Published: November 28, 2011
This page discusses organizations that we evaluated in our 2011 report of all international charities, and that we did not flag as promising. If you have additional information about an organization in this category that you think indicates it as a strong contender to be listed among our top charities, please contact us.
Overview of our 2011 process
We reviewed each charity's website to determine whether it met any of the criteria below, which we believe indicate whether a charity is likely to eventually be able to meet our full criteria for a recommendation: (Why do we rely on information found on a charity's website?)
- High-quality monitoring and evaluation reports published on website. A charity meets this criterion if it freely publishes - on its website - substantial evidence regarding impact that (a) discusses how the impacts of projects or programs were evaluated, including what information was collected and how it was collected; (b) discusses the actual impact of the evaluated projects. (Why is monitoring and evaluation so important?) We seek enough evidence to be confident that a charity changed lives for the better - not simply that it carried out its activities as intended. Different programs aim for different sorts of life change, and must be assessed on different terms. We do not hold to a single universal rule for determining what "impact" we're looking for; rather, what we look for varies by program type. (For more, see, What constitutes impact?)
- Focus on priority programs as identified in our 2009 report A charity meets this criterion if it focuses primarily on (or publishes enough financial information to make it clear that 75% of its recent funding is devoted to) what we consider "priority programs." These programs have particularly strong evidence bases, enough to lower the burden of proof on a charity running them. (Why do we look for charities implementing proven programs?) Such programs include administering vaccinations, distributing insecticide-treated nets, and treating tuberculosis, among many others. (For more, see our full list of priority programs.)
- High upside That is, is there a possibility of the charity's programs creating outsized impact? We considered the following types of programs as possibly having high upside: (a) organizations aiming to invent a new product that would solve a significant problem in the developing world; (b) organizations that commit to rigorous, public evaluation (including but not limited to a randomized controlled trial) such that others can learn whether the project went well (and ought to be scaled up) or failed (and should not be); (c) organizations that produce high-quality research (including but not limited to randomized controlled trials) about aid programs; and (d) organizations that are aiming to create self-sustaining programs that will eventually not require donations to continue to exist.
- Extreme cost-effectiveness Organizations working on programs that, if successful, would be significantly more cost-effective than our estimate of what we consider highly cost-effective programs.
- Promising causes We flagged organizations working in causes that we wanted to learn more about (details).
- Others. We sometimes contacted a charity because of a particularly strong recommendation from a source whose opinion we give substantial weight to, or simply because we found the organization interesting.
Charities that did not meet any of these criteria were not flagged for further investigation. If you have additional information about an organization in this category that you think indicates it as a strong contender to be listed among our top charities, please contact us.