Quality of Life Fund

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The Quality of Life Fund is the preferred option for donors who are seeking programs oriented toward sustained economic development through essential infrastructure improvements and business. The charities benefiting promote financial security and local investment with unconditional cash transfers, agriculture diversification and productivity programs, and business mentoring, as well as other initiatives. Breaking the cycle of poverty by creating economic opportunity gives back dignity and agency.

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Key Strengths: Evidence, Scale, Depth of impact, Durability

Multidimensional Poverty Index Indicators: Cooking fuel, Sanitation, Drinking water, Electricity, Housing, Assets

Other Key Outcomes: Income increase, Disease burden

  

Why donate to the Quality of Life Fund?

From the viewpoint of a wealthy country where many take our survival needs being met for granted, it is vital to acknowledge that people living in extreme poverty lack access to safe cooking fuel, basic housing, and water and toilet sanitation. These individuals know what they need to shape their lives outside the constraints of extreme poverty. Additionally, the majority of people experiencing these levels of poverty live in rural areas, making agricultural income and productivity essential to their livelihood. According to the World Bank, agricultural productivity is one of the key tools to reduce extreme poverty in low income countries, with research suggesting that driving growth in the agricultural sector could be two to four times more effective at increasing incomes.

Globally, in terms of multidimensional poverty dimensions, the least progress has been made in living standards; however, it is an excellent example of how multiple deprivations intersect. A lack of adequate sanitation makes people more vulnerable to infectious disease. Low earnings among adults and low agricultural productivity means children do not attend school in an effort to help families grow enough food to survive. Clean cooking methods positively impact respiratory health for children. With incentives that work to improve the primary conditions of sustained living, people will have greater opportunities for health and can invest their time and energy in other areas of their lives.

Share of the urban population living in slums, 2020

A slum household is defined as a group of individuals living under the same roof lacking one or more of the following conditions: access to improved water, access to improved sanitation, sufficient living area, durability of housing, and security of tenure.

Data source: UN Human Settlements Programme – OurWorldInData.org/urbanization | CC BY


What is the intended impact of the Quality of Life Fund?

  • Providing unconditional cash transfers, which leads to increased earnings and assets, and reduces food insecurity in children.
  • Deploying programs that improve business profits, such as financial assistance, training, and increasing the accessibility of key inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers, and tools.
  • Providing access to safe water and vital healthcare services, such as eyesight restoration and fistula repair, which, in addition to improving individuals’ health and well-being, dramatically increases their ability to support themselves.

How do we measure impact?

Our research team works closely with our recommended nonprofits, actively monitoring their progress on key outcomes. These outcomes focus on the living standards dimensions and indicators of the Multidimensional Poverty Index. Our recommended charities work to improve key outcomes such as household income, adequate housing, ownership of productive assets, and access to safe water and sanitation. We explore the sources of impact metrics, ranging from internal monitoring and evaluation data, to external impact evaluations, including randomized controlled trials. In evaluating the impact of our recommended charities and projecting their future potential, we analyze the convergence of evidence from diverse sources, including external evaluations and the broader literature on specific interventions. Additionally, we assess the impact of our grants and their ability to strengthen the ecosystem of high-impact organizations. Key questions are central to these evaluations, such as: 

  • Do our grants effectively realize their intended objectives? 
  • Are our recommended nonprofits making tangible progress towards their goals on an annual basis? 
  • Are these organizations able to secure additional funding and expand the reach of their programs? 

The successful scaling and increased financial backing of our recommended charities serve as indicators of achievement for our team.

Read more about how we measure impact

To learn more about our research and evaluation process, please refer to the following links:


How does the Quality of Life Fund work?

Our research team establishes annual funding goals for each recommended charity through our ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and understanding of funding needs across our fund of recommendations. These goals inform the percentage allocated to each charity within the fund.

We actively review funding goals and determine fund allocations every six months. You have the option of giving 100% to charities – or sending 90% of your donation to the charities and 10% towards our operations. We give this option because we do not charge donors fees, but rather raise funds for our own operations separately.

Read the current Quality of Life Fund allocations.


Who are the Quality of Life Fund recipients and what is their demonstrated impact?

