Contemporary models of giving, like GiveDirectly, offer the capacity to send funds directly to households across the globe, but is this new or a return to charity?
"Since 2011, GiveDirectly has offered donors a new way to direct their charitable dollars: they can transfer money to poor households in Kenya and let the recipients decide what to do with it. Advocates of these unconditional cash transfers stress their efficiency (over 90 cents on every dollar reaches poor households) as well as evidence from randomized control trials suggesting that the transfers lead to longer-term improvements in recipients’ lives.
"GiveDirectly and other programs for unconditional cash transfers have been celebrated as innovative, even revolutionary. In a sense, this is puzzling: as models of charity go, what could be less innovative than just giving money to the poor? Indeed, one way of understanding the direct-giving movement is as a regression from more ambitious philanthropic models to “mere” charity."--Emma Saunders-Hastings, HistPhil.org