Andrew Yang’s nonprofit is partnering with the $1K Project to bring $1,000 direct monthly payments to struggling US families
By: Lauren Frias
- Andrew Yang’s nonprofit, Humanity Forward, is joining with a group called The $1K Project to give $1,000 a month for three months to struggling families in the US.
- Yang’s nonprofit pledged to match donations to the $1K Project up to $1 million.
- “If people want to give to a struggling American family, they can do so in this way, and they’ll know exactly who’s receiving the donation,” Yang told Business Insider.
- As a presidential candidate, Yang campaigned on a promise of a $1,000 “freedom dividend” for every US adult, a form of universal basic income.
The former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has pledged to spend up to $1 million as part of a project to give $1,000 each month for three months to American families struggling in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pledge, announced Monday, echoed his campaign promise of a $1,000 monthly “freedom dividend” for every US adult.
The $1K Project, founded by the tech entrepreneurs Alex Iskold and Minda Brusse, exists to match donors with people who could best use the money. Beneficiaries receive direct $1,000 payments each month for three months, the project says.
Humanity Forward pledged to match every donation to The $1K Project up to $1 million.
“We can all see the need right now: If you have the means to be able to help, and you’re looking for ways to help, this is a tremendous opportunity, because you can actually see the person who’s going to receive your donation,” Yang told Business Insider in an interview.
Humanity Forward has been distributing pandemic relief funds since its inception in March.
“We were looking for ways to make it more individualized and personalized,” Yang said. “The $1K Project has been doing tremendous work getting people $1,000 a month, and they have a well-developed nomination process for recipients.
“I was really impressed with The $1K Project and their initiative in setting up these structures so that people who needed help could be identified in a way that sponsors would feel excited about and confident in.”
Since April, The $1K Project has built a network of sponsors and recipients, whom it vets in a three-part process.
Businesses can nominate staff members they had to lay off because of the pandemic. Other nonprofits can nominate people they know are in hardship. And The $1K Project’s own network can nominate people.
“We have this database of people that are verified, and so the more people get verified, the more people are part of the chain,” Iskold told Business Insider.
Iskold added: “Think of it as like basically using six degrees to validate family — that allows us to bypass the regular bureaucracy of asking people for their financials and … basically more paper-pushing before you can actually dispatch the funds.”
Brusse described the $3,000 total package as “a bridge to reemployment or other kinds of support” and “a meaningful dollar amount so that it is showing that we respect them.”
“We didn’t want it to be something that just got them a little way through,” Brusse said. “We wanted to really make a significant difference, where they could focus on what they needed to do to get to the next destination for them and their families.”
The $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit expired at the end of July. A new coronavirus stimulus bill is stalled in Congress as Republicans and Democrats spar over whether to extend the weekly unemployment boost.
“If Congress had its s— together, we’d all be getting direct, recurring payments throughout this pandemic, and something like what we’re doing with $1K Project would be less vital,” Yang told Business Insider. “In the absence of congressional action, then what we’re doing seems even more immediate and vital.”