Upstream vs. Downstream


As you consider your charitable donations and make decisions on organizations to fund, use this table to help distinguish between upstream and downstream programs. Keep in mind that some organizations do both types of work and, when you contribute, you can designate your donation to a particular upstream program.

UpstreamDownstream
Working for ChangeWorking for Charity
Addressing a Cause
Addressing an Effect (symptom)
Proactive - PreventionReactive - Rescue
Improving conditions for manyHelping individuals
Protecting and preservingCleanup, remediation and restoration
Teaching someone to fishGiving someone a fish
Keeping babies out of the riverPulling babies from the river

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