Your Dollar Goes Further When You Fund the Right Program | GiveWell

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Your Dollar Goes Further When You Fund the Right Program

The previous page considered some of the cost differences between charities working in the United States and the developing world. But even charities working in the developing world can have dramatically different cost-effectiveness, depending on the type of intervention they're working on.

Even among the programs we recommend, we estimate a range of cost-effectiveness that varies by 10x, although these estimates are subject to substantial uncertainty.

For example, we estimate that roughly every $3,500 donated to support insecticide-treated bed nets through the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) saves a life. We believe that AMF's distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets may be roughly 10 times as cost-effective—in terms of improving or saving someone's life—compared to GiveDirectly's distribution of unconditional cash transfers. We look for giving opportunities in that range or better, which means that we don't have cost-effectiveness estimates for programs that are likely to be significantly worse. The table below (lightly adapted, originally published here) compares the cost-effectiveness of our top-recommended charities, as of our November 2015 estimate. Click here to learn more about our approach to estimating cost-effectiveness.

Program estimated cost-effectiveness (relative to cash transfers)
GiveDirectly Baseline
Schistosomiasis Control Initiative ~5x
Deworm the World Initiative ~10x
Against Malaria Foundation ~10x

Your choice of which program to support can make a huge difference to the impact you ultimately achieve with your donation. More information is available on our impact page.