How You Can Help End Poverty

There are a number of practical activities that you can undertake right now to help end extreme poverty. Here are a few ideas to help you get started. 

Individuals, community groups (Scout troops, church groups, etc), and companies all have an important role to play in supporting the Millennium Development Goals. In the following, you will find practical suggestions for actions you can take to contribute to the fight against global poverty.  Millennium Promise, a new organization chaired and co-founded by Jeffrey Sachs, mobilizes support for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. 

Consider charitable contributions


SUPPORT Millennium Promise
Millennium Promise is a nonprofit organization [501(c)(3) status pending] whose vision is the eradication of extreme global poverty.  Millennium Promise’s mission is to encourage individuals and organizations to join the fight against global poverty, disease, and hunger through an unprecedented campaign that draws on the support of all parts of society—individuals, businesses, charitable organizations, faith-based groups, government—to ensure the success of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and the end of extreme poverty by 2025. 
Give to Millennium Promise here.

SUPPORT Millennium Villages
Experts at the Earth Institute at Columbia University use science-based, proven, reliable, and appropriate technologies and interventions to help villages achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and get on a path to sustainable development.  Find out more about Millennium Villages here and here.

SUPPORT the ongoing work of The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Directed by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, the Earth Institute at Columbia University is the world's leading academic center for the integrated study of Earth, its environment and society. With its poverty reduction work, the Earth Institute implements proven methods in support of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals for combating global poverty, hunger and disease, using specific cost-effective measures that together could cut extreme poverty in half and radically improve the lives of at least one billion people in poor developing countries by 2015. Gifts and grants from individuals, corporations, foundations and organizations enable the Earth Institute to lead its global effort to build a sustainable future for all Earth's citizens, by conducting research, introducing new coursework and degree programs and providing science-based, life-saving solutions to communities in much of the developing world.


Support Follow-Through on Existing Commitments

The single most important thing you can do is to make sure that your government is following through on its existing commitments to support the Millennium Development Goals. At the Monterrey conference on Financing for Development, the industrialized country governments committed themselves to providing official development assistance equivalent to 0.7% of their gross national income. To date, only five countries have achieved this goal, though six others have set out timetables to reach 0.7% by 2015.

Meeting 0.7% is critically important because only governments are capable of mobilizing the resources needed to achieve the MDGs. The Millennium Project has shown that the MDGs can be met using resources already promised – from 0.45% to 0.55% of gross national income. As a concerned citizen, the best thing you can do is to help convince your government to meet its promises on aid.

What to do: 

  • Write your political representatives: Tell them that you support the Millennium Development Goals and the Millennium Project's recommendations for achieving them. Feel free to use our facts, figures, and ideas from our talking points to help support your arguments.  Click here for sample letters you can use.

  • Organize letter-writing campaigns: More is always better – you can amplify your voice by enlisting other people in the campaign to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Reach out through personal networks and community groups.

  • Write letters to local newspapers: Send a letter to the editor to help you reach a larger audience of people. The web site of has a number of useful tools that can be adapted to help you target both politicians and media outlets in your own country.

Educate the Public on the Millennium Development Goals 

The world needs to get talking about solving global poverty – and you can start by teaching your friends, neighbors and community about the Millennium Development Goals and how to reach them.

  • Organize a dinner party to get people informed about global poverty and the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Have your group organize a public awareness event to educate people about global poverty.

Directly Support the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals 

You can also provide direct financial and non-financial support toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Millennium Project has identified a series of “Quick Wins,” which are priority actions that can be taken immediately to save and improve lives.


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