GiveWell Incubation Grants

We discontinued the "GiveWell Incubation Grant" designation

GiveWell directs hundreds of millions of dollars in grants annually to high-impact opportunities.

Some of our grants have the goal of incubating, scaling, or getting more certainty around a potential future Top Charity. Other grants are made purely on the basis of expected value, regardless of the recipient’s Top Charity status. For example, when we don’t think an organization is likely to ever meet our Top Charity criteria, but the grant is cost-effective and consistent with our mission to maximize global well-being, we may still make a grant to support the organization’s work.

We formerly referred to many of these grants as “GiveWell Incubation Grants.” We discontinued this name in May 2022 to better reflect that these grants are not exclusively used to incubate early-stage organizations.

We are no longer updating the page below. For information about our current grantmaking, see our All GiveWell Grants page.

Last Updated: May 2023 (November 2016 version)

GiveWell Incubation Grants aim to support the development of future GiveWell top charities.

The top charities we recommend to donors generally have a strong independent evidence base supporting the intervention they're implementing, a track record (enabling us to assess their effectiveness and ability to use additional funding), and monitoring and evaluation information to demonstrate their programs are working. In order to meet these criteria, charities tend to have existed for a number of years, and have typically received funding from other organizations by the point where we feel confident recommending them.

Our work on GiveWell Incubation Grants involves considering organizations for support at any point in their development, with the hope of identifying additional future top charities to recommend to our donors.

For a complete table of all grants made or recommended by GiveWell, see this page.

What types of programs do Incubation Grants support?

We are interested in funding (primarily by making grant recommendations to Open Philanthropy, with which we work closely) Incubation Grants in the following categories:

  1. Academic research to evaluate program evidence, in order to build the evidence base for a potential priority program or to further our understanding of our current priority programs.
  2. Early-stage funding for a promising organization.
  3. Monitoring and evaluation of an existing organization.

What types of opportunities are we currently prioritizing most highly?

Our goal is to use Incubation Grants to improve and expand our top charities. We prioritize most highly grants that could:

  • Potentially lead to top charities that are significantly more cost-effective than our current top charities. Our latest cost-effectiveness model is here.
  • Expand the scope of GiveWell's research and the nature of the programs we have evaluated as long as we expect the programs to perform well on our evidence of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness criteria. For example, see our grant to the Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention as an example of expanding the scope of the types of programs we consider.

How can organizations apply for an Incubation Grant?

Information about how to apply for a grant from GiveWell is available here. If you have questions about applying, please contact

All Incubation Grants made

December 19, 2016 Update: GiveWell Incubation Grants were previously known as "GiveWell's experimental work." We have changed the name for clarity.