Good Ventures and Giving Now vs. Later

We’ve been wrestling lately with the question of how much Good Ventures, a foundation funded by Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz that works with GiveWell on the Open Philanthropy Project, should be aiming to give at this early stage in its development. As discussed previously, we (the Open Philanthropy Project) are prioritizing building knowledge and capacity over investigating specific potential grants. But this still leaves the question: once we have investigated a potential grant, how do we decide where the bar is for recommending it? With all the uncertainty about what we’ll find in future years, how do we decide when grant X is better than saving the money and giving later? This question is especially important when considering what size grants to recommend to GiveWell’s top charities: these giving opportunities have been investigated to about the maximum extent possible, and this year they have considerable room for more funding. Good Ventures could support them at a level anywhere in between $0 and $100+ million, and they’ve asked us to recommend an amount and allocation, with the aforementioned questions in mind.

In this post, we lay out our working framework for questions like this. In brief, we aim to recommend giving based on:

  • An overall budget for the year, based on the Open Philanthropy Project’s current stage of development and on Cari and Dustin’s goal of giving the vast majority of their wealth to charity during their lifetimes (not leaving an endowment behind). Since the Open Philanthropy Project is currently at an early stage, we are setting the budget at 5% of total available capital; this percentage will rise as the Open Philanthropy Project develops further and our capacity for finding the best possible giving opportunities improves (as discussed previously).
  • A benchmark against which all grants should be compared. Once we’ve investigated a giving opportunity and formed a view of its value, we will recommend it based on how we think it compares to the benchmark. Our working benchmark is direct cash transfers to the lowest-income people possible, as carried out by GiveDirectly. In other words, giving opportunities that seem significantly better than direct cash transfers will be recommended (as long as there is room in the budget set by the previous bullet point).
  • A number of complicating factors and adjustments. Most importantly, (a) we plan to use a more forgiving benchmark when recommending early grants in an area; (b) we need to be mindful of the incentives we’re creating for other donors, which will often mean declining to fill a full funding gap.

The remainder of this post will:

  • Explain the reasoning behind the basic criteria: the budget of 5%/year and the benchmark of direct cash transfers.
  • Discuss complicating factors and adjustments.
  • Lay out what this means for our recommendation this year regarding GiveWell’s top charities.

The basic criteria


The Open Philanthropy Project is still relatively early in its development. At some point, we expect that we will reach what one might call “peak capacity” in terms of staff size and ability to evaluate giving opportunities. We think this will be the appropriate time to reach “peak giving” as well – to be recommending grants at a rate consistent with drawing down the full amount Cari and Dustin are hoping to give away within their lifetimes.

However, for now – since we still have so much progress to make in terms of learning and capacity building – we think it makes sense to err on the side of recommending grants totaling a relatively small percentage of the available capital. We think the idea of a “relatively small percentage” maps intuitively to 5%, because:

  • 5% is the minimum payout for private foundations in the U.S. Most of the money Cari and Dustin are looking to give away is currently in the form of personal wealth rather than in a private foundation, so this requirement doesn’t have much direct practical impact; its significance is more that as long as recommendations total under 5% of available capital, this will be a fairly low level relative to what most major foundations are doing.
  • 5% is a reasonable approximation to the (real) investment return Cari and Dustin might expect over time, so recommending grants totaling 5% a year might be expected to maintain their capital at a roughly constant level over time.

As long as total giving is below 5%/year, we’ll be happy to recommend more (subject to the benchmark below), and feel this is consistent with preserving option value for the bulk of future giving.

Benchmarking against direct cash transfers

By default, we feel that any given grant of $X should look significantly better than making direct cash transfers (totaling $X) to people who are extremely low-income by global standards – abbreviated as “direct cash transfers.” We believe it will be possible to give away very large amounts, at any point in the next couple of decades, via direct cash transfers, so any grant that doesn’t meet this bar seems unlikely to be worth making.

We note that current gifts to GiveDirectly appear substantially better than “pure” cash transfers, because they have value to GiveDirectly’s trajectory as an organization and they are usually funding experiments; the “direct cash transfers” term here essentially refers to GiveDirectly’s intervention in isolation, ignoring those benefits. (And we think those benefits would be negligible for e.g. the 200 millionth dollar disbursed by GiveDirectly in a given year.)

It’s possible that this standard is too lax, since we might find plenty of giving opportunities in the future that are much stronger than direct cash transfers. However, at this early stage, it isn’t obvious how we will find several billion dollars’ worth of such opportunities, and so – as long as total giving remains within the 5% budget – we prefer to err on the side of recommending grants when we’ve completed an investigation and when they look substantially better than direct cash transfers.

It is, of course, often extremely unclear how to compare the good accomplished by a given grant to the good accomplished by direct cash transfers. Sometimes we will be able to do a rough quantitative estimate to determine whether a given grant looks much better, much worse or within the margin of error. (In the case of our top charities, we think that donations to AMF, SCI and Deworm the World look substantially better.) Other times we may have little to go on for making the comparison other than intuition. Still, thinking about the comparison can be informative. For example, when considering grants that will primarily benefit people in the U.S. (such as supporting work on criminal justice reform), benchmarking to direct cash transfers can be a fairly high standard. Based on the idea that the value of additional money is roughly proportional to the logarithm of income, and the fact that mean American income is around 100x annual consumption for GiveDirectly recipients, we assume that a given dollar is worth ~100x as much to a GiveDirectly recipient as to the average American. Thus, in considering grants that primarily benefit Americans, we look for a better than “100x return” in financial terms (e.g. increased income). Of course, there are always huge amounts of uncertainty in these comparisons, and we try not to take them too literally.

When these criteria apply

When we have completed an investigation of a potential grant, we intend to compare the likely value of the grant to that of direct cash transfers, and – if it appears substantially stronger and there seems to be room to make the grant while still being within our total budget for the year – move forward with the recommendation. However, this doesn’t mean that we plan to investigate every grant that might fit these criteria. At this stage, we are short on time relative to funding, and we spend time only on what we see as the highest-value activities we can identify.

Complications and adjustments

Exit grants

If we recommend supporting an organization, we need to think through what will happen if we later change our minds and decide that supporting the organization no longer meets our criteria. In many (though certainly not all) cases, we will feel the need to recommend “exit grants” in order to unwind our support gradually and give the recipient organization time to plan and adjust; without this practice, we could undermine organizations by causing them to plan suboptimally, and we could risk becoming the kind of funder that organizations are hesitant to work with.

Any potential “exit grants” need to be accounted for when considering the size of the grant and how much it should count toward our budget.

Knowledge/capacity building

We’ve written before that it can be helpful (and even necessary) to commit to recommend grants in a cause, in order to learn about the cause as a potential focus area. We think the “direct cash transfers” benchmark laid out above is most appropriate when applied to causes we know well and have a decent ability to evaluate; for early grants in causes we’re still exploring, we think it can often be a good idea to be less strict in applying this standard (though we don’t want to support things that are clearly much worse than direct cash transfers, nor do we want to enter any cause where there doesn’t seem to be a plausible path to grants that are much better).

