Your Dollar Goes Further When You Fund the Right Program

The cost-effectiveness estimates on this page were last updated in November 2020.

The previous page considered some of the cost differences between charities working in the United States and the developing world. But even charities working in the developing world can have dramatically different cost-effectiveness, depending on the type of intervention they're working on.

Even among the programs we recommend, we estimate a range of cost-effectiveness that varies by 10x or more, although these estimates are subject to substantial uncertainty.

As of July 2022, we expect to look for giving opportunities that are at least ten times as cost-effective as unconditional cash transfers, which means that we don't have cost-effectiveness estimates for programs that are likely to be significantly worse.1 The table below compares the cost-effectiveness of our top-recommended charities, based on our November 2020 cost-effectiveness model.2 Click here to learn more about our approach to estimating cost-effectiveness.

Program estimated cost-effectiveness (relative to cash transfers)
Against Malaria Foundation ~15x
Helen Keller International ~21x
Malaria Consortium ~14x
New Incentives ~11x

Your choice of which program to support can make a huge difference to the impact you ultimately achieve with your donation. More information is available on our impact page.


  • 1

    We compare charities (and funding opportunities within them) using multiples of our estimate for the impact of directly transferring cash to beneficiaries. For example, we describe an opportunity as “10x cash” to indicate that we think it’s ten times as cost-effective as giving that amount in cash directly to the beneficiary. There’s an intuitive case for asking whether a program is better than what beneficiaries would buy for themselves using cash. If not, wouldn’t it be better to just give them cash instead? Any program we consider must exceed this standard and be multiple times better than cash in order for us to recommend it.

  • 2The figures in the table can be found on the "Results" tab of our November 2020 cost-effectiveness model.