All Categories Blogs

Our recommendations for giving in 2022

1 week 5 days ago

We wrote back in July that we expected to be funding-constrained this year. That remains true as we approach the end of the year, putting us in the unusual position of leaving impact on the table.

We've set a goal of raising $600 million in 2022, but our research team has identified $900 million in highly cost-effective funding gaps. That leaves $300 million in funding gaps unfilled. By donating this year, you can help us not only meet but exceed our goal—and say yes to more excellent opportunities to save and improve lives.

Additionally, our giving guidance for donors has changed this year. For the first time, our top recommendation is to give to our new All Grants Fund, which we allocate to any need that meets our cost-effectiveness bar. We think it's the best bet for donors who want to support the most promising opportunities we've found to help people, regardless of program or location. And it reflects our current views on how we can best meet our goal of maximizing global well-being—by taking advantage of every path to impact, whether that's funding top charities, seeding and scaling newer programs, or funding research.

Read More

The post Our recommendations for giving in 2022 appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Miranda Kaplan

Answering some questions about water quality programs

1 month 3 weeks ago

On June 22, we held a virtual event on research into water quality interventions, featuring presentations from Michael Kremer of the University of Chicago's Development Innovation Lab; Brett Sedgewick from Evidence Action, the parent organization of Dispensers for Safe Water; and Stephan Guyenet, Elie Hassenfeld, and Catherine Hollander of GiveWell. (If you weren't able to attend, we've published a video recording, audio recording, and transcript here.)

We hosted the event to provide some additional background for our recommendation of up to $64.7 million to Dispensers for Safe Water, which installs chlorine dispensers to treat water at rural collection sites in Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda. This grant was the result of a lengthy investigation and a significant update in our views on the cost-effectiveness of water treatment, which we've written about here.

Several attendees wrote in with a range of thoughtful questions—about our analysis of the effects of chlorination interventions, about the particulars of Dispensers for Safe Water's program, or more generally about our work. We covered as many as we could during the event and followed up on others by email. Below, we're sharing a selection of the questions we responded to in writing, along with other questions we've gotten about this work outside of the event, in the hope that they'll be of interest to a broader audience. Questions and answers have been anonymized; some have been edited slightly for brevity, or to fill in important context that was missing.

Read More

The post Answering some questions about water quality programs appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Miranda Kaplan

September 2022 open thread

2 months 3 weeks ago

Our goal with hosting quarterly open threads is to give blog readers an opportunity to publicly raise comments or questions about GiveWell or related topics (in the comments section). As always, you’re also welcome to email us at info@givewell.org or to request a call with GiveWell staff if you have feedback or questions you’d prefer to discuss privately.

Read More

The post September 2022 open thread appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Miranda Kaplan

The Maximum Impact Fund is now the Top Charities Fund

2 months 3 weeks ago

We’ve decided to rename the Maximum Impact Fund to better describe what opportunities this fund supports. The Maximum Impact Fund will now be called the Top Charities Fund.

We recently announced changes to our top charity criteria that include a new requirement for our top charities: that we have a high degree of confidence in our expectations about the impact of their programs. Alongside this update, we also introduced a new giving option, the All Grants Fund. The All Grants Fund supports the full range of GiveWell’s grantmaking and can be allocated to any grant that meets our cost-effectiveness bar—including opportunities outside of our top charities and riskier grants with high expected value.

The new All Grants Fund is a complement to what we have called our Maximum Impact Fund, which is granted to cost-effective opportunities among our top charities. However, we’ve received feedback that describing the fund which supports grantmaking only to our top charities as having “Maximum Impact” is confusing in light of the opportunity to support a wider range of opportunities (with potentially higher expected value) through the All Grants Fund.

Based on this feedback, we’ve decided to change the name of the Maximum Impact Fund to the Top Charities Fund.

Read More

The post The Maximum Impact Fund is now the Top Charities Fund appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Elie

Announcing the Change Our Mind Contest for critiques of our cost-effectiveness analyses

2 months 4 weeks ago

We're extremely excited to be announcing the Change Our Mind Contest to encourage critiques of our cost-effectiveness analyses that could lead to substantial improvements of our overall allocation of funds. For all the details, see this page.

Cost-effectiveness is the single most important input in our decisions about what programs to recommend, and we believe it's possible that we're missing important considerations or making mistakes that lead us to allocate funding suboptimally. We've been excited to see people engaging with our cost-effectiveness analyses, and we'd like to inspire more of that engagement.

With that in mind, we're inviting you to identify potentially important mistakes or weaknesses in our existing cost-effectiveness analyses and tell us about them!