When we’re extremely early in a cause, at the stage of making grants whose primary purpose is learning, we don’t see the need to make a comparison to direct cash transfers at all. When we’re somewhat advanced but still have a lot of learning to do – as is the case for our current U.S. policy focus areas – we’re going to look for grants that are at least competitive with direct cash transfers.

Coordination issues

As we’ve written before, trying to anticipate and adjust to other givers’ behavior can lead to thorny-seeming dilemmas. We do not want to be in the habit of – or gain a reputation for – recommending that Good Ventures fill the entire funding gap of every strong giving opportunity we see. In the long run, we feel this would create incentives for other donors to avoid the causes and grants we’re interested in; this, in turn, could lead to a much lower-than-optimal amount of total donor interest in the things we find most promising.

Encouraging other donors to help support the causes and organizations we’re interested in – and ensuring that they have genuine incentives to do so – will sometimes directly contradict the goal of fully funding the best giving opportunities we see. Thinking about GiveWell’s top charities provides a vivid example. If we recommended that Good Ventures fully fund each of our top charities, GiveWell would no longer recommend these charities to individual donors. In the short run, this could mean forgoing tens of millions of dollars of potential support for these charities from individuals (this is how much we project individuals will give to our top charities this year). In the long run, the costs could be much greater: we believe that individual-donor-based support of GiveWell’s top charities has the ability to grow greatly. A major donor who simply funded top charities to capacity would be – in our view – acting very suboptimally, putting in a much greater share of the funding than ought to be necessary over the long run.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve had many internal discussions about how to reconcile the goals of (a) recommending as much giving as possible from Good Ventures to top charities, which we consider outstanding giving opportunities; (b) preserving long-run incentives for individuals to support these charities as well. The proposals that have come up mostly fit into one of three broad categories:

1. “Funging” approaches. Individuals do most of their giving in December. We could wait until we’ve seen how much support comes in for each of our top charities, and then – in, say, February of 2016 – recommend Good Ventures grants to fill whatever funding gaps remain.

This would have the advantage of fully funding top charities, while not spending more (in the short run) than necessary to do so. However, it would have the disadvantage of creating a long-term incentive for individuals to stop supporting our top charities, since the only effect of their giving (in this scenario) would be to reduce the amount we recommend to Good Ventures. Most individuals would probably not notice this issue unprompted, but it’s very important to us to be open with our audience about the pros and cons of taking our recommendations, and we don’t want our offering to be valuable/attractive only to people who misunderstand it.

There are a variety of “funging” approaches that are less precise and less obvious than the one outlined above, but that we feel ultimately have the same basic pros and cons. Any approach that is designed to ensure that the entire funding gap is always filled will be creating the kind of problematic incentives outlined here.

2. “Matching” approaches. Rather than recommending that Good Ventures fill the remaining funding gaps after accounting for individuals, we could recommend that they give $1 for each $1 we track from individual donations. This would create the opposite incentives to those created by “funging”: it would mean that individuals had a magnified, rather than reduced, incentive to support top charities.

The disadvantage of this approach is that it would tie the recommended level (and allocation) of Good Ventures’s funding to decisions made by individuals. This could result in recommendations to give much less than is optimal, or much more, or much differently (e.g. with a much different allocation across charities). There are also logistical challenges involved with matching programs.

3. “Splitting” approaches. When trying to coordinate with another funder who can’t be directly negotiated with, one approach is to come up with what seems like a “fair share” of the funding gap each would provide, and simply recommend that Good Ventures commit to providing its “fair share” – no more and no less, regardless of the other funder’s behavior.

This approach has pros and cons somewhere in between those of the other two.

  • Incentives: The incentives it provides other donors aren’t actively positive (as with matching). But they are neutral, provided that the “fair share” is chosen in a principled way rather than as a response to the projected behavior of the other funder.
  • Amount and allocation: The amount recommended at a given time will not be optimal (as it is with “funging” approaches). But unlike with “matching,” we recommend closing a substantial proportion of each important funding gap, and prioritizing the higher-value funding gaps, regardless of how other donors behave.

Our preference at the moment. All three of these approaches have issues. Even in theory, it’s hard to reconcile the basic goals of (a) closing important funding gaps and (b) creating good incentives for other donors. When dealing with another major donor whom we can have a direct discussion with, it is often possible to be mutually honest about our thinking and agree to a fair-seeming split; but when thinking about how to coordinate with a large number of individual donors whose time and attention is scarce, any approach we take will be suboptimal in some major ways.

For this year, we have chosen the “split” approach. It is relatively simple to execute (unlike “matching” approaches) and keeps incentives relatively simple for donors (unlike with “funging” approaches). It avoids the worst problems with each of the other approaches, while not being perfect by any criterion.

Specifics of our recommendation re: GiveWell’s top charities

The split we have chosen regarding GiveWell’s top charities is:

  • For the highest-value giving opportunities, we want to recommend that Good Ventures funds 100%. It is more important to us to ensure these opportunities are funded than to set incentives appropriately.
  • For giving opportunities that are above the benchmark we’ve set but not “must-fund” opportunities, we want to recommend that Good Ventures funds 50%. It’s hard to say what the right long-term split should be between Good Ventures (a major foundation) and a large number of individual donors, and we’ve chosen 50% largely because we don’t want to engineer – or appear to be engineering – the figure around how much we project that individuals will give this year (which would create the problematic incentives associated with “funging” approaches). A figure of 50% seems reasonable for the split between (a) one major, “anchor” donor who has substantial resources and great conviction in a giving opportunity; (b) all other donors combined.

More specifically, we have chosen the recommended amount and allocation as follows:

  • Let X = the total funding gap for the highest-value, “must-fund” giving opportunities. For this year, we consider the “capacity-relevant” and “incentive” gaps discussed in the previous post to be in this category; they total $24.9 million.
  • Let Y = the total funding gap for the giving opportunities that are both above the Good Ventures benchmark (i.e., significantly better than direct cash transfers) and seem to be an excellent fit for individual donors, in the sense that we would feel we were offering individuals excellent options if we could offer only these opportunities. This figure is important because when thinking about how we want to influence incentives for other donors, we need to consider which other donors would be a logical fit for the giving opportunities we’re looking at. (When we look at giving opportunities that have no other logical supporters, it is less important to think about other donors’ incentives, for example.) For this year, we arrived at this figure by summing the first eight funding gaps listed previously, plus half of the ninth gap.
  • The total we are recommending Good Ventures give to GiveWell’s top charities is the greater of (100%*$X) and (50%*$Y). This approach ensures that all “must-fund” opportunities are funded (we prioritize fully funding these over setting incentives properly); it is, however, willing to pass up a significant amount of “above the benchmark but not must-fund” opportunities in order to ensure that we’re not creating long-term problems regarding incentives. For this year, the total figure is ~$44.4 million.
  • We would have capped the figure if necessary to fit total recommendations for the year within the budget of 5% of total capital, but this wasn’t necessary (even when taking potential “exit grants” into account).
  • Once the total figure is arrived at, it isn’t obvious how to distribute it among charities. One approach would be to apply the 50% split to each charity below the “must-fund” line, thus ensuring that each charity retains substantial room for donations from individuals. Another approach would be simply fund each gap, in order of priority, until the $44.4 million is exhausted; this has the advantage of prioritizing the highest-value funding gaps first. This year, the two approaches would have had fairly similar outputs, and we went with the latter after noting that it still left a fairly attractive set of giving opportunities for individuals.