Seva is a global eye care nonprofit whose mission is to transform lives and strengthen communities by restoring sight and preventing blindness. Seva works with underserved communities in more than 20 countries across Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Their annual demonstrated impact includes:

  • Reaching over 6.5 million individuals.
  • Establishing 27 new vision centers serving underserved communities, providing over 3.6 million people with access to eye care.
  • Screening 332,963 children for eye problems.
  • Giving 59,000 kids glasses.
  • Operating on 12,110 children to preserve or restore their vision.
  • Training 4,719 individuals, ranging from doctors to community health promoters, in eye care.

One Acre Fund helps smallholder African farmers boost productivity by delivering a bundle of services directly to their doorsteps, including start-up financing, high-quality farming inputs, agricultural training, and market facilitation to help maximize profits. These tools help farmers increase their yield per acre, sales, and household income. Their annual demonstrated impact includes:

  • Boosting incomes by an average of 40%, translating to $115 in new profits, by helping farmers improve their farm productivity in Burundi and Rwanda.
  • Equipping farmers to achieve $316 million in new profits and assets through their full-service program and partnerships, marking over $1 billion in cumulative farmer impact generated since their founding in 2006.
  • Planting 200 million cost-effective tree seedlings, with a trajectory to reach 1 billion trees by 2030. 
  • Launching a full-scale program in Nigeria after five years of pilot operations, which will contribute towards improved food security and climate resilience.

GiveDirectly provides unconditional cash transfers using cellphone technology to some of the world’s poorest people, as well as refugees, urban youth, and disaster victims. They also are currently running a historic Universal Basic Income initiative, delivering a basic income to 20,000+ people in Kenya in a twelve-year study. Their annual demonstrated impact includes:

  • Sending cash transfers to 139,968 people in 12 countries. 
  • Improving government relations to scale their Africa-based poverty relief programs, refining their ability to respond to international crises.
  • Scoping expansion in India and Bangladesh.

The Fred Hollows Foundation has restored sight to more than 2.5 million people. Their work includes supporting programs to deliver more than 200 million doses of antibiotics for trachoma, working with communities to improve their own eye health through life-changing surgeries and treatments, training doctors and health workers, and pushing for change at all levels. Their annual demonstrated impact includes:

  • Serving over 500,000 patients with eye operations and treatments. 
  • Providing over 4 million people with antibiotics for trachoma. 
  • Training over 50,000 surgeons, nurses, and teachers.

Fistula Foundation is the global leader in treating obstetric fistula, a devastating childbirth injury that leaves women incontinent and often humiliated and shunned by their communities. In addition to covering direct surgery costs, Fistula Foundation also supports surgeon training, facilities equipment, grassroots community outreach, and holistic post-surgery reintegration. Their annual demonstrated impact includes:

  • Providing over 10,000 surgeries to repair childbirth injuries, including fistula.
  • Supporting 8 new treatment partners throughout Africa, expanding fistula repair services into Liberia and Sierra Leone. 
  • Launching a new treatment network in Tanzania.

Evidence Action operates three main initiatives: Dispensers for Safe Water installs and maintains chlorine dispensers in rural Africa; The Deworm the World Initiative partners with governments in India, Nigeria, and Pakistan for school-based deworming programs; Evidence Action’s Accelerator drives new program development, refining high-potential and cost-effective interventions. Their annual demonstrated impact includes:

  • Improving safe drinking water, which saved an estimated more than 15,000 lives of children under 5 and averting over 3 million diarrhea cases in young children. 
  • Reaching over 515 million people globally with interventions since their founding.

Village Enterprise equips the extreme poor in Africa with resources to start sustainable businesses through a four-part program: entrepreneurship training, a cash grant, business mentoring, and a savings group. Village Enterprise also has a sustained focus on increasing gender equity. In 2021, 83% of first-time entrepreneurs in the program were women. Their annual demonstrated impact includes:

  • Launching operations in Ethiopia with the DREAMS for Refugees partnership with Mercy Corps, which aims to start 1,200 businesses within the year and 3,600 businesses long term. 
  • Integrating their poverty graduation model, which provide business mentorship, seed capital, and savings and investment training, into government social protection programs in Kenya and Rwanda.

RTV partners with last mile communities in Sub-Saharan Africa to address ultra-poverty with a holistic, data-informed, and sustainable model that increases household income and earnings to over $2.00/day within 24 months.


Fund Manager

Our team works to recommend high-impact donations. Contact us if you have questions about giving to the Quality of Life Fund.

Matias Nestore

Matias Nestore

Senior Associate, Research and Evaluation

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