Impact global poverty
Many non-governmental organizations that work to fight global poverty ask for donations, including The Borgen Project. When someone is living paycheck to paycheck, even donating a dollar can seem like too much. In 2017, about 78% of workers in the United States reported that they are living paycheck to paycheck. What can individuals do if they want to make an impact but don’t feel they have the capital to do so? Here are five ways to impact global poverty without spending money.

Stay Informed

The United Nations published a piece called “The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World.” One of the organization’s recommendations of something everyone can do from their couch is to stay informed on the issues they want to impact. Unfortunately, misinformation can actually harm global poverty. The UN Foundation reported that many people think global poverty has been increasing when, in actuality, it has been cut in half. Staying informed is important in recognizing the common myths about global poverty and informing others.

Volunteer Time

The Face and Voices of Recovery Organization, the Charities Aid Foundation and the UN recommend volunteering as a way to impact causes without spending money. In 2018, the Charities Aid Foundation reported that 39% of people in the United States volunteered their time. In addition, UN volunteers wrote that volunteering can be formal or informal. People can work directly with an organization to impact global poverty, like offering to create digital media for the cause. Alternatively, they can work informally by putting posters about the cause around their community.

Spread Awareness

Another way to impact global poverty is by spreading awareness. In addition to volunteering, the organizations above suggest sharing information about the cause on social media. Heather Weathers, the director of communications at HopeKids Incorporation, wrote a report about how social media is a place where people can first get involved with supporting a cause. Of those who are social media supporters, 37% use those sites to learn more about the organization and cause they’re supporting.

Call and/or Email Congress

If you speak up, your local legislators will keep track. Every time someone calls or emails about a specific bill, Congress members keep a tally of the number of people who voiced support for or rejected the bill. You can find your representatives by putting your ZIP code into the House of Representatives’s “Find Your Representatives” page. The Union of Concerned Scientists wrote an article providing tips for anyone considering calling Congress. The article reported that reaching out to local representatives, researching the issue first and being concise are some good ways to go about calling Congress. Similarly, there is a wealth of templates online for anyone interested in emailing Congress, including The Borgen Project website.

Inspire Others to Give

There are also ways to impact global poverty by convincing others to donate. One donation strategy, for which Facebook created a platform in 2017, is the concept of donating your birthday. This process includes choosing an organization and asking people to donate through either an online platform or fundraising letters. From 2018 to 2019, Facebook birthday donations raised about $1 billion for charities.

Even when someone is unable to fight against poverty financially, there are other ways to support the cause. Being informed, volunteering, spreading awareness, contacting Congress and inspiring others to give are all ways someone can impact global poverty without spending money.

– Melody Kazel
Photo: Flickr

Five Easy Ways to Help End Global Poverty

Global poverty is affecting millions of people, and those affected are often living on less than $1.90 a day. The epidemic has been ongoing for centuries, and people continue to die due to starvation, disease and many other issues brought about by poverty. Fortunately, the percentage of people in the world living in extreme poverty is declining. There are easy ways for anyone to help in the fight to end global poverty.


Donations come in all forms and are taken by all types of organizations. They can be in the form of money, books, school supplies, clothing, blood, organs, time; the list goes on. Each donation, whether it is the spare change from your pocket or clothes that were going to be thrown out, can help immensely.


Sponsoring an event, a charity, a child, you name it, it can make a difference. Sponsoring an event can be a way to end global poverty by raising money and sending the proceeds to people throughout the globe living in severe conditions. Children can also be sponsored, which means the child would receive money each month from their sponsor and is able to use it towards medical care, education and other needs. The sponsor receives a photo of the child and letters from the child with annual updates and can possibly meet the child.


Volunteering is a hands-on, and often life-changing, experience people partake in to end global poverty. Volunteers are needed in the medical field, teaching and advocacy. Even just mentoring and spending time with children makes a huge difference in poverty-stricken countries.

Spread Awareness

This may be the easiest way to join the fight to end global poverty. With social media at our fingertips, we can publish whatever we choose on a platform that is seen by a lot of people. Why not use it to make a difference? Anything from sharing articles, links to donation pages, or even a handwritten post can give a spark to others and encourage them to contribute.