We are currently reasonably happy with the output of this approach. It reliably leads to recommending that Good Ventures fill a significant part of top charities’ funding gaps, while also being principled enough to avoid any reality or appearance of “funging” that might create problematic incentives for individuals. We felt this was the best approach we could come up with given time constraints, since we wanted to announce our recommendations to Good Ventures along with our recommendations to individuals, so that individual donors would have the knowledge of our recommendations to Good Ventures before making their own giving decisions.

That said, we’re fairly early in our thinking on these issues, and we recognize that the approach we’ve chosen does not seem close to fully optimal or fully satisfying. We plan to revisit our approach next year, and we welcome more thought on how to answer this question in the future.

Our updated top charities for giving season 2015

We have refreshed our top charity rankings and recommendations. Our set of top charities and standouts is the same as last year’s, but we have introduced rankings and changed our recommended funding allocation, due to a variety of updates – particularly to our top charities’ room for more funding. In particular, we are recommending that Good Ventures, a foundation with which we work closely, support our top charities at a higher level than in previous years. This post includes our recommendations to Good Ventures, and gives our recommendations to individual donors after accounting for these grants.

Overall, we think the case for our top charities is stronger than in previous years, and room for more funding is greater.

Our top charities and recommendations for donors, in brief


Top charities

  1. Against Malaria Foundation (AMF)
  2. Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)
  3. Deworm the World Initiative, led by Evidence Action
  4. GiveDirectly

This year, we are ranking our top charities based on what we see as the value of filling their remaining funding gaps. Unlike in previous years, we do not feel a particular need for individuals to divide their allocation between the charities, since we are recommending that Good Ventures provide significant support to each. For those seeking our recommended allocation, we simply recommend giving to the top-ranked charity on the list, which is AMF.

Our recommendation takes the grants we are recommending to Good Ventures into account, as well as accounting for charities’ existing cash on hand and expected non-GiveWell-related fundraising, and recommends charities according to how much good additional donations (beyond these sources of funds) can do. (Otherwise, as explained below, Deworm the World would be ranked higher.) Thus, AMF’s #1 ranking is not based on its overall value as an organization, but based on the value of its remaining funding gap.

Standout charities

As with last year, we also provide a list of charities that we believe are strong standouts, though not at the same level (in terms of likely good accomplished per dollar) as our top charities. They are not ranked, and are listed in alphabetical order.

Below, we provide:

  • An explanation of major changes in the past year that are not specific to any one charity. More
  • A summary of our top charities’ relative strengths and weaknesses, and how we would rank them if room for more funding were not an issue. More
  • A discussion of our refined approach to room for more funding. More
  • The recommendations we are making to Good Ventures, and how we rank our top charities after taking these grants (and their impact on room for more funding) into account. More
  • Detail on each of our top charities, including major changes over the past year, strengths and weaknesses for each, and our understanding of each organization’s room for more funding. More
  • The process we followed that led to these recommendations. More
  • A brief update on giving to support GiveWell’s operations vs. giving to our top charities. More

Conference call to discuss recommendations

We are planning to hold a conference call at 5:30pm ET/2:30pm PT on Tuesday, December 1st to discuss our recommendations and answer questions.

If you’d like to join the call, please register using this online form. If you can’t make this date but would be interested in joining another call at a later date, please indicate this on the registration form.

Major changes in the last 12 months


Below, we summarize the major causes of changes to our recommendations (since last year).

Overall, the case for our top charities is stronger than it was in past years. The Deworm the World Initiative shared new monitoring and evaluation materials with us, so we are more confident than we were a year ago that it is a strong organization implementing high-quality programs. In addition, the extra year of work we have seen from AMF and GiveDirectly bolsters our view that they will be able to utilize additional funding effectively.

Our top charities have increased room for more funding. Last year, we expected donors following our recommendations to fully fill the most critical funding gaps of our top charities (excluding GiveDirectly) because they had limited room for more funding: GiveDirectly had a total funding gap of ~$40 million and our other three top charities had a total gap of ~$18 million. This year, all of our top charities have more room for more funding. We believe that GiveDirectly could absorb more than $80 million and other top charities together could collectively utilize more than $100 million. We do not expect donors following our recommendations to fully fill these gaps.

We are recommending that Good Ventures make larger grants to top charities. For reasons we will be detailing in a future post, we are recommending that Good Ventures make substantial grants to our top charities this year, though not enough to close their funding gaps.

Continued refinement of the concept of “room for more funding.” We’ve tried to create a much more systematic and detailed room for more funding analysis, because the stakes of this analysis have become higher due to (a) increased room for more funding across the board and (b) increased interest from Good Ventures in providing major support.

In past years, we’ve discussed charities’ room for more funding as a single figure without distinguishing between (a) the amount the charity would spend in the next 12 months, (b) the amount the charity needs to prevent it from slowing its work due to lack of funds, and (c) funding that would be especially important to the organization’s development and success (a dual benefit) in addition to expanding implementation of its program. This year, we’ve made three changes to our room for more funding analysis:

  • We’ve made (a) an assessment of whether additional funds merely allow a charity to implement its program (“execution”) or (b) whether additional funds would be especially important to the charity’s development and success as an organization (“capacity-relevant”). We also explicitly note the role of incentives for meeting GiveWell’s top-charity criteria in our recommendations (we seek to ensure that each top charity receives at least $1 million, to encourage other organizations to seek to meet these criteria).
  • We are explicitly assessing “execution”-related room for more funding based on our estimate of the probability that lack of funding will lead to a charity slowing its progress. We distinguish between Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 “execution” funding gaps; a higher number means the money is less likely to be needed.
  • We are now ranking “funding gaps,” not just ranking charities, because the first million dollars to a charity can have a very different impact from, e.g., the 20th million dollars. For example, if Charity A accomplishes more good per dollar with its programs than Charity B, we would rank Charity A above Charity B for a given type of gap (we would rank Charity A’s “Execution Level 1” gap above Charity B’s), but we might rank Charity B’s “Execution Level 1” gap (the amount of funding it will likely need) above Charity A’s “Execution Level 3” gap (the amount of funding gap it might, but probably will not, need to carry out more of its programs in the coming year).

