Sources for Top Charities page

Published: November 2020; Updated August 2023

Table of Contents

Estimating the impact of your donations

For information about our general approach to estimating the impact of the charities and funding opportunities we recommend, see this page.

Research hours

GiveWell has 37 full-time research staff. The names and roles of research staff can be found here.

Each research staff member contributes about 1,840 hours per year (40 hours per week multiplied by 46 weeks, accounting for holidays and time off). We assume that one-quarter of their time is spent on non-research work, such as staff meetings. We thus roughly estimate that they collectively conduct more than 50,000 hours of research per year (37 staff multiplied by 1,840 hours per year multiplied by 75% of time on research).

Impact of malaria

Estimates of annual malaria deaths vary from about 627,000 to 640,000.1 About 95% of the malaria deaths reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) for 2020 were in sub-Saharan Africa, and children under five years old accounted for about three-quarters of malaria deaths globally.2

Presuming the proportion of children dying from malaria is approximately constant across countries, then more than 70% of total malaria deaths were children under five years old in sub-Saharan Africa (95% of total malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa multiplied by 77% of total malaria deaths occurring in children under five results in 73%).

Impact of vitamin A deficiency

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's Global Burden of Disease project estimates that vitamin A deficiency increases the risk of diarrhea, measles, and lower respiratory tract infections.3 In 2017, an estimated 233,000 global deaths were linked to this increased risk.4

Impact of vaccine-preventable diseases

Worldwide, at least 15% infants did not receive all recommended childhood vaccines.5 In Nigeria, where New Incentives operates, 43% of infants did not receive all recommended vaccines.6


Document Source
GBD 2017 Risk Factor Collaborators, 2018 Source (archive)
GiveWell's non-verbatim summary of a conversation with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, April 5, 2019 Source
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Global Burden of Disease, GBD Compare, Global malaria deaths Source (archive)
Our World in Data, Global vaccination coverage, Nigeria, 2019 Source (archive)
Our World in Data, Global vaccination coverage, World, 2019 Source (archive)
UNICEF, "Immunization," 2020 Source (archive)
World Bank, "Sub-Saharan Africa" Source (archive)
WHO, World Malaria Report 2021 Source (archive)