Read More

The post Announcing the Change Our Mind Contest for critiques of our cost-effectiveness analyses appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Isabel Arjmand

Our UK supporters can now make tax-deductible donations through GiveWell UK

3 months 1 week ago

GiveWell UK is now fully registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in the United Kingdom. Our UK supporters now have a tax-deductible option for donating directly to GiveWell!

The basics

We've launched GiveWell UK as a UK Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), with the registered charity number 1196392, and the official UK partner of GiveWell. Beginning with the 2022 tax year, eligible UK taxpayers may take tax deductions for donations to GiveWell UK.( These donations are also eligible for Gift Aid.

GiveWell UK donations may be directed toward GiveWell’s Maximum Impact Fund (MIF), All Grants Fund, top charities, or unrestricted support for GiveWell's US operations. Donations will be granted out on a quarterly basis in line with the recommendations of GiveWell’s US-based research team, upon the approval of GiveWell UK’s trustees (more here).

Read More

The post Our UK supporters can now make tax-deductible donations through GiveWell UK appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Miranda Kaplan

Changes to our top charity criteria, and a new giving option

3 months 2 weeks ago

Since 2007, GiveWell has maintained a list of top charities. The organizations and programs on that list have changed over time, but the goal has remained the same: to help donors decide where to give.

In service of that goal, we've spent roughly the last year working on a plan to add to and update our criteria for top charities, so that they accurately reflect our prioritization of funding opportunities and are more helpful to donors. The revised criteria emphasize programs from which we expect high impact, with the additional requirement that we have a high degree of confidence in our expectation.

We hope these changes will also draw a brighter line for donors between our top charities and other excellent funding opportunities we support, a distinction that we haven't always made clear. Recognizing that some donors want to contribute to grants outside our top charities list, we're also introducing a new giving option: the All Grants Fund. Providing this option as a complement to the Maximum Impact Fund is an important step as grants to programs outside our top charities become a bigger part of our work.

Read More

The post Changes to our top charity criteria, and a new giving option appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Elie

GiveWell’s 2021 metrics report

4 months ago

In 2021, GiveWell directed the largest amount of money in our history, over $500 million, which we believe will be beneficial or life saving to many people in need. We thank our donors for continuing to trust us to find and recommend some of the most highly cost-effective giving opportunities in the world.

Note that this year, we’ve also updated our metrics report to more clearly communicate about our work. Previously, we reported on our "money moved," a metric that tried to provide a composite picture of both the funds we raised and directed in a given year. However, starting with our 2021 report, we'll be reporting on these metrics separately as "funds raised" and "funds directed," which we believe will be simpler and clearer.

Read More

The post GiveWell’s 2021 metrics report appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Robin Dey

An update on GiveWell’s funding projections

5 months ago

As little as six months ago, we were in the position of having more funding available than we could spend on opportunities that met our very high cost-effectiveness bar. Today, the opposite is true—we don't expect to have enough funding to support all the cost-effective opportunities we find.

In this post we will: provide an update on GiveWell’s projected funding position, explain how we have been successful in identifying cost-effective opportunities, and share our initial thoughts about what this update means for GiveWell’s forward-looking grantmaking strategy.

Read More

The post An update on GiveWell’s funding projections appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Elie

June 2022 open thread

5 months 3 weeks ago

Our goal with hosting quarterly open threads is to give blog readers an opportunity to publicly raise comments or questions about GiveWell or related topics (in the comments section). As always, you’re also welcome to email us at info@givewell.org or to request a call with GiveWell staff if you have feedback or questions you’d prefer to discuss privately.

Read More

The post June 2022 open thread appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Miranda Kaplan

Neil Buddy Shah has been appointed CEO of the Clinton Health Access Initiative

7 months 3 weeks ago

I am excited to share that GiveWell Managing Director Buddy Shah has been appointed CEO of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), a major global health organization working across a range of issues including malaria prevention and maternal and neonatal health. This news is bittersweet for me. I’m sad to be losing the talent, advice, and thought partnership Buddy brought to GiveWell, but I’m thrilled that he is taking up this position—the global health sector will be stronger for it.

CHAI is gaining a great leader in Buddy. But perhaps more importantly for GiveWell and our supporters, this appointment is a signal that effective giving is contributing to more corners of the global health landscape than ever before. Buddy is a strong champion of impact maximization, and I am excited that he will apply this lens in his new role.

Read More

The post Neil Buddy Shah has been appointed CEO of the Clinton Health Access Initiative appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Elie

A major update in our assessment of water quality interventions

7 months 4 weeks ago

As we continue to grow, GiveWell seeks to maximize both the cost-effectiveness of the funding we direct and the likely room for more funding of the programs we support. We think we've identified a category of interventions that rates really well on both: water treatment, such as chlorination.