We discuss these ideas in greater depth below.

Summary of key considerations for top charities


The table below summarizes the key considerations for our four top charities. More detail is provided below as well as in the charity reviews.

Consideration AMF Deworm the World GiveDirectly SCI
Program estimated cost-effectiveness (relative to cash transfers) ~10x ~10x Baseline ~5x
Directness and robustness of the case for impact Strong Moderate Strongest Moderate
Transparency and communication Strong Strong Strongest Weakest
Ongoing monitoring and likelihood of detecting future problems Strong Strong Strongest Weakest
Organizational track record of rolling out program Moderate Moderate Strong Strong
Room for more funding, after accounting for grants we are recommending to Good Ventures (more below) Very high Limited Very high High


Overall, our ranking of the charities with room for more funding issues set aside (just considering a hypothetical dollar spent by the charity on its programs, without the “capacity-relevant funding” and “incentives” issues discussed below) would be:

1. AMF and Deworm the World
3. SCI
4. GiveDirectly

However, when we factor in room for more funding (including the impact of the grants we’re recommending to Good Ventures), the picture changes. More on this below.

Room for more funding analysis


Capacity-relevant funding and incentives


Capacity-relevant funding: additional funding can sometimes be crucial for a charity’s development and success as an organization. For example, it can contribute to a charity’s ability to experiment, expand, and ultimately have greater room for more funding over the long run. It can also be important for a charity’s ability to raise funds from non-GiveWell donors, which can be an important source of long-term leverage and can put the organization in a stronger overall position.

We think of this sort of funding gap as particularly important to fill, because it can make a big difference over the long run; in particular, it may substantially affect the long-term quality of our giving recommendations.

“Capacity-relevant” funds can include (a) funds that are explicitly targeted at growth (e.g., funds to hire fundraising staff); (b) funds that enable a charity to expand into areas it hasn’t worked in before, which can lead to important learning about whether and how the charity can operate in the new location(s); and (c) funds that would be needed in order to avoid challenging contractions in a charity’s activities which could jeopardize the charity’s long-term growth and funding prospects.

Some specific examples:

  • The grant that Good Ventures made to GiveDirectly earlier this year is capacity-relevant because it will be used for: (a) building a fundraising team that will aim to raise substantial donations from non-GiveWell donors, and (b) developing partnerships with bilateral donors and local governments to deliver cash transfers or to run experiments comparing standard aid programs to cash transfers.
  • Early funding that GiveDirectly received was capacity-relevant because it enabled GiveDirectly to rapidly grow from a small organization moving a few hundred thousand dollars per year to a much larger organization moving more than $10 million per year. If this funding hadn’t been forthcoming, GiveDirectly might be much smaller today and have much less room for more funding.
  • We now think that some additional funding to AMF and Deworm the World will be capacity-relevant because each organization has only operated in a very small number of countries and new funding will enable each to enter new countries. This will allow them to learn how to operate there, and demonstrate that they can do so, increasing our willingness (and likely that of other donors) to recommend more to these organizations in the future.

It’s hard to draw sharp lines around capacity-relevant funding, and all funding likely has some effect on an organization’s development, but we have tried to identify and prioritize the funding gaps that seem especially relevant.

Execution funding allows charities to implement more of their core program but doesn’t appear to have substantial benefits beyond the direct good accomplished by this program. We’ve separated this funding into three levels:

  • Level 1: the amount we expect a charity to need in the coming year. If a charity has less funding than this level, we think it is more likely than not that it will be bottlenecked (or unable to carry out its core program to the fullest extent) by funding in the coming year.
  • Level 2: if a charity has this amount, we think there is an ~80% chance that it will not be bottlenecked by funding.
  • Level 3: if a charity has this amount, we think there is a ~95% chance that it will not be bottlenecked by funding.

Incentives: we think it is important that charities we recommend get a substantial amount of funding due to being a GiveWell top charity, because this ensures that incentives are in place for charities (and potential charity founders) to seek to meet our criteria for top charities and thus increase the number of charities we recommend and the total room for more funding available, even when they don’t end up being ranked #1. We seek to ensure that each top charity gets at least $1 million as a result of our recommendation, and we consider this to be a high-priority goal of our recommendations.

The charity-specific sections of this post discuss the reasoning behind the figures we’ve assigned to “capacity-relevant” and “Execution Level 1” gaps, but they do not provide the full details of how we arrived at these figures (and do not explicitly address the “Execution Level 2” and “Execution Level 3” gaps). We expect to add this analysis to our charity reviews in the coming weeks.

Funding gaps


The total (i.e., Capacity-relevant, Execution Levels 1, 2, and 3, and Incentive) funding gaps (in millions of dollars, rounded to one decimal place) for each of our top charities are:

  • AMF: $98.2
  • Deworm the World: $19.0
  • GiveDirectly: $84.0
  • SCI: $26.3

However, for reasons described above, the first million dollars to a charity can have a very different impact from, e.g., the 20th million dollars. Accordingly, we have created a ranking of individual funding gaps that accounts for both (a) the quality of the charity and the good accomplished by its program, per dollar (as laid out above), and (b) whether a given level of funding is capacity-relevant and whether it is highly or only marginally likely to be needed in the coming year.

The below table lays out our ranking of funding gaps. When gaps have the same “Priority,” this indicates that they are tied.

The table below includes the amount we are recommending to Good Ventures. For reasons we will lay out in another post, we are recommending to Good Ventures a total of ~$44.4 million in grants to top charities. Having set that total, we are recommending that Good Ventures start with funding the highest-rated gaps and work its way down, in order to accomplish as much good as possible.

When gaps are tied, we recommend filling them by giving each equal dollar amounts until one is filled, and then following the same procedure with the remaining tied gaps. See footnote for more.*

Priority Charity Amount Type Recommendation to Good Ventures Comments
1 DtWI $7.6 Capacity-relevant $7.6 DtWI and AMF are strongest overall
1 AMF $6.5 Capacity-relevant $6.5 See above
1 GD $1.0 Incentive $1.0 Ensuring each top charity receives at least $1 million
1 SCI $1.0 Incentive $1.0 Ensuring each top charity receives at least $1 million
2 GD $8.8 Capacity-relevant $8.8 Not as cost-effective as bednets or deworming, so lower priority, but above non-capacity-relevant gaps
2 DtWI $3.2 Execution Level 2 / possibly capacity-relevant $3.2 Level 1 gap already filled via “capacity-relevant” gap. See footnote for more**
2 AMF $43.8 Execution Level 1 $16.3 Exhausts remaining recommendations to Good Ventures
3 SCI $4.9 Execution Level 1 0 Not as strong as DtWI and AMF in isolation, so ranked below them for same type of gap
3 AMF $24.0 Execution Level 2 0
4 DtWI $8.2 Execution Level 3 0
4 AMF $24.0 Execution Level 3 0
4 SCI $11.6 Execution Level 2 0
5 GD $24.8 Execution Level 1 0
5 SCI $8.8 Execution Level 3 0
6 GD $20.9 Execution Level 2 0
7 GD $28.6 Execution Level 3 0

Our recommendations to Good Ventures and others


Summing the figures from the above table, we are recommending that Good Ventures make the following grants (in millions of dollars, rounded to one decimal place):

  • AMF: $22.8
  • Deworm the World: $10.8
  • GiveDirectly: $9.8
  • SCI: $1

We also recommend that Good Ventures give $250,000 to each of our standout charities. These grants go to the outstanding organizations and create additional incentives for groups to try to obtain a GiveWell recommendation.

