# Smile Train

These charts from Smile Train imply an appealing story: (a) Smile Train performs surgeries for $250 apiece. (b) Smile Train’s main use of donations is to fund$250 surgeries. (c) A donation to Smile Train funds more surgeries than would the same donation to another cleft palate organization. (d) If Smile Train had much more…

# Poor in the U.S. = rich

A single-parent family of three in New York, making $8000 per year, makes under half the income level of the Federal poverty line and qualifies for food stamps, TANF (direct cash benefits) and Medicaid. (Details at our guide to U.S. public assistance) And yet, at$2,667 per person per year, this family is wealthier than…

# Hunger here vs. hunger there

There has been a fair amount of buzz lately (examples here, here, here, here) about “food insecurity” in the U.S. According to the Reuters headline, one in seven Americans is short of food. In looking into the data, what has surprised us is how different the meaning of “hunger” is when we’re talking about the…

# Acumen Fund and social enterprise investment

Seth Godin makes an appealing case for “social enterprise investment” along the lines of The Acumen Fund: When two people trade, both win. No one buys a bar a soap unless the money they’re spending for the soap is worth less to them than the soap itself. When someone in poverty buys a device that…