As a result of Discover Your Inner Economist India, I have sent or am sending off the money to the following:
1. A Diwwali party for poor children
2. Debt relief for a maid who must repay a moneylender
3. Support for a micro-credit cooperative
4. School vouchers for Indian children
5. Educational expenses for a child
6. Support for an Indian entrepreneur seeking to make his first movie
I expected to see, at some point, an explosion of obviously fraudulent or trivial requests, but I never did. I have two hypotheses: a) good people know other good people, and b) any bad person who came across the link would want to maximize his own chances of receiving the money and thus would not send it along to other bad people.
I was amazed how many of the proposals came from either Bangalore or Singapore. Chennai was another common location.
I thank those of you who pledged additional support; I am sure the recipients appreciate it very much.
Addendum: A’la Seth Roberts, I also view the project as self-experimentation. It made giving money away more rewarding and that encouraged me to give more than I had originally planned. I expect to return to my list of emails for future transfers.
We should all think about how to make giving away money more rewarding for ourselves. More fun. If we are restricted to virtuousness as a motivation, I fear for the future of charity.