During the Christmas season, many donors give generously to support charities who help those who are less fortunate.

GiveWell conducts in-depth research to identify outstanding charities to help donors decide where to give. We recommend three charities for the 2013 holiday season to anyone looking for a meaningful gift which helps those in need.

Our top charities are highly effective organizations that work to help people living in the poorest parts of the world, and this Christmas season, please consider supporting our top-rated charities:
  • GiveDirectly transfers cash directly to extremely poor households.

More information on our top charities can be found below.

Wish to make a donation as a gift? When donating, simply click the option to "Dedicate my donation" and provide the name and email address of your honoree. We also provide a gift acknowledgment letter for each charity (gift acknowledgement letters: GiveDirectly, SCI gift letter, DtWI gift letter) which you may use to inform gift recipients of your donation on their behalf.

For more information on GiveWell, please see Common Questions about GiveWell and FAQ about our research.

Our top charities

GiveDirectly

Distributing cash to very poor individuals in Kenya and Uganda

Directly transferring money to poor individuals allows them to purchase that which they believe will help them most. Strong evidence indicates that cash transfers lead recipients to spend more on their basic needs (such as food) and may allow recipients to make investments with high returns, with no evidence of large increases in spending on items like alcohol or tobacco. (For more, see our full report on cash transfers.) We believe that GiveDirectly effectively distributes cash to extremely low-income individuals.

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)

Treating people for parasite infections in sub-Saharan Africa


SCI supports programs that treat people for parasitic worm infections that cause short-term symptoms such as anemia, and may cause longer-term developmental problems. These worms are extremely inexpensive to treat. (For more, see our full report on deworming.) We believe that SCI effectively expands access to deworming treatment.

More information:

Deworm the World Initiative, led by Evidence Action

Treating children for parasite infections in developing countries

The Deworm the World Initiative (DtWI), led by Evidence Action, supports programs that treat people for parasitic worm infections that cause short-term symptoms such as anemia, and may cause longer-term developmental problems. These worms are extremely inexpensive to treat. (For more, see our full report on deworming.) DtWI focuses on advocacy and technical assistance to governments providing deworming, and we believe that it cost-effectively increases the number of children receiving deworming treatment.

More information: