You might think about charity as something you do with the extra change you find lying around, or by supporting a friend running in a local race. That's how we used to feel – until we learned how much even a modest amount of charity can accomplish when given to the right organizations.
It's common for charities to make big promises, and in most cases they can't deliver. But after researching hundreds of charities and the programs they carry out, we've found a few that can truly demonstrate impact - and with these charities, your donation can make a huge difference. For example:
- Against Malaria Foundation. In parts of the developing world, many people die of malaria, a disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Malaria can often be prevented by sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet which wards off mosquitoes. Bednets are proven to prevent deaths from malaria. We estimate that giving a few thousand dollars to AMF likely saves a person's life. AMF, as an organization, stands out for its transparency, publicly posting photos and reports on its website for all bednet distributions it supports. For our detailed analysis and investigation, see our full review of AMF.
- GiveDirectly. GiveDirectly provides cash grants to extremely poor households in rural Kenya (and is planning to expand to other countries). Cash transfers lead recipients to spend more on their basic needs (such as food) and may allow recipients to make investments with very high returns. GiveDirectly has demonstrated a strong commitment to transparency and self-evaluation. Every $0.90 that GiveDirectly receives is delivered to the households it targets. For our detailed analysis and investigation, see our full review of GiveDirectly.
- The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative. SCI assists African governments with treatment of neglected tropical diseases, a group of parasitic infections that can debilitate those infected. We estimate that $5-10 can provide treatment for a child for 10 years, curing the infection. For our detailed analysis and investigation, see our full review of SCI.
Next: The wrong donation can accomplish nothing