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GiveWell's Impact

Last Updated: March 2018

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 2016, GiveWell influenced charitable giving in several ways. The following table summarizes the money that we were able to track.
Table_Summary.png

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

2016 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 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2007-2011
Against Malaria Foundation $33,716,295 $38,771,061 $9,864,957 $2,543,429 $5,934,494 $3,100,897
GiveDirectly $15,307,700 $54,166,671 $9,155,390 $10,505,748 $1,371,116 $187,381
Schistosomiasis Control Initiative $16,055,533 $3,692,480 $6,405,458 $2,202,878 $1,114,317 $858,303
Evidence Action's Deworm the World Initiative $7,093,949 $11,910,407 $1,168,291 $2,145,379 $0 $0
The END Fund's Deworming Program $5,419,307 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Malaria Consortium – Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention $5,051,311 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Sightsavers' Deworming Program $3,109,090 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Iodine Global Network $598,216 $859,685 $478,530 $0 $0 $0
Development Media International $663,107 $500,035 $612,540 $0 $0 $0
GAIN – Universal Salt Iodization $559,603 $494,309 $484,792 $0 $0 $0
Living Goods $331,518 $338,896 $514,833 $0 $0 $0
Project Healthy Children $377,360 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Food Fortification Initiative $362,678 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Previously recommended charities $0 $0 $0 $54,343 $228,058 $3,590,495
Total to recommended charities $88,645,667 $110,733,544 $28,684,791 $17,451,777 $8,647,985 $7,737,076

Notes:

  • 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 2016, Good Ventures made GiveWell Incubation Grants, on our recommendation, totaling $13.3 million. These grants support organizations at any point in their development, with the hope of identifying additional future top charities to recommend to our donors. Prior to 2016, Good Ventures made GiveWell Incubation Grants totaling $0.9 million.

In addition to donations that we can confidently attribute to our research, detailed above, our best guess is that we had additional impact via (a) untracked donations made on our recommendation and (b) decisions where our research played an important role but where research by other groups also played a role.

For untracked donations, we estimate that donors gave $10-20 million based on our research that we did not track. This estimate is based on data from top charities on total donations not attributed to a source and the proportion of attributed donations that were attributed to GiveWell.

Our research has played a significant role in the decisions of two groups, The Life You Can Save and Giving What We Can, which make (or made) charity recommendations and have cited our research. While we believe our research played an important role in these groups' recommendations, it was not the only input into the process, and we therefore include it in the table above in a separate category from our headline money moved.

Details in our 2016 annual metrics report.

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, Effective Altruism Foundation, Charity Science, and Effective Altruism Australia).
  • 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 2016 annual metrics report.