Endowing People

Guaranteed Basic Income FAQ

Guaranteed Basic Income is income (money/payments) that is intended to support a household’s basic needs, and that is guaranteed (no action required by the recipients). GBI payments are no-strings-attached. They can be spent in whatever way the recipients decide is best. The payments are not loans and will not be repaid.

Pretty much; the difference is, UBI would be available to everyone (“universal”). GBI overlaps the concept of UBI but also includes basic income available only to a limited population. So, for example, Endowing People is able to provide basic income to a select number of low-income households, which is technically GBI, not UBI (it’s not available to everyone–though with help from generous donors, we can make it available to increasing numbers of people). However, it is common to see the terms used interchangeably.

Research shows that GBI recipients have used the money to supply genuine needs (as one would expect of low-income individuals, given that their unmet needs are substantial).


So, for example, we know that people spend GBI on food, as measured in studies that show increased food security and better dietary diversity (Bastagli et al. 2016, Covert 2021, and Hasdell 2020). And GBI can increase overall physical health and well-being, too, perhaps in part through better nutrition (Bastagli et al. 2016, Covert 2021, Hamilton 2021, Hasdell 2020, Johnson et al. 2020).  Additionally, studies that have tracked this have shown that spending does not increase on alcohol or tobacco

Research shows the opposite is true! Recipients of GBI have demonstrated an increased likelihood of gainful employment (West el al. 2019, Hamilton 2021). One possible explanation is that with increased income, people are better able to afford things like transportation costs, stable housing, and professional attire, all of which increase their ability to hold a steady job.  Additionally, the amount of GBI that Endowing People offers isn’t meant to be a replacement for income. 

A General Basic Income allows people to save for emergencies, pay for school, eat healthy food, start businesses, and make better financial plans.  Research has also shown that recipients of GBI have decreased mental illness, improved mental health, and better health outcomes for their children.