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Google, Rihanna Join Fintech-Powered Effort To Donate $100 Million To Consumers Hardest Hit By Coronavirus

Google, Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation and the Schusterman Family Foundation—the charity started by the late oil magnate Charles Schusterman and his wife Lynn—are giving cash to the hardest-hit consumers from the coronavirus. They’re backing a “Project 100” drive that began last month to send $1,000 to 100,000 Americans. Other donors include philanthropic organization Blue Meridian Partners and impact investing firm Flourish, plus The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

GiveDirectly, a New York nonprofit founded by 39-year-old entrepreneur Michael Faye, is leading the effort. While getting his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard, Faye learned that providing cash—not workforce training or education—is the best way to help the extreme poor. “Cash recognizes that one size doesn't fit all,” he says. “The extreme poor have excruciatingly difficult choices to make. Do I send my daughter to secondary school or feed my newborn?” Donors know little about recipients’ lives, so cash helps them most, he says.

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