GiveWell's Impact | GiveWell

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GiveWell's Impact

Last Updated: June 2017

In addition to evaluations of other charities, GiveWell publishes substantial evaluation of our own work, from the quality of our research to our impact on donations. This page summarizes two key metrics: (a) money moved and (b) web traffic.

Money moved

In 2015, GiveWell influenced charitable giving in several ways. The following table summarizes the money that were able to track.

For more details on our money moved, our growth, and our donors:

2015 annual metrics report

Money moved to recommended charities

The chart below shows GiveWell's annual money moved to our recommended charities (top charities and standout charities). In this chart, we include only donations that we can confidently attribute to our research (more detailed definition below).

We have included grants made by Good Ventures to recommended charities.

The table below shows GiveWell's money moved by charity.

Total money donated, by charity
Charity 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2007-2010
GiveDirectly $54,114,385 $9,145,389 $10,505,748 $1,371,116 $187,381 $377,230
Against Malaria Foundation $38,291,127 $9,797,274 $2,502,125 $5,895,544 $2,720,750 $0
Evidence Action, which runs the Deworm the World Initiative $11,880,068 $1,163,291 $2,145,379 $0 $0 $0
Schistosomiasis Control Initiative $3,657,389 $6,400,458 $2,202,878 $1,114,317 $852,103 $6,200
Iodine Global Network $859,685 $378,530 $0 $0 $0 $0
Development Media International $499,920 $512,540 $0 $0 $0 $0
GAIN (Universal Salt Iodization) $494,309 $384,792 $0 $0 $0 $0
Living Goods $338,896 $414,833 $0 $0 $0 $0
VillageReach $0 $0 $3,280 $64,449 $622,866 $1,539,480
Other $0 $0 $51,063 $163,609 $730,963 $1,071,402
Total to recommended charities $110,135,779 $28,197,107 $17,410,473 $8,609,035 $5,114,063 $2,994,312


  • Because a significant amount of GiveWell's money moved comes in around December each year, we only update these figures annually.
  • Because donations tend to be clustered in late December and early January, grouping these donations together provides a more accurate picture of annual growth. In the table and chart above, each year covers February 1 to January 31, e.g. "2012" refers to February 1, 2012 to January 31, 2013.

Other money moved

In 2015, as part of our work on the Open Philanthropy Project,1 we advised Good Ventures to make grants totaling $6.4 million. Also, we influenced about $760,000 to support the potential development of future recommendations. Details in our 2015 annual metrics report.

In 2014, GiveWell advised Good Ventures to make grants totaling $8.1 million to other organizations as part of our work on the Open Philanthropy Project. Also, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation provided a commitment of up to $6 million to the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford after we connected these organizations. In addition, we recommended and Good Ventures made two grants totaling about $284,000 for experimental work aimed at seeding future charity recommendations. Details in our 2014 annual metrics report.

In 2013, GiveWell advised Good Ventures to make five grants totaling $895,000 to other organizations, as part of our work on the Open Philanthropy Project (previously called GiveWell Labs). Details in our 2013 metrics report.

In 2012, GiveWell advised Good Ventures to make a $1 million co-funding grant to PSI Myanmar and a $100,000 "quick grant" to the U.S. Cochrane Center.

Web traffic

The chart below shows our web traffic over time, as measured by unique visitors each month. There are seasonal spikes each December when interest in charitable giving peaks so we emphasize the trend by showing the rolling sum over the previous twelve months. The chart starts in December 2009 (the first period for which we have 12 months of reliable data due to an issue tracking visits in 2008). (Full data and notes on data sources are here.)

What we count as "money moved"

  • Donations made to GiveWell to support our recommended charities.
  • Donations directly to our recommended charities that donors reported as attributable to GiveWell.
  • Donations directly to our recommended charities that donors reported as attributable to other organizations that we believe relied heavily on our research (for example, donations to AMF prior to 2014 that donors attributed to Giving What We Can or The Life You Can Save). We did not include donations with indirect attribution in our 2014 money moved.
  • Donations that donors report to us (informally or using our donation report form) as donations that they made on the strength of our recommendation.

We are cautious not to double-count donations reported by the charity and the donor. For more details on our methodology, see the appendix of our 2015 annual metrics report.

  • 1.

    The Open Philanthropy Project was incubated at GiveWell. In June 2017, it became a separate entity. You can follow the Open Philanthropy Project's work on its website.