Improve Governance

How many emails and phone calls does the average person make in a week? What if one of those was to Congress? Taking five minutes out of one day of the week could really make all the difference. Researching the issues related to global poverty and reaching out to members of Congress can have the power to bring change and make the difference as to whether or not a bill passes.

Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr

How to Help People in Guinea-BissauSome people live to be 100 years old. But if you’re in Guinea-Bissau? You might want to cut that in half.

Located in sub-Saharan Africa, the country finds itself with one of the greatest rates of death in Africa, ranking fourth on the latest HealthGrove estimates. The bulk of fatal threats to the country are diseases, whether communicable, maternal, neonatal or nutritional. They include, but are not limited to, lower respiratory disease, malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and neonatal disorders.

Cardiovascular diseases, which fall under non-communicable diseases, also constitutes 12 percent of fatalities in the state. These diseases are followed closely by strokes and ischemic heart disease.

There also exists several risk factors that pose the greatest threat to citizens. This includes a number of environmental and metabolic risk factors. However, the two most threatening to the people of Guinea-Bissau are behavioral: maternal/child malnutrition and unsafe sex.

So what can be done to increase life expectancy from the current low measure of 55 years?

At the moment, the U.S. assists Guinea-Bissau through the distribution of monetary aid, with the aid reaching close to $1.6 million. One of the main partners of this aid is listed as the International Partnership for Human Development and the goal is to focus on basic health initiatives.

However, if the end goal is to aid Guinea-Bissau in reducing poverty as well as creating an impact in the health issues it faces, the current aid alone is not enough. Currently, there are several pieces of legislation being considered by the government, that relates to U.S. aid and health: the Reach Every Mother and Child Act as well as the Global Health Innovation Act.

If you want to make a difference to the people of Guinea-Bissau, you can exercise your right as a citizen and get in touch with your member of Congress by calling and/or emailing to voice your support of these pieces of legislation. It is a quick and easy way to use your voice and make a difference.

Maleeha Syed

Photo: Flickr

7,000 Miles Saved with Food Aid Reform
Food Aid Reform is a big topic as lawmakers are working hard to get the bill passed through Congress. The reform will modernize policy that is outdated in the current global marketplace.  The food aid reform will enable USAID to purchase more locally grown food in emergency situations rather than shipping food from US suppliers. This change will save time, money, and improve local economies and the livelihoods of local farmers.

The Food Aid Reform Act would eliminate requirements that food must be purchased from the US and sent on US ships. It would enable food to be delivered quicker and reach an estimated 2 to 4 million more people. The increased flexibility would allow on the ground organizations more freedom to make decisions and meet needs quicker. In addition to increased efficiency, the reform would lower shipping costs significantly.

Right now, USAID spends 50% of it’s food aid budget on shipping. If food is purchased in the mid-west of US, it is transported to a US port, put on a ship, and sailed 7,000 miles around the world where it is unload and transported by land to the emergency area. This does not seem like the most profitable use of government funds when food is available in many of these economies for purchase. This will allow USAID to save the 7,000 mile trek it must send food on currently. The food aid reform would also help to stimulate local economies.

Now is an excellent time to call your Congressional Representative and ask them to support the Food Aid Reform Act. Find their information here.

– Amanda Kloeppel
Source: Independent Daily European Express
Photo: House Committee on Foreign Affairs

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Global poverty is an international issue, and because of its scope helping the poor can often seem like an insurmountable problem. However, if everyone one person devoted to the cause could take 5 or 10 minutes to make an effort and get involved, the solution to poverty wouldn’t seem so out of reach. Here are some simple ways to make a difference:

1. Call or Write Congress

The power of free speech is often underestimated; when in reality congressional leaders often support poverty-reduction legislation when as few as 7 to 10 people in their district contact them in support of it. Calling your leaders each week only takes up to a minute out of your schedule – all you need to say is that you are calling to support funding for USAID or poverty-focused aid. Simple as that!

2. Donate to the Cause

There are many ways to donate either time or money – instead of birthday or graduation presents, ask for donations. Set up a fundraiser with your local bakery. Volunteer and donate your time to aid organizations. The options are endless.

