Christianity Today: Cost-Effective Compassion: The 10 Most Popular Strategies for Helping the Poor
Economists rate impact.
Concern for the poor is a fundamental pillar of Christian identity and calling, a constant theme throughout the Old and New Testaments (Deut. 15:4; Prov. 14:31; Gal. 2:10; James 2:2-6). A definitive mark of the church throughout history is its members caring for the poor in their midst.
Today, thanks to economic globalization and the Internet, those who want to care for the poor overseas enjoy a plethora of attractive options: sponsoring a child, donating a farm animal, making a small loan to a budding entrepreneur, installing a well in a village, getting a morning caffeine jolt with fair-trade (instead of free-trade) coffee—among others.
But what are the best ways to help those living in developing countries By "best," I mean most effective: things that actually help people rise out of poverty, and that carry with them a sizable "bang for your buck"—programs in which the impact on the poor is significant per donated dollar.
Answering this question proves more difficult than you'd expect. ...