This is a major update for us. Before 2020, based on the available evidence, we didn’t believe that water quality interventions had a large enough effect on mortality to make them a competitive target for funding. We've since seen new evidence that has led us to significantly increase our estimate of the mortality reduction in young children that's attributable to these interventions: a 14% reduction in mortality from any cause, up from around 3%.

Though we have remaining uncertainties about these numbers, we’ve substantially updated our view of the promisingness of water treatment. Where we previously found that Evidence Action's Dispensers for Safe Water program was about as cost-effective as unconditional cash transfers, we now believe it's about four to eight times as cost-effective, depending on the location. That was a primary factor in our decision to recommend a grant of up to $64.7 million to Dispensers for Safe Water in January 2022.

We're sharing this news in brief form before we've published a grant page, because we're excited about the potential of this grant and what it represents. It's an area of work we haven't supported to a significant degree in the past, but one that we now think could absorb hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for cost-effective programming.

Read More

The post A major update in our assessment of water quality interventions appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Miranda Kaplan

March 2022 open thread

8 months 3 weeks ago

Our goal with hosting quarterly open threads is to give blog readers an opportunity to publicly raise comments or questions about GiveWell or related topics (in the comments section below). As always, you’re also welcome to email us at info@givewell.org or to request a call with GiveWell staff if you have feedback or questions you’d prefer to discuss privately.

Read More

The post March 2022 open thread appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Miranda Kaplan

IPTi for malaria: a promising intervention with likely room to scale

10 months ago

Intermittent preventive treatment in infants (IPTi) for malaria provides preventive antimalarial medicine to children under 12 months old. It is among the most promising programs we've identified in our active pipeline of new interventions. It's also underutilized, and the population it targets is especially vulnerable to malaria. That implies potential to open up large amounts of room for more funding if IPTi begins to be used more widely—our crude estimate is between $50 million and $200 million globally once it's scaled—which is something we're increasingly thinking about as we aim to direct $1 billion in cost-effective funding by 2025. In September 2021, we recommended a small grant to Malaria Consortium and PATH to assess the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of implementing IPTi at national scale in two countries. We're hopeful that this scoping exercise will answer some of our many open questions about IPTi, and that this intervention continues to look promising as we learn more.

Read More

The post IPTi for malaria: a promising intervention with likely room to scale appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Miranda Kaplan

December 2021 open thread

11 months 3 weeks ago

Our goal with hosting quarterly open threads is to give blog readers an opportunity to publicly raise comments or questions about GiveWell or related topics (in the comments section below). As always, you’re also welcome to email us at info@givewell.org or to request a call with GiveWell staff if you have feedback or questions you’d prefer to discuss privately.

Read More

The post December 2021 open thread appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Margaret Lloydhauser

Staff members’ personal donations for giving season 2021

11 months 3 weeks ago

For this post, a number of GiveWell staff members volunteered to share the thinking behind their personal donations for the year. We've published similar posts in previous years. (See our staff giving posts from 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013.) Staff are listed alphabetically by first name.

Read More

The post Staff members’ personal donations for giving season 2021 appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Isabel Arjmand

Our recommendations for giving in 2021

1 year ago

You can have a remarkable impact by supporting cost-effective, evidence-based charities.

Just looking at the approximately $100 million GiveWell had discretion to grant in 2020—a subset of all the money we directed to the charities we recommend—the impact of our donors is impressive. We estimate these grants will:

  • Save more than 24,000 lives
  • Treat over 6 million children with a full course of antimalarial medication
  • Provide vitamin A supplementation to over 8.6 million children
  • Deliver over 4.4 million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) to protect against malaria
  • Vaccinate 118,000 children
  • Treat over 11.4 million children for parasitic worms

Read More

The post Our recommendations for giving in 2021 appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Ben Bateman

We aim to cost-effectively direct around $1 billion annually by 2025

1 year ago

A little over a decade ago in 2010, GiveWell directed around $1.5 million to the charities we recommended. In 2021, we expect we’ll raise at least $500 million, and may raise as much as $560 million or more.

We never anticipated that we’d grow this large this quickly. We’ve seen rapid growth from donors of all sizes, the most recent of which is a commitment of $300 million from Open Philanthropy.

While this growth comes with challenges—we’re working hard to hire enough researchers—it’s a testament to our donors' trust in us and enthusiasm for our mission.

But these big numbers are relatively small in the long-term scope of what GiveWell hopes to achieve. We believe there are billions of dollars' worth of annual cost-effective giving opportunities that we have yet to identify.

Read More

The post We aim to cost-effectively direct around $1 billion annually by 2025 appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Ben Bateman

Why malnutrition treatment is one of our top research priorities

1 year ago

We believe malnutrition is a very promising area for charitable funding in the future. In 2021, we directed nearly $30 million to two organizations—The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) and International Rescue Committee (IRC)—working on malnutrition, and we expect to direct more funding to malnutrition programs in the future. (We have published a write-up about one of these grants here and will publish write-ups about the other grants in the near future.) To give a sense of what we expect, we would not be surprised if GiveWell directs as much funding to malnutrition in the future as we have to malaria programs in recent years.

Read More

The post Why malnutrition treatment is one of our top research priorities appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Marinella Capriati

GiveWell’s money moved in 2020

1 year ago

2020 was another year of tremendous growth. GiveWell donors contributed over $240 million to our recommended charities (our “2020 money moved”), a 60% increase from the approximately $150 million we directed in 2019. This is part of an exciting, long-term trend. Just a decade ago, in 2010, GiveWell’s total money moved was $1.5 million.[1]

We believe these donations will save tens of thousands of lives and benefit many others. This incredible impact would not be possible without the continued support and generosity of our donors. While our research enables us to identify and recommend highly cost-effective giving opportunities, our donors are responsible for turning those recommendations into real change for some of the poorest individuals in the world.

This post lays out highlights from our final 2020 money moved report and shares more details about how donors gave to GiveWell’s recommended charities in 2020.[2]

Summary of influence: In 2020, GiveWell influenced charitable giving in several ways. The following table summarizes our understanding of this influence.

Headline money moved: In 2020, we confidently tracked $244 million in money moved to our recommended charities, and via our GiveWell Incubation Grants program. This amount, which we call “headline money moved,” only counts donations that we are confident were influenced by our recommendations. This includes the grants we make through the Maximum Impact Fund. See Appendix 1 of our 2020 metrics report for additional details on how we calculate our money moved.

We also estimate that we are responsible for an additional $3 million in donations, but we are unable to attribute these donations directly to GiveWell. Because we are more uncertain about this influence, we do not include this amount in our “headline money moved” figure but include it in our “best guess of total money directed to charities” figure. [3]

The chart below shows the breakdown of our headline money moved into the following categories: grants that Open Philanthropy made to our recommended charities, donations from other donors to our recommended charities, and Incubation Grants. Please note that Open Philanthropy support (marked in gray) does not include funding it provided for GiveWell Incubation Grants, which are shown separately in purple. [4]

Money moved by charity (excluding Incubation Grants): Our nine top charities received the majority of our money moved. Our nine standout charities received a total of $2.2 million. Note that as of October 2021, we have discontinued the standout charity designation. [5]

Money moved by program (excluding Incubation Grants): Our recommended charities implement a variety of health and poverty alleviation programs. But some charities work on the same type of program. For example, we recommend four charities for their programs that support treatments for parasitic worm infections (deworming programs), and two charities for their programs to prevent malaria (Malaria Consortium’s seasonal malaria chemoprevention program and the Against Malaria Foundation). Here, we look at the breakdown of money moved by program type.

The majority of our money moved, including donations to our Maximum Impact Fund, was directed to malaria prevention programs—followed by unconditional cash transfers, conditional cash transfers to promote vaccination, deworming, and vitamin A supplementation. Other programs each received less than 1% of our total money moved.

Money moved by size of donor: We also analyze our money moved by the amount that different donors give, which we categorize into six different “size buckets” (see the chart below, which excludes funding from Open Philanthropy).

A caveat: Our analysis of money moved by donor size is incomplete because for approximately 39% of donations (excluding Open Philanthropy), we do not have data disaggregated by individual donor. Among the donations we can attribute to individual donors, the amount of money given increased across all donor size categories compared to 2019. Details are available in the full report.


Donations supporting GiveWell’s operations: GiveWell raised $43.6 million in unrestricted funding in 2020, compared to $19 million in 2019. Donors who gave over $100,000, including Open Philanthropy, contributed around 84% of GiveWell’s unrestricted funding in 2020. GiveWell’s total operating expenses in 2020 were $8.5 million.

We have only retained a portion of our unrestricted 2020 revenue for operating costs, and will be reallocating the remainder to discretionary grantmaking. [6]

For more detail, see our full metrics report (PDF).

References

Footnotes for this post may be found here.

The post GiveWell’s money moved in 2020 appeared first on The GiveWell Blog.

Robin Dey
Checked
8 minutes 44 seconds ago
Exploring how to get real change for your dollar.