After these grants, AMF will require an additional ~$27.5 million to close its Execution Level 1 gap (i.e., to make it more likely than not that it is able to proceed without being bottlenecked due to lack of funding). We rank this gap higher than any of the other remaining funding gaps for our top charities, as laid out in the table above.

We estimate that non-Good Ventures donors will give approximately $15 million between now and January 31, 2016. Because we do not expect AMF’s remaining ~$27.5 million Execution Level 1 funding gap to be fully filled, we rank it #1 and recommend that donors give to AMF. We rank the remaining charities for donors who are interested in having the greatest impact per dollar based on how highly their highest-rated remaining gap ranks in the table above. That results in the following rankings for individual donors:

  1. AMF
  2. SCI
  3. Deworm the World Initiative
  4. GiveDirectly

Details on top charities


We present information on our top charities in alphabetical order.

Against Malaria Foundation (AMF)


Our full review of AMF is here.


AMF ( provides funding for long-lasting insecticide-treated net distributions (for protection against malaria) in developing countries. There is strong evidence that distributing nets reduces child mortality and malaria cases. AMF has relatively strong reporting requirements for its distribution partners and provides a level of public disclosure and tracking of distributions that we have not seen from any other net distribution charity.

In 2011, AMF received a large amount of funding relative to what it had received historically, so it began to focus primarily on reaching agreements for large-scale net distributions (i.e., distributions on the order of hundreds of thousands of nets rather than tens of thousands of nets). In its early efforts to scale up, AMF struggled to finalize large-scale net distribution agreements. At the end of 2013, we announced that we planned not to recommend additional donations to AMF due to room for more funding-related issues (more detail in this blog post).

In 2014, AMF committed most of its funds to several new distributions — some in Malawi, some in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) — and we recommended it as a top charity again.

Important changes in the last 12 months

In 2015, AMF carried out and/or monitored many of the distributions that it committed to in 2014.

Previously, our confidence in AMF’s ability to scale had been limited by the fact that it had only completed large-scale distributions with one partner (Concern Universal) in one country (Malawi). However, AMF carried out its largest distribution to date (~620,000 nets) with a new partner in the DRC in late 2014. We have not yet seen some key documentation from the large DRC distribution, but early indications suggest that the distribution generally went as planned, despite our concern that the DRC may have been an especially challenging place to work (more details here). We see this as a positive update that AMF will be able to carry out high-quality large-scale distributions in a variety of locations in the future.

AMF has continued to collect and share follow-up information on its past large-scale distributions, and this information seems to support the notion that these distributions are high-quality (i.e., that nets are reaching the target population and are being used). We provide a summary of these reports in our review.

Funding gap

AMF currently holds $18.5 million, and we estimate it will receive an additional $1.6 million before January 31, 2016 (excluding donations influenced by GiveWell) that it could use for future distributions. AMF has told us that it has a pipeline of possible future net distributions that add up to roughly $100 million beyond what it currently holds (details in our review).

We believe that AMF’s progress would be slowed due to lack of funding were it to receive less than $50.3 million in additional funding (this is its total capacity-relevant and “Execution Level 1” gap as presented earlier in the post). In particular, we view the first additional $6.5 million that AMF would receive as capacity-relevant (and thus particularly valuable) because it would enable AMF to fund a distribution in a 5th country with a 5th partner, generating additional information about its ability to expand beyond the contexts in which it has worked to date. (Note that AMF already has funds on hand to enter its 3rd and 4th countries.)

We arrived at the capacity-relevant and Execution Level 1 figure by noting that AMF has $70.4 million worth of deals it is actively negotiating (5 deals in 4 countries) that it can only continue with if it holds the funds to do so. Subtracting the $20.1 million we expect to be available (the $18.5 million it currently holds plus the $1.6 million we expect it to receive in the coming months) leaves a $50.3 million funding gap.

AMF failed to reach new distribution agreements in 2015; there is still significant uncertainty regarding AMF’s ability to finalize agreements with new partners and countries. Nevertheless, we see providing a large amount of additional funds to AMF as a reasonable bet, and see AMF as a very strong giving opportunity.

We think it is possible that in November 2016 (when we next expect to complete a full refresh of our recommendations), we will recommend significantly less funding to AMF. We consider the funding we’re recommending to AMF now to be a good bet, but a risky one, because AMF currently has a relatively limited track record: it has worked with only two partners in two countries. Because of the lag between the time we provide funding and the time net distributions take place (often 2 years) and the additional lag caused by the time it takes to monitor distributions, we may not have additional information about whether or not AMF’s additional distributions were successful for 2-3 years. Next year, it is possible that we will choose to recommend significantly less funding to AMF while we wait for additional data to become available.

There still appears to be a large global funding gap for bednets; a global bednet coordination group estimated that about 245 million additional nets would be needed in 2015-2017 (details in our review).

Key considerations:

  • Program impact and cost-effectiveness. We estimate that bednets are ~10x as cost-effective as cash transfers. Our estimates are subject to substantial uncertainty. All of our cost-effectiveness analyses are available here. Our 2015 cost-effectiveness file is available here (.xlsx).
  • Directness and robustness of the case for impact. We believe that the connection between AMF receiving funds and those funds helping very poor individuals is less direct than GiveDirectly’s and more direct than SCI’s or Deworm the World’s. The uncertainty of our estimates is driven by a combination of AMF’s challenges historically disbursing the funds it receives and a general recognition that aid programs, even those as straightforward as bednets, carry significant risks of failure via ineffective use of nets, insecticide resistance, or other risks we don’t yet recognize relative to GiveDirectly’s program. AMF conducts extensive monitoring of its program; these results have generally indicated that people use the nets they receive.
  • Transparency and communication. AMF has been extremely communicative and open with us. We feel we have a better understanding of AMF than of SCI, and a similar level of knowledge about AMF as we have for Deworm the World, though our understanding is not as strong as our understanding of GiveDirectly. In particular, were something to go wrong in one of AMF’s distributions, we believe we would eventually find out (something we are not sure of in the case of SCI), but we believe our understanding would be less quick and complete than it would be for problems associated with GiveDirectly’s program (which has more of a track record of consistent intensive follow-up).
  • Risks:
    • We are not highly confident that AMF will be able to finalize additional distributions and do so quickly. AMF could struggle again to agree to distribution deals, leading to long delays before it spends funds. We view this as a relatively minor risk because the likely worst-case scenario is that AMF spends the funds slowly (or returns funds to donors).
    • We remain concerned about the possibility of resistance to the insecticides used in bednets. There don’t appear to be major updates on this front since our 2012 investigation into the matter; we take the lack of major news as a minor positive update.

