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Maximum Impact Fund

Published: June 2021 (April 2021 version)

The Maximum Impact Fund is our top recommendation

Our top recommendation to GiveWell donors seeking to do the most good possible is to donate to the Maximum Impact Fund. Donations to the Maximum Impact Fund are granted each quarter. We use our latest research to grant the funds to the recommended charity (or charities) where we believe they’ll do the most good.

How we make grant decisions

We grant funds from the Maximum Impact Fund to the recipient charity (or charities) at the end of each fiscal quarter. Our research team decides which charities have the highest priority funding needs at that time. This decision takes into consideration factors such as:

  • Which funding gaps we expect to be filled and unfilled
  • Each charity’s plans for additional funding
  • The cost-effectiveness of each funding gap

    For more detail on past decisions, see the table below.

    What you can expect if you donate to the Maximum Impact Fund

    When we receive a donation designated for the Maximum Impact Fund, we grant 100% of the value of the donation (minus any fees charged by payment processors) to the charity or charities that the research team recommends at the end of each quarter.

    GiveWell does not take any fees from the donations and earns no interest on the funds accumulated each quarter before the distribution.

    We send a follow-up email to all Maximum Impact Fund donors after each distribution that estimates the impact those donors had with their donation. You can view the template for our December 2020 impact email here.

    Past recipients of the Maximum Impact Fund

    We list all of our Maximum Impact Fund grants (formerly known as "Grants to recommended charities at GiveWell's discretion") made starting in 2014 below. We began publishing reports with our reasoning for each of these grants in 2017, and will include these reports going forward. As of October 2020, we also include grants made with flexible funding provided to us (but not given to the Maximum Impact Fund), such as unrestricted gifts that were granted to our recommended charities. These are indicated separately below.

    Grant date Using donations received in Amount (rounded to nearest $0.1 M) Recipient(s) Write-up
    March 2021 October to December 2020 $26.9 million Against Malaria Foundation June 24, 2021: Grants and Funding Recommendations in January and February 2021
    December 2020 July to September 2020 $3.8 million Malaria Consortium’s seasonal malaria chemoprevention program November 19, 2020: Our recommendations for giving in 2020
    September 2020 January to June 2020 $23.3 million $15.3 million to the Against Malaria Foundation (including $3.6 million from an unrestricted donation). We also granted $8 million from a donor who gave us flexible funding to Malaria Consortium's seasonal malaria chemoprevention program. October 13, 2020: Maximum Impact Fund update: Q1 and Q2 2020
    March 2020 October to December 2019 $13.4 million $11.9 million to Malaria Consortium’s seasonal malaria chemoprevention program and $1.5 million to Helen Keller International’s vitamin A supplementation program March 17, 2020: Allocation of discretionary funds from Q4 2019
    December 2019 July to September 2019 $2.6 million Helen Keller International's vitamin A supplementation program December 19, 2019: Allocation of discretionary funds from Q3 2019
    August 2019 April to June 2019 $2.3 million Against Malaria Foundation August 21, 2019: Allocation of discretionary funds from Q2 2019
    June 2019 January to March 2019 $4.7 million Against Malaria Foundation June 12, 2019: Allocation of discretionary funds from Q1 2019
    March 2019 October to December 2018 $7.6 million Malaria Consortium's seasonal malaria chemoprevention program March 29, 2019: Allocation of discretionary funds from Q4 2018
    November 2018 July to September 2018 $1.1 million Malaria Consortium's seasonal malaria chemoprevention program November 26, 2018: Our updated top charities for giving season 2018
    August 2018 April to June 2018 $4.1 million 70% to Against Malaria Foundation and 30% to Schistosomiasis Control Initiative August 28, 2018: Allocation of discretionary funds from Q2 2018
    May 2018 January to March 2018 $3.0 million 70% to Against Malaria Foundation and 30% to Schistosomiasis Control Initiative June 4, 2018: Allocation of discretionary funds from Q1 2018
    March 2018 October to December 2017 $5.6 million Schistosomiasis Control Initiative April 6, 2018: Allocation of discretionary funds from Q4 2017
    November 2017 July to September 2017 $0.7 million Evidence Action's Deworm the World Initiative November 27, 2017: Our top charities for giving season 2017
    August and September 2017 March to June 2017 $2.3 million Evidence Action's Deworm the World Initiative August 30, 2017: Why we’re allocating discretionary funds to the Deworm the World Initiative
    August 2017 January to February 2017 $2.5 million Against Malaria Foundation April 3, 2017: Allocation of discretionary funds and new recommendation for donors
    April 2017 October to December 2016 $2.6 million $2.1 million to Against Malaria Foundation and $0.5 million to Evidence Action's Deworm the World Initiative April 3, 2017: Allocation of discretionary funds and new recommendation for donors
    December 2016 July to September 2016 $0.5 million Against Malaria Foundation
    September 2016 May to June 2016 $0.3 million Against Malaria Foundation
    June 2016 March to April 2016 $0.2 million Against Malaria Foundation
    April 2016 January to February 2016 $1.0 million Against Malaria Foundation
    February 2016 December 2015 $1.6 million Against Malaria Foundation
    January 2016 October to November 2015 $0.8 million Against Malaria Foundation
    December 2015 June to September 2015 $0.6 million Against Malaria Foundation
    July 2015 January to May 2015 $1.0 million 66.7% to the Against Malaria Foundation, 13.3% each to GiveDirectly and the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, and 6.7% to Evidence Action's Deworm the World Initiative
    March 2015 November to December 2014 $2.2 million 66.7% to the Against Malaria Foundation, 13.3% each to GiveDirectly and the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, and 6.7% to Evidence Action's Deworm the World Initiative
    December 2014 July to October 2014 $0.1 million 66.7% to the Against Malaria Foundation, 13.3% each to GiveDirectly and the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, and 6.7% to Evidence Action's Deworm the World Initiative
    August 2014 April to June 2014 $0.1 million 60% to GiveDirectly, 20% to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, and 20% to Evidence Action's Deworm the World Initiative
    May 2014 January to March 2014 $0.2 million 55% to GiveDirectly, 40% to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, and 5% to Evidence Action's Deworm the World Initiative

    We also made these grants prior to 2014 and would be happy to provide information about those grants upon request.