"We give money directly to the poor — no strings attached."
I was skeptical of the idea being pitched to my team. Two decades in philanthropy, including eight years at The Gates Foundation and six at Google Giving, had shown me the power of development done well. Living in India, I saw firsthand how an HIV prevention program could literally save millions of lives. Based on this experience, I believed — like many others — that doing for the poor is a better investment than giving money to them directly. Data from a startup nonprofit calledGiveDirectly changed my opinion.