This page is an archived copy of our top charities page. It was published in 2009. See our current recommendations

Our criteria:

Top-rated charities

Out of approximately 400 that we have considered, these are our top-rated charities: (What do our ratings mean?)

Charity name Region Focus Evidence of effectiveness Cost-effectiveness Funding gap Transparency Monitoring and evaluation GiveWell rating Overall rank
VillageReach International Immunizations Strong Excellent Significant Excellent Excellent Three stars 1
Stop TB Partnership International Tuberculosis Strong Excellent Significant Strong Excellent Three stars 2
Nurse-Family Partnership U.S. Childcare Strong Limited Probable Above average Excellent Three stars 3
KIPP U.S. Education Above average Limited Probable Above average Strong Three stars 4
Against Malaria Foundation International Malaria Moderate Excellent Significant Excellent Strong Two stars 5
Population Services International International HIV/AIDS; malaria Moderate Excellent Probable Excellent Strong Two stars 6
Partners in Health International Health clinics Moderate Moderate Probable Above average Above average Two stars 7
The Global Fund International HIV/AIDS; malaria; TB Limited Moderate Probable Excellent Strong Two stars 8
Teach for America U.S. Education Above average Limited Unknown Above average Strong Two stars 9
Pratham India Education Above average Limited Unknown Moderate Strong One star 10

Interpreting our ratings

  • Three stars - Strong on all of our criteria, and you can feel confident that your donation will cost-effectively change lives.
  • Two stars - Stands above the vast majority of charities on our criteria, though there is substantial room for concern on at least one of the criteria.
  • One star - Does not necessarily rate well on all our criteria, but there is at least one prominent and unusual factor in its favor compared to other charities: unusual transparency, unusual commitment to self-evaluation, superiority (on our criteria) to others with similar programs, and/or at least one substantial and impressive success in its past.
  • 0 stars - Does not show signs of meeting any of our criteria.

What do you get for your dollar? An overview

Cause Top-rated charities Cost Impact
International aid VillageReach, Stop Tuberculosis Partnership $200-$1,000 per life saved Improve health, save lives
Poverty (international) None - Unclear, if any
U.S. Poverty Nurse-Family Partnership $10,000 per child served Increase academic performance and reduce criminal behavior
U.S. Education Knowledge is Power Program $20,000 per student (including state education funds) Improve academic performance
Job Training (U.S.) None $10,000 per client served Unclear, if any