerable neighbors. Through direct cash payments, basic income shortens the path to stable housing, reduces income volatility, and provides opportunity for stable employment. We are working alongside community partners long invested in the care and success of our homeless neighbors. Together with their trust, we will transform the way in which people rise up.

The project is set to launch in August of 2021. 

Mission

The Denver Basic Income Project serves the unhoused by examining the impact of direct cash distributions in an effort to encourage a healthier society centered around human thriving.

Impact Charitable is acting as the Fiscal Sponsor for this project, working in partnership with Aidkit, CHHR (University of Denver), and a multitude of community-based organizations to implement one of the largest guaranteed basic income projects in the country. 

Learn more about the DBIP.

MAKing Daf Easy

Easy-to-Use Platform

Impact Charitable has an easy-to-use platform for DAF holders to use allowing them to see their fund balance, recommend grants and access other important information. If you have a fund with Impact Charitable, you can log in below.

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