3. Spread the Word

In order to solve a global problem, it is important to have a global presence. Whether through flier posting, blogging, or word of mouth, make sure to educate those around you to the trials of those in poverty and the simplicity of the solution. Encourage others to call their congressional leaders in order to have the most impact on foreign aid legislation. It’s as easy as posting a link with the information to your social media accounts.

Being an active member of the movement to eradicate poverty is incredibly important; and the more people that get interested and involved, the faster the government will take note and put more poverty-focused aid into legislation. It’s quick and simple, so why not take a minute to call right now?

-Sarah Rybak
Source: The Borgen Project
Photo: The Ambrose School


call congress


Congressional offices tally every issue that people in their district contact them about. It’s not uncommon for a leader to support a poverty-reduction bill after as few as 7-10 people call in support of it. With a 30-second call you can instantly get a bill/issue viewed by your leader.


1. Find Your Leaders

Everyone living in the United States is served by 2 U.S. Senators and 1 U.S. Representative. Click the link below to find your leaders.


2. Add them to your phone

Add the phone numbers of your 3 members of Congress to your cellphone.


3. Call Weekly

A helpful receptionist, usually an intern, will answer the phone. All you have to say is, “I’m a Borgen Project supporter. Please protect funding for the International Affairs Budget.” Be sure to give them your name and zip code. Visit the legislation section to find key poverty-reduction bills to call in support of.


“I’m a Borgen Project supporter. Please protect the International Affairs Budget.”

…That’s all you need to say! An intern answering your call will add “protect the International Affairs Budget” to the call report that is viewed by the congressional leader and key staffers.



View a Call Report

This is an actual constituent report given to us by a Chief of Staff. Each week, your congressional leader receives a report like this tallying each issue and bill that voters called supporting and rejecting.




There are two types of drivers in this world. Those who waste away sitting in traffic and those who improve the world while sitting in traffic.

Turn your idle time into advocacy time. Put your three congressional leaders in your cellphone and call on a weekly basis in support of poverty-focused aid. Simply add your leaders to your cellphone and call when you’re bored or sitting in traffic. These calls rarely take longer than 30-seconds.





Calling Congress

100 Senators + 435 Representatives = Congress


Congress in Simple Terms…

  • You have three members of Congress who represent you in D.C. – two Senators and one Representative.
  • Senators serve 6-year terms in the Senate and there are two from each state.
  • Representatives serve 2-year terms in the House of Representatives. The number of representatives from each state is determined by population. For example, there are numerous Representatives from New York City while there is only one Representative serving the entire state of Alaska.
  • Representatives are frequently referred to as Congressmen, Congresswomen or Reps.


What Happens When You Call



Calling Congress FAQ’S


What is a Congressional Call? A 30-second call to your congressional leaders’ offices to express support for reducing global poverty or a specific bill that addresses global poverty issues.


Why is The Borgen Project so passionate about individuals calling their Congressional leaders? The Borgen Project has a rare level of access inside congressional offices and the organization has seen firsthand the impact these calls have. Political offices tally every single call they receive and a weekly summary of calls is given to the political leader. Anyone making a 30-second Congressional call can get the issues or a specific bill noticed by their Congressional leader.


Do I need to be an expert on politics or the issue to call? Nope. You’re a citizen telling the people elected to represent you back in Washington, D.C. that global poverty is important to you. The job of the person answering the phone (usually an intern) is simply to take down your information. You won’t be quizzed. At most, they might ask for your address or zipcode to verify that you live in the Congressional leaders district.


What do I say? “I’m a Borgen Project supporter and I would like to see funding for USAID increased.” That’s all there is to it. Also visit the legislation section to find specific poverty-reduction bills that you can call in favor of. Who do I call? Call the two U.S. Senators and one U.S. Representative who represent your area.


How often should I call? We recommend calling every week.


What tips do you have for getting in the habit of calling every week? Put your congressional leaders in your cellphone and pick a set day and day to do it each week (ie. Monday evening while sitting in traffic on the way home).


Can I call when the office is closed? Yes. Simply leave a leave a message on the general voicemail. The messages are checked each morning and your call will still be tallied in the memo.


Who’s eligible to call? Anyone who is a U.S. citizen and/or living in the United States can call congress.


Do you have to be 18 or older? No. We’ve seen 1st grade students call.