Impact Rating


Top Poverty Nonprofit

Impact: $60 increases the earnings of an unemployed young person or woman by $290.

LivelyHoods Program meets the benchmark for high cost-effectiveness. The nonprofit increases income for a beneficiary by more than $1.50 for every $1 spent.

Note: The impact of this program may not be representative of the entire operation of LivelyHoods .


Governance: Passes checks


LivelyHoods' mission is to create job opportunities for youth and women in urban slums so they can earn an income and gain the necessary skills and experience for employability. To achieve this, we train unemployed youth and women to sell life improving, environmentally and socially beneficial products in their communities. Through skills-based training and job creation, LivelyHoods contributes to reducing unemployment and poverty, ultimately creating more stable and prosperous socioeconomic conditions for Kenya's slum communities



Rated Program

LivelyHoods Program

Program Geography



Los Angeles, CA


Donations processed by the nonprofit.



Rated Program

LivelyHoods Program

Program Geography



Los Angeles, CA


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Rated Program


LivelyHoods Program


LivelyHoods creates training and income generation opportunities for youth and women in Kenyan slums through the distribution of clean energy products in their communities.

Program Type

Livelihood Support

Beneficiaries Served

People living in poverty
Children and youth



Outcomes: Changes in people's lives. They can be caused by a nonprofit.

Costs: The money spent by nonprofits and their partners and beneficiaries.

Impact: The cost to achieve an outcome.

Cost-effectiveness: A judgment as to whether the cost was "worth" the outcome.


Outcome Metric

Increase in earnings of an unemployed young person or woman.

To calculate impact, we estimate how many outcomes the nonprofit caused.

Data Source

LivelyHoods collected outcome data from its sales agents after the program. Income is calculated as a fixed percentage commission on each product sold, plus bonuses and incentives, paid at the end of the month. This is the average of all trainees, even those who do not become sales agents and agents with pending payments.

Time Period of Data

Jan. 1, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2017

Ratings are based on data the nonprofit itself collects on its work. We use the most recent year with sufficient data. Typically, this data allows us to calculate direct changes in participants' lives, such as increased income.

Method for Attributing Outcomes

Without LivelyHoods, agents would have no stable income or some sporadic income. Youth unemployment in Kenyan slums is about 70%. We select the midway point of 70% and 100%, then subtract 6% for potential displacement of income from non-participants.

To determine causation, we take the outcomes we observe and subtract an estimate of the outcomes that would have happened even without the program.


Data Source

Cost data reported by LivelyHoods and data and assumptions about partner and beneficiary costs.

All monetary costs are counted, whether they are borne by a nonprofit service deliverer or by the nonprofit’s public and private partners.


Impact Statement

$60 increases the earnings of an unemployed young person or woman by $290.

We calculate impact, defined as the change in outcomes attributable to a program divided by the cost to achieve those outcomes.


Benchmark for Rating

Impact ratings of livelihood support programs are based on income generated relative to cost. Programs receive 5 stars if they increase income for a beneficiary by more than $1.50 for every $1 spent and 4 stars if income increases by more than $0.85 for every $1 spent. If a nonprofit reports impact but doesn't meet the benchmark for cost-effectiveness, it earns 3 stars.


The nonprofit increases income for a beneficiary by more than $1.50 for every $1 spent.

Why We Could Be Wrong

We welcome your suggestions for improving our methodology. Our methodology section includes explanations of how we mitigate these issues.

  • The outcome could oversimplify total impact. Using “increased earnings” as the metric of analysis may not intuitively convey the potential downstream benefits of participating in a livelihood support program, such as reduced financial stress.
  • There could be multiple important outcomes not captured in our analysis.
  • LivelyHoods may be spending additional money in order to serve harder-to-reach and/or particularly valuable populations.
  • In the absence of better data, we assume uniform counterfactual rates for programs, at the risk of masking variation across nonprofits.
  • Our estimates rely on data made public by LivelyHoods on its website, annual reports, financial statements and Form 990s.
  • We only analyze programs that meet our criteria. As a result, this report may not fully reflect the impact of LivelyHoods .
  • We do not assess what explains the nonprofit's cost-effectiveness.

We assign a rating to the nonprofit using the rubric:

  • There are indications of governance or financial health issues at the nonprofit.

  • After being given an opportunity, the nonprofit chose not to publish impact information.

    We are not yet issuing this level of star rating.

  • The rated program does not meet our benchmark for cost-effectiveness.

  • The rated program is cost-effective.

  • The rated program is highly cost-effective.

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Nonprofit Comment

Not provided. This may be because we lacked contact information for LivelyHoods or it chose not to comment. If you are a representative of this nonprofit, contact us to review and comment on your rating.

Before publishing, we ask every nonprofit we can to review our work, offer corrections and provide a comment.

Analysis Details

Analysis conducted by ImpactMatters and published on November 22, 2019.

This rating is based on data reported by LivelyHoods using ImpactMatters' impact reporting platform. Using data from the platform, ImpactMatters analysts calculated impact and assigned a rating.

We welcome corrections. If you are interested in exploring applications of ImpactMatters data, contact us at

Governance Check

LivelyHoods passes our governance check.

Overhead spending is reasonable (<35% of total spending)

Charity Navigator has not issued a fraud or mismanagement advisory

LivelyHoods itself has not reported any material diversions of assets

LivelyHoods itself has not reported any excess benefit transactions

Source: LivelyHoods Form 990 and Charity Navigator

How We Calculate Impact

This rating is based on ImpactMatters analysis of the impact of LivelyHoods Program relative to costs. Impact is the change in the social outcomes of people served by the program, net of the change that would have happened even without the program (the “counterfactual”); divided by cost. Learn more.

For Donors

A guide to our process for analyzing nonprofits and assigning ratings.

For Nonprofits

Learn about best practices for reporting impact for different program types.

For Researchers

Our collected guidelines on how we analyze impact of nonprofit programs.

Rating is a complex exercise and we urge you to read our frequently asked questions for details of how and why we issue these ratings.