Our full review of AMF is here.

Deworm the World Initiative, led by Evidence Action


Our full review of Deworm the World is here.


Deworm the World (, led by Evidence Action, advocates for, supports, and evaluates government-run school-based deworming programs (treating children for intestinal parasites).

We believe that deworming is a program backed by relatively strong evidence. We have reservations about the evidence, but we think the potential benefits are great enough, and costs low enough, to outweigh these reservations. Deworm the World retains monitors whose reports indicate that the deworming programs it supports successfully deworm children.

Important changes in the last 12 months

In 2015, Deworm the World continued to support the scale-up and monitoring of deworming programs in India and Kenya. One of its notable activities this year was providing technical assistance to the Indian national government in support of India’s first national deworming day: a program in which the government provided assistance to Indian states to implement school-based deworming on a single day to encourage more states to implement the program. The first national deworming day took place in February 2015, and 12 states participated in the program (more details here).

The quality of the monitoring that we saw from Deworm the World improved in 2015. Deworm the World continued to hire and train third-party monitors to directly observe deworming activities, and it slightly improved its estimates of how many children were treated. This information strongly suggests that the programs are generally operating as intended. More details in our review.

Last year, Deworm the World stated to us that it could not use significant additional funding to scale up deworming programs. Deworm the World now believes that it has identified countries where it could use additional funds to support the scale-up of deworming programs, beginning with a potential program in Punjab province, Pakistan (more). (Deworm the World also plans to use funds it already holds or expects to receive to expand into Ethiopia and Nigeria.)

Future donations to Deworm the World will likely be used outside of India, and in those cases governments may have less funding to support deworming. This may cause Deworm the World to pay a higher fraction of the overall cost of the program, making the potential for leverage of future donations more limited. Overall program costs may also be higher outside of India. More details in our review.

A significant organizational update is that Alix Zwane stepped down as Executive Director of Evidence Action in August; she left to join the Global Innovation Fund as CEO. Evidence Action has since hired Jeff Brown (formerly Interim CEO of the Global Innovation Fund) as Executive Director. Grace Hollister remains Director of the Deworm the World Initiative. Overall, our impression is that Dr. Zwane has been a highly effective leader of Evidence Action and her departure risks disruptions that could lead to us changing our view of the organization, though we would guess that this will not be the case.

In July, researchers published two new analyses of a key study regarding deworming (the most important piece of evidence we rely on), and the Cochrane Collaboration published an updated review of the evidence for mass deworming programs. The new papers did not change our overall assessment of the evidence on deworming. More in our blog post.

Funding gap

We believe that Deworm the World has significant opportunities to use additional funding to expand its program. We believe it may have opportunities to enter at least two more countries (in addition to Nigeria and Ethiopia, which it will be able to enter with funds it already has or expects to receive). We estimate its funding need using the two countries it is most likely to enter — Pakistan and Nepal — though note that in both cases, we see these as representative of the types of opportunities it may have, rather than the specific opportunities we expect it to take. Altogether, Deworm the World estimates that it would need $11.25 million to commit to fully funding three years of deworming programs in both countries. Because it holds (or expects to receive shortly) funding that will total $3.6 million, we estimate its funding gap for this work at $7.6 million.

Funding this gap is capacity-relevant, and is therefore a high priority, because we would like to see Deworm the World try to work in additional countries beyond India and Kenya, where it has worked historically. Next year, Deworm the World will also enter Nigeria and Ethiopia (with funding already available), so it will likely end the year having had some experience in five or more countries. This could substantially increase Deworm the World’s long-term room for more funding.

A complicating factor in thinking about Deworm the World’s funding gap is that Deworm the World is part of a larger organization, Evidence Action. Funding for Deworm the World may be fungible with funding for Evidence Action’s other activities, such as its Dispensers for Safe Water initiative (which we believe to be substantially less cost-effective than deworming). Because of this, it is difficult to determine Deworm the World’s true funding gap, and it is possible that some additional funds given to support Deworm the World could effectively lead to additional funds for a non-Deworm the World project. We understand that Evidence Action has received approximately $2.4 million in unrestricted funding over the past year. Fully funding Deworm the World could potentially cause Evidence Action to redirect some or all of these funds to its other programs.

More details on all of the above are in our review.

Key considerations:

  • Program impact and cost-effectiveness. We estimate that Deworm the World-associated deworming programs are ~10x as cost-effective as cash transfers. Our estimates are subject to substantial uncertainty. It’s important to note that we view deworming as high expected value, but this is due to a relatively low probability of very high impact. Most GiveWell staff members would agree that deworming programs are more likely than not to have very little or no impact, but there is some possibility that they have a very large impact. (Our cost-effectiveness model implies that most staff members believe there is at most a 1-2% chance that deworming programs conducted today have similar impacts to those directly implied by the randomized controlled trials on which we rely most heavily, which differed from modern-day deworming programs in a number of important ways.) Our 2015 cost-effectiveness file is available here (.xlsx).
  • Directness and robustness of the case for impact. Deworm the World doesn’t carry out deworming programs itself; it advocates for and provides technical assistance to governments implementing deworming programs, making direct assessments of its impact challenging. We have seen evidence that strongly suggests that Deworm the World-supported programs successfully deworm children. While we believe Deworm the World is impactful, our evidence is limited, and in addition, there is always a risk that future expansions will prove more difficult than past ones.
  • Transparency and communication. Deworm the World has been communicative and open with us. We believe that were something major to go wrong with Deworm the World’s work, we would be able to learn about it and report on it.
  • Risks:
    • Deworm the World is part of a larger organization, Evidence Action. It is possible that some additional funds given to support Deworm the World could effectively lead to additional funds for a non-Deworm the World project due to fungibility. Also, changes that affect Evidence Action (and its other programs) could indirectly impact Deworm the World. For example, if a major event occurs (either positive or negative) for Evidence Action, it is likely that it would reduce the time some staff could devote to Deworm the World.
    • Deworm the World is now largely raising funds to support programs that will be carried out under a different model in new countries, which makes it harder for us to predict future success based on historical results and may make it harder to understand and quantify Deworm the World’s impact even after the program is completed.

Our full review of Deworm the World is here.



Our full review of GiveDirectly is here.


GiveDirectly ( transfers cash to households in developing countries via mobile phone-linked payment services. It targets extremely low-income households. The proportion of total expenses that GiveDirectly has delivered directly to recipients is approximately 85% overall. We believe that this approach faces an unusually low burden of proof, and that the available evidence supports the idea that unconditional cash transfers significantly help people.

We believe GiveDirectly to be an exceptionally strong and effective organization, even more so than our other top charities. It has invested heavily in self-evaluation from the start, scaled up quickly, and communicated with us clearly. It appears that GiveDirectly has been effective at delivering cash to low-income households. GiveDirectly has one major randomized controlled trial (RCT) of its impact and took the unusual step of making the details of this study public before data was collected (more). It continues to experiment heavily, to the point where every recipient is enrolled in a study or a campaign variation.

Important changes in the last 12 months

GiveDirectly continued to scale up significantly, utilizing most of the funding it received at the end of last year. It continued to share informative and detailed monitoring information with us. Overall, it grew its operations while maintaining the high quality of its program.

In August, Good Ventures granted $25 million to GiveDirectly to support potentially high-upside opportunities, such as (a) building a fundraising team that will aim to raise substantial donations from non-GiveWell donors, and (b) developing partnerships with bilateral donors and local governments to deliver cash transfers or to run experiments comparing standard aid programs to cash transfers.

GiveDirectly’s increased efforts to network with potential government and donor partners have led to some results in 2015. For example, GiveDirectly will be implementing cash transfers in a randomized controlled trial in Rwanda that will be funded by a bilateral aid donor and Google. The study will test cash transfers against another still-to-be-chosen aid program. GiveDirectly is currently in several preliminary conversations with partners for similarly large projects in the future.

Funding gap

GiveDirectly believes it could move a total of ~$94 million to poor households in the year following March 1, 2016, for which it expects to have ~$12.6 million available by March 1. We have classified ~$34.5 million of this as the total “Execution Level 1,” capacity-relevant, and incentive funding gap (more on what this means above). We arrived at this figure by assuming that GiveDirectly could double its operations in Kenya (from ~$16.5 million/year to ~$33 million/year) and scale up to ~$12.1 million/year in Uganda. This would cost a total of ~$45.1 million, of which GiveDirectly already has ~$10.6 million on hand (ignoring $2 million that we exclude due to donor coordination issues), which results in a ~$34.5 million gap.

We’ve classified some of this as a “capacity-relevant” funding gap for our purposes (making it higher priority). First, we view the ~$12.1 million it would hope to spend in Uganda as capacity-relevant, in the sense that providing it could make a major difference to GiveDirectly’s long-term development. GiveDirectly told us that operating in Uganda is more challenging than in Kenya and that it expects to learn a significant amount as it grows. It is therefore planning to grow more slowly in Uganda than it did in Kenya. GiveDirectly made two arguments for Uganda being important for its long-term trajectory:

  1. If GiveDirectly lost the ability to operate in Kenya, this would significantly diminish its ability to move funds out the door. Operating in Uganda is an important hedge against this risk.
  2. Kenya is a particularly easy environment in which to operate because of the existence of M-PESA, a powerful and ubiquitous provider that enables GiveDirectly to transfer funds to recipients via mobile phones. The mobile payments network is significantly less developed outside of Kenya. As such, Uganda offers an important test case for operating in a more standard environment, which could be particularly valuable to GiveDirectly as it encourages aid agencies and country governments to expand direct cash assistance.

It’s harder to estimate how much of the Kenya funding needs are properly classified as “capacity-relevant” (an important distinction for our purposes, as discussed above). We guess that were GiveDirectly to be operating at a level 50% its current size (such that it only spent ~$8.25 million/year in Kenya), it would be able to build capacity from that level to its current level (and beyond) as quickly as it did in its recent past. We therefore classify ~$8.25 million of the ~$16.5 million it hopes to spend in Kenya as “capacity-relevant” and ~$8.25 million as “execution.” We note that we are highly uncertain about these estimates and that were GiveDirectly to receive no additional funding, this would cause it to contract in Kenya and lay off some of its middle management, an action that would cause it to incur reasonably high costs; we think much more contraction than that would be significantly more challenging for GiveDirectly as an organization.

Based on the above, and based on GiveDirectly’s existing available funds (with some adjustments for coordination issues, along the lines of this discussion from last year) we estimate that GiveDirectly has ~$9.8 million worth of unfunded opportunities that we ought to classify as capacity-relevant or incentive funding. (We arrive at this estimate based on: ~$20.35 million (total amount we classify as capacity-relevant from Kenya and Uganda) – ~$10.6 million (funds on hand, excluding donations we ignore due to coordination issues) = ~$9.75 million.)

Longer-term, we expect to continue to view funding ~$8.25 million in Kenya as capacity-relevant support and would expect to consider future expansion in Uganda (up to the current level of Kenya, i.e., ~$16.5 million/year) capacity-relevant, as well. Once GiveDirectly reaches ~$16.5 million in Uganda and proves that it can operate at that level, we only expect to view ~$8.25 million as capacity-relevant and hope that it can raise funds from other sources to support its work.

More details in our review.

Key considerations:

  • Program impact and cost-effectiveness. Our best guess is that deworming or distributing bednets achieves ~10x times more humanitarian benefit per dollar donated than cash transfers. Our estimates are subject to substantial uncertainty. All of our cost-effectiveness analyses are available here. Our 2015 cost-effectiveness file is available here (.xlsx).
  • Directness and robustness of the case for impact. GiveDirectly collects and shares a significant amount of relevant information about its activities. The data it collects show that it successfully directs cash to very poor people, that recipients generally spend funds productively (sometimes on food, clothing, or school fees, other times on investments in a business or home infrastructure), and that it leads to very low levels of interpersonal conflict and tension. We are more confident in the impact of GiveDirectly’s work than in that of any of the other charities discussed in this post; we believe that cash transfers face a lower burden of proof than other interventions.
  • Transparency and communication. GiveDirectly has always communicated clearly and openly with us. It has tended to raise problems to us before we ask about them, and we generally believe that we have a very clear view of its operations. We feel more confident about our ability to keep track of future challenges than with any of the other charities discussed in this post.
  • Risks:
    • GiveDirectly has scaled (and hopes to continue to scale) quickly. Thus far, it has significantly increased the amount of money it can move with limited issues as a result. The case of staff fraud that GiveDirectly detected is one example of an issue possibly caused by its pace of scaling, but its response demonstrated the transparency and rigor we expect.

Our full review of GiveDirectly is here.

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI)


Our full review of SCI is here.


SCI ( works with governments in sub-Saharan Africa to create or scale up deworming programs (treating children for schistosomiasis and other intestinal parasites). SCI’s role has primarily been to identify recipient countries, provide funding to governments for government-implemented programs, provide advisory support, and conduct research on the process and outcomes of the programs. Despite SCI sharing a number of spending reports with us, we do not feel we have a detailed and fully accurate picture of how SCI and the governments it supports have spent funds in the past. We don’t feel that SCI has ever purposefully been indirect with us, but we have often struggled to communicate effectively with SCI representatives. We still lack important and in some cases basic information about SCI’s finances, and we find this problematic.

We believe that deworming is a program backed by relatively strong evidence. We have reservations about the evidence, but we think the potential benefits are great enough, and costs low enough, to outweigh these reservations. SCI has conducted studies in about half of the countries it works in (including the countries with the largest programs) to determine whether its programs have reached a large proportion of children targeted. These studies have generally found moderately positive results, but have some methodological limitations.

Important changes in the last 12 months

SCI reports that it has continued to scale up its deworming programs and that it has supported some programs in new countries, though we have limited monitoring information from these programs (e.g., we have not seen monitoring from its programs in Ethiopia, Sudan, Madagascar, and the DRC).

This year, SCI has shared a few more coverage surveys that found reasonably high coverage of its programs.

We have continued to have communication challenges with SCI. In particular:

  • We have a limited understanding of SCI’s work because we still lack important and basic information about how SCI spends money. SCI recognizes that its financial management system is disorganized, and some spending reports that SCI has sent us have contained errors.
  • We have struggled to gain a confident understanding of how SCI will use additional funds, and we cannot check how its funds were used after the fact because we lack information about its spending. In some cases, SCI has not spent additional funds as expected and it is unclear what caused the shift (more detail on one example in our August 2015 update).

In July, researchers published two new analyses of a key study regarding deworming (the most important piece of evidence we rely on), and the Cochrane Collaboration published an updated review of the evidence for mass deworming programs. The new papers did not change our overall assessment of the evidence on deworming. More in our blog post.

Funding gap

SCI estimates that it would use the following amounts of unrestricted funding in each of the next three years (in millions of US dollars):

  • April 2016 – March 2017: $9.5
  • April 2017 – March 2018: $13.6
  • April 2018 – March 2019: $13.3

Our impression is that GiveWell-influenced donors contribute most of SCI’s unrestricted funds.

Our best guess is that, excluding the funds SCI may receive due to GiveWell’s recommendation, SCI will hold approximately $1.5 million in April 2016 that it could allocate to the above gaps. Also, after SCI set its fundraising targets, a funder committed $6 million over the next three years ($2 million per year) to deworming programs in Ethiopia, with which SCI is involved. Our best guess is that this funding reduces SCI’s “Execution Level 1” and incentive funding gap for the coming year from $9.5 million to $5.9 million. (We arrive at this estimate by subtracting ~$1.5 million and another $2 million from the total Level 1/incentive gap for the coming year).

We do not classify any of this as “capacity-relevant” because we have little understanding of how it will be spent, and we do not expect to be able to understand how it was spent after the fact, either.

More details on SCI’s funding gap are in our review.

Key considerations:

  • Program impact and cost-effectiveness. Our best guess is that deworming programs implemented by SCI are ~5x as cost-effective as cash transfers. Our estimates are subject to substantial uncertainty. It’s important to note that we view deworming as high expected value, but this is due to a relatively low probability of very high impact. Most GiveWell staff members would agree that deworming programs are more likely than not to have very little or no impact, but there is some possibility that they have a very large impact. (Our cost-effectiveness model implies that most staff members believe there is at most a 1-2% chance that deworming programs conducted today have similar impacts to those directly implied by the randomized controlled trials on which we rely most heavily, which differed from modern-day deworming programs in a number of important ways.) Our 2015 cost-effectiveness file is available here (.xlsx).
  • Directness and robustness of the case for impact. SCI doesn’t carry out deworming programs itself; it advocates for and provides technical assistance to governments implementing deworming programs, making direct assessments of its impact challenging. We have seen some evidence demonstrating that SCI-supported programs successfully deworm children, though this evidence is relatively thin. Nevertheless, deworming is a relatively straightforward program, and we think it is likely (though far from certain) that SCI-supported deworming programs successfully deworm people. We have had difficulties communicating with SCI, which has reduced our ability to understand it. We have also spent significant time interviewing SCI staff and reviewing documents over the past 6 years and have found minor but not major concerns.
  • Transparency and communication. We don’t feel that SCI has ever purposefully been indirect with us, but we have often struggled to communicate effectively with SCI representatives. Specifically, (a) we had a major miscommunication with SCI about the meaning of its self-evaluations (more) and (b) although we have spent significant time with SCI, we remain unsure how SCI has spent funds and how much funding it has available (and we believe SCI itself does not have a clear understanding of this). Importantly, if there is a future unanticipated problem with SCI’s programs, we don’t feel confident that we will become aware of it. This contrasts with our other top charities, which we feel we have a strong ability to follow up on.
  • Risks: There are significantly more unknown risks with SCI than our other top charities due to our limited understanding of its activities.

Our full review of SCI is here.


As we did last year, we recommend four organizations as “standouts.” These charities score well on some of our criteria, but we are not confident enough in them to name them top charities. This year, we retain the same four standout organizations: Development Media International (DMI), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition’s Universal Salt Iodization program (GAIN-USI), the Iodine Global Network (IGN), and Living Goods.

We followed all four of these charities in 2015, but have only published an updated review for DMI. We expect to publish updated reviews for GAIN-USI, IGN, and Living Goods in the near future.

We provide brief updates on these charities below:

  • DMI. DMI produces radio and television programming in developing countries that encourages people to adopt improved health practices. It is a standout because of its commitment to monitoring and the possibility that it is implementing a highly cost-effective program. DMI has recently completed a randomized controlled trial of its program. Last year, we had midline results from this trial, which generally looked promising.In November 2015, DMI privately shared preliminary endline results from the RCT. These results did not find any effect of DMI’s program on child mortality, and found substantially less effect on behavior change than was found in the midline results. We (understandably) cannot publicly discuss the details of the endline results we have seen, because they are not yet finalized and because the finalized results will be embargoed prior to publication. DMI believes that there were serious problems with endline data collection (note that we have not yet tried to independently assess this claim). With the support of the trial’s Independent Scientific Advisory Committee, DMI is planning to conduct another endline survey in late 2016, with results available in 2017.We are impressed by DMI’s openness with us about its results (and its willingness for us to share the high-level summary), and we hope to have discussions with DMI about how it might be able to work toward becoming a top charity in the future. Our full review of DMI is here.
  • GAIN-USI. GAIN’s Universal Salt Iodization (USI) program supports national salt iodization programs. There is strong evidence that salt iodization programs have a significant, positive effect on children’s cognitive development. GAIN-USI does