Power Players

Andrew Yang's new non-profit is giving away $500,000 in free cash as a UBI experiment

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Then-Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is interviewed outside of Hopkinton Town Hall following a campaign event on February 9, 2020 in Hopkinton, New Hampshire.
Scott Eisen | Getty Images

Andrew Yang's bid for the White House in 2020 has come to an end, but his efforts to promote universal basic income have not.

Thursday, Yang said his new organization will give away $500,000 in free cash payments to the residents of one (as yet unnamed) town in New York state as part of an initial pilot program to demonstrate there are benefits of UBI.

The $500,000 UBI giveaway was revealed as part of the launch of Yang's organization, dubbed Humanity Forward, which has an official mission to "build the movement to rewrite the rules of our economy and society to make it work for us, the people, and create a human-centered America," according to a written statement. 

Humanity Forward is a non-profit organization that will champion issues Yang raised during his Democratic presidential campaign, the most famous of which was his proposal to give all American citizens over the age of 18 $1,000 a month. The proposal helped push UBI into the political conversation for the 2020 race.

The three stated plans for the organization are launching projects to demonstrate the efficacy of Yang's political proposals in real life, funding candidates who support a UBI program and activating what Yang calls "politically disengaged" voters, namely "young people and the economically marginalized," the statement said. 

Also, Yang will launch a "long-form" podcast to discuss ways to address current challenges. Interviewees will be innovators, politicians, celebrities, journalists and "regular Americans," the statement said. 

Humanity Forward did not specify where it was getting the funds to pay for the $500,000 UBI pilot.

In the statement, Yang said he himself will pay one "donor" $1,000 per month for one year. The statement did elaborate on whether that is part of the pilot program, or give any further details. 

The name, "Humanity Forward," is a spin on Yang's presidential campaign slogan, "Humanity first." 

Yang said celebrities including Dave Chappelle, actress Teri Hatcher, entertainer Ken Jeong and founder of Reddit and Initialized Capital Alexis Ohanian "have thrown their support" behind his organization, though there is no explanation as to what that means. 

Humanity Forward did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It's request for comment. 

This story has been updated with additional details. 

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This 2020 presidential candidate wants to pay every adult US citizen $1,000 a month