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October 15th 2012

New Incentives Uses Conditional Cash Transfers to Stop the Cycle of Poverty

After returning from a trip to India, where she was researching the effectiveness of micofinancing in impoverished countries, Svetha Janumpalli, CEO and Founder of New Incentives, was inspired to help solve the complex problem of global poverty.   “I wasn’t looking to start a new organization. I saw no reason to add another NGO,” said Janumpalli.  During her time in India she repeatedly heard wealthy, prospective donors complain about the lack of effectiveness many non-profits had when offering loans to individuals who were already poor and who were now going to be burdened with a loan they may not be able to repay. “How can people take out loans for their children’s healthcare and education and be expected to pay them back?” wondered Janumpalli.

After moving to the Bay Area in 2009, Janumpalli began doing research, and was soon inspired to work with local organizations to implement what she believed would be a more effective approach to supporting poor individuals who wanted to invest in their own future.  In 2010, one year after her trip abroad, Janumpalli decided to launch New Incentives; an organization with a simple but revolutionary mission, “to give money directly to poor individuals that is conditional upon improvement.”

Trapped in a cycle of poverty, many people living in communities that lack opportunity find themselves choosing to meet their immediate needs of food, shelter and clothing over making an investment in their future.  New Incentives offers Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) based on the theory that once vital, immediate needs are met, individuals are able to take steps towards bettering their lives and reaching their full potential.  By teaming up with Field Partners in Nigeria, Cambodia, Kenya, Bangladesh, Jamaica and India, New Incentives is able to guarantee that ninety percent of the CCT made by supporters go directly to individuals in need.

CCT made in the amount of as little as seven dollars can result in a measurable impact directly in the lives of people most in need. Education, health, environment, identification, training and nutrition are focus areas where supporters can make a contribution.  By simply visiting the site and clicking on a need, supporters learn who will receive their transfer and how that transfer will be used to improve the condition of a person in need.

In September, Janumpalli attended the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting where the mission is to “turn ideas into action.” CGI convenes a community of global leaders to forge solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. “It was amazing. All my dreams came true,” Janumpalli said of her experience.

As a member of the Good Cause Directory, Janumpalli is looking forward to working with Party Corps to organize music-based events to spread the word about New Incentives, the work they are doing all over the world and its volunteer and donor events. “I have three musicians in mind that I think we could work well with, Chamillionaire and Ice Prince. They seem to have an interest with giving back to Nigeria which is where we do a lot of our work.”

Visit for more information about ways you can contribute to New Incentives.

Posted by Olivia Swilley


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