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Guaranteed Income

A Primer for Funders

This primer was developed to educate foundations, individual donors, and other funders about 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.

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.

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.

Strategies for Philanthropy

Direct Service

Direct service efforts can test and refine what a scaled-up
program could look like.

System and Capacity Building

System- and capacity-building efforts build the broader field.

Policy and Advocacy

Policy and advocacy efforts build the longer-term political viability of cash-based policies.

Research and Evaluation

Research and innovation strengthen the case for cash by building needed evidence.

Image of a ship being guided

This report was authored by Sean Kline and edited by Mona Masri and Joe Antolin (Asset Funders Network), Katherina Rosqueta (Center for High Impact Philanthropy), Madeline Neighly (Economic Security Project), and Aisha Nyandoro (Springboard To Opportunities). Creative direction was provided by Michael Conti (Economic Security Project).