Our Model

New Incentives is the world’s first and only nonprofit dedicated to Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs).


Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) are small sums of money that individuals in need can earn after meeting various education and health benchmarks such as school attendance or clinic visits. In the case of New Incentives, your donation gives poor mothers in rural West Africa small stipends on the condition that they vaccinate their children against deadly diseases. The stipends allow the women to afford transport to the clinic where the vaccinations are provided and food for their families. 1.5 million children under five lose their lives to vaccine-preventable diseases each year. The New Incentives program protects infants against these risks. The cash stipends also strengthen the position of the mother and newborn in a family setting. Their health is no longer seen as a luxury but a smart investment.

Nancy Birdsall

Founding President / Center for Global Development

“I think Conditional Cash Transfer programs are as close as you can come to a magic bullet in development. They are creating an incentive for families to invest in their own children’s futures. Every decade or so, we see something that can really make a difference, and this is one of those things.”


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– Over 70,000 moms and infants supported in rural West Africa

– Ongoing randomized-controlled trial to test impact on health-seeking behavior


How does our program work in detail?
Your donation encourages poor mothers in rural West Africa to vaccinate their infants against deadly diseases. 1.5 million children under five lose their lives to vaccine-preventable diseases each year. Often poor mothers cannot afford the transport to clinics and the associated loss in earnings from small-scale trading or farming. This is why we provide cash transfers to mothers that vaccinate their children on five occasions during the first year after delivery. The transfers allow mothers to cover transport and buy some food for their families. A disbursement only takes place if the condition is met, i.e. the child got the latest vaccinations during one of the five immunization visits.
Why should I care?

Poor mothers in rural West Africa are stuck in a cycle of poverty. Living at the bottom of the economic ladder forces them to make choices between their survival today and a better future for them and their children tomorrow. Your donation and cash transfer give them a chance to escape from this vicious cycle: For the first time, they do not have to worry about missing work and can afford transport to access health clinics. Put simply, they no longer have to choose between food today or health tomorrow. The impact is profound: children are protected against deadly diseases.
How is New Incentives different than traditional aid?

1. It’s direct: Your money goes to a poor individual, not an organization. As a result, the mother can cover the basic needs that actually matter to her, such as transport, which allows her to access a health clinic. This preserves her dignity and ensures that the money is spent for what is most needed. Research shows that this works extremely well (see Research below).
2. Your donation is conditional. The condition ensures that your donation has concrete impact: a healthy child protected against diseases.
What's the difference to microfinance?

Conditional cash transfers are different than microloans. First, they are not loans, meaning a mother does not have to repay the transfer amount and is not subject to a cycle of debt. This feature enabled us to set up a program for the poorest mothers that might not qualify for microcredit. Second, cash transfers allow beneficiaries to invest in long-term goals such as health. Microloans, on the other hand, have to be paid back with often high interest in the short term, which does not allow a focus on long-term benefits such as child health.
Where in West Africa do you operate?

New Incentives operates where it can have the biggest impact: rural Nigeria. The West African country is home to just 2% of the world’s population, yet accounts for 13% of the world’s mortality of children under five, the second highest rate of all countries.
Are donations to New Incentives tax-exempt?
Yes. Donations to New Incentives made in the USA are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


New Incentives' program was developed based on the high-quality body of rigorous evidence supporting conditional cash transfers (CCTs). The following links contain particularly insightful research on CCTs.

World Bank

“CCTs have been remarkable in a variety of ways. One of those ways is that perhaps more than any intervention in developing countries, CCTs have been evaluated credibly for their impact on a variety of outcomes—consumption, labor market participation, poverty, nutritional status, and schooling to name but a few.”


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