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Top-Rated Charities - 2010 Archived Version

We have published a more recent list of top charities. See our most recent list.

Thousands of hours have gone into finding our top-rated charities. They're proven, cost-effective, underfunded, and outstanding.

Top international charities

OrganizationCauseRatingRankingEvidence of effectivenessCost-effectivenessFunding gapTransparencyMonitoring and evaluation
Village ReachGlobal health: immunizationsGold1StrongExcellentSignificantExcellentExcellent
Stop TBGlobal health: TuberculosisSilver2StrongExcellentSignificantAbove averageStrong
Against Malaria FoundationGlobal health: malariaSilver3ModerateExcellentSignificantExcellentStrong
Small Enterprise FoundationEconomic empowerment: microfinanceSilver4LimitedModerateModerateExcellentStrong
Village Enterprise FundEconomic empowerment: cash transfers and business trainingSilver5LimitedModerateModerateExcellentStrong
ChamroeunEconomic empowerment: microfinanceSilver6LimitedModerateModerateExcellentStrong

Top United States charities

OrganizationCauseRatingRankingEvidence of effectivenessCost-effectivenessFunding gapTransparencyOngoing monitoring
KIPPEducation: charter schoolsGold1Above averageLimitedSignificantAbove averageStrong
Nurse-Family PartnershipEarly childhood care: nurse home visitsGold2StrongLimitedOnly long termAbove averageExcellent
Invest in KidsYouth behaviorSilver3Above averageLimitedModerateStrongStrong

Top charities, by cause

CauseTop charity in causeRating
Global healthVillage ReachGold
TuberculosisStop TBSilver
MalariaAgainst Malaria FoundationSilver
MicrofinanceSmall Enterprise FoundationSilver
Other economic empowermentVillage Enterprise FundSilver
Cleft palate surgeryReSurge International (formerly Interplast)Notable
Developing-world educationPrathamNotable
US educationKIPPGold
US early childhood careNurse-Family PartnershipGold
US youth behaviorInvest in KidsSilver

Our charity evaluation process

For specifics, see our process for international charities and our process for U.S. charities. GiveWell's process broadly consists of:
  • Examine hundreds of charities and relevant academic literature
  • Deeply investigate the most promising charities by our criteria
  • Publish all the details of our charity recommendations and the full details of our reasoning on this website

Evaluation criteria

We look for charities that are proven, cost-effective, have "room for more funding," and are transparent. More information is available on our criteria page.

Identifying charities

We cast the net as wide as we can to consider as many charities as possible, reviewing hundreds of charities' websites and more deeply investigating the most promising ones. We identify charities from sources, including:
  • Submissions to our website
  • Grantees of other major funders such as the Skoll, Gates, or Mulago foundations
  • Partners of research organizations such as the Poverty Action Lab or Innovations for Poverty Action

In-depth charity reviews

We perform in-depth reviews of charities that meet our heuristics for further evaluation. These are a relatively small subset of all the charities we consider and are those we believe have a reasonable chance of receiving our recommendation. We begin our process by reviewing all publicly available information about a charity including its website, external evaluations, and other relevant information. We then try and speak directly with a member of a charity's senior management, who can answer questions about the organization's overall activities and process for evaluating its impact. We also often request additional documents and information which we analyze and incorporate into our review process.