Guaranteed Income and Direct Cash Transfers

Guaranteed Income and Direct Cash Transfers

Direct, unconditional cash transfers and guaranteed income programs  are one of the best means of addressing financial insecurity. Guaranteed income been used to address a range of issues including mental health, physical health, children’s school achievement, and employment. Unlike in-kind assistance (e.g., food, clothing, housing) guaranteed income’s flexibility allows people to handle their most pressing needs as needs arise.

What is guaranteed income?

Guaranteed income, sometimes called guaranteed basic income or basic income, is a cash payment provided on a regular basis to members of a community with no strings attached and no work requirements. It is intended to create an income floor below which no one can fall.

Guaranteed income focuses on specific individuals within a community, ensuring that those with the greatest need are prioritized for assistance.

What are outcomes from guaranteed income programs?

  • Reduced income volatility
  • Increased full-time employment
  • Improved health and well-being
  • Reduced depression and anxiety
  • Diminished feelings of financial scarcity and new opportunities for self-determination, choice, goal-setting and risk-taking.

Guaranteed Income: A Primer for Funders

Created by Asset Funders Network, the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, Economic Security Project, and Springboard to Opportunities, this primer was developed to educate funders on the ways in which guaranteed income and related cash-based policies not only strengthen low and moderate income communities and communities of color, but also build a healthy and more resilient economy for us all.

In this downloadable PDF, you’ll find:

  • An introduction to guaranteed income
  • An overview of existing cash-based government policies
  • Real-world case examples of how funders are supporting and
    promoting guaranteed income programs
  • Lessons learned from recent guaranteed income efforts
Guaranteed Income: A Primer for Funders cover

A panel of funders discuss how to create social impact through the flexible tool of direct cash transfers.


Nonprofits Making an Impact

Here we provide great examples worthy of your support that also serve as models for the kinds of nonprofits to look for that are using guaranteed income or direct cash transfers as a tool for social impact. Each profile includes a look at how the organization works, how you can help, and more opportunities to support other nonprofits doing related work.

Our Sponsor

Spring Point Partners

Rooted in Philadelphia, Spring Point Partners is a social impact organization that takes a collaborative approach to creating positive change within communities. With equity and social justice as our guideposts, we partner with individuals and institutions to support transformative impact.

Research Partners

Asset Funders Network

Asset Funders Network (AFN) brings together grantmakers and stakeholders from across the spectrum, providing insights and connections to help our members serve individuals, families and communities effectively. Their members include changemakers from private, public, corporate and community foundations, public-sector funders, and financial institutions, working collectively to help low and moderate income people achieve a more secure financial future.

Center for Guaranteed Income Research

The Center for Guaranteed Income Research (CGIR) is an applied research center specializing in cash-transfer research, evaluation, pilot design, and narrative change. We provide mixed-methods expertise in designing and executing empirical guaranteed income studies that work alongside the existing safety net. CGIR’s team, headed by its Founding Directors, Dr. Amy Castro and Dr. Stacia West, lead the design and research for the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED), and serve as the centralized research partners for Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI).

Economic Security Project

The Economic Security Project challenges this status quo by catalyzing ideas that build economic power for all Americans. They serve as convener, strategist and funder. They disburse grants, identify gaps, develop communications research to inform the movements and coordinate events and convenings to encourage investment and action from others. They aim to support the emerging leaders in the economic justice field and ensure they have the networks, know-how, and money to succeed.

Springboard to Opportunities

Springboard To Opportunities connects families living in affordable housing with resources and programs that help them advance themselves in school, work and life. They do this by working directly with families, as well as by establishing strategic partnerships with other organizations that help residents achieve their goals.