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About GiveWell

GiveWell is a nonprofit dedicated to finding outstanding giving opportunities and publishing the full details of our analysis to help donors decide where to give.

We don't focus solely on financials, such as assessing administrative or fundraising costs. Instead, we conduct in-depth research to determine how much good a given program accomplishes (in terms of lives saved, lives improved, etc.) per dollar spent. Rather than rating as many charities as possible, we focus on the few charities that stand out most (by our criteria) in order to find and confidently recommend high-impact giving opportunities (our list of top charities).

Our impact

More than 50,000 donors have trusted GiveWell to direct their donations. Together, they have given over $500 million to the organizations we recommend. These donations will save over 75,000 lives and provide cash grants of over $90 million to the global poor. You can read more about our impact here.

Our Story

GiveWell started when a group of friends asked how their charitable donations could accomplish as much good as possible. These friends, who were working full time in the finance industry, found that information to answer that question was not available through existing donor resources, or even directly from charities.

The group began to do its own research but quickly found it wasn't part-time work: finding high-impact giving opportunities involved challenging questions without readily-available answers. Two of the group members left their jobs and started GiveWell in 2007 as a full-time project. They pledged to share their work on the GiveWell website, for free, to help all donors who wanted to do as much good as possible.

Organizational Information

Our approach

We spend thousands of hours each year reviewing academic evidence and researching different programs to identify the most cost-effective, evidence-backed ones.

We focus on finding and recommending a small number of outstanding giving opportunities to help donors save or improve lives the most with their gifts. Our Top Charities list is free and publicly available, along with all of the research supporting our funding recommendations. We hope that any donor can have access to high-quality information to inform their impact-based giving.


Our fundraising

GiveWell takes no fees from the donations we process. Our funding is covered by donors who give us unrestricted funds. If we raise more than we need to support our operations, we grant out the excess rather than continue to hold it ourselves as per our excess assets policy.

Our primary fundraising goal is to raise funds for the outstanding organizations we recommend. We measure our success by the amount of money we can move annually to the organizations we recommend.


Our Maximum Impact Fund

Our top recommendation is to donate to our Maximum Impact Fund.

GiveWell takes zero fees and will apply its judgment to allocate Maximum Impact Funds among our recommended charities. We take into account charities' funding needs and donations they have received from other sources. We then make grants to the highest-value funding opportunities we see among our recommended charities.

Information about donating

Contact us

Other info

  • EIN/Tax ID (United States): 20-8625442
  • RSIN (Netherlands): 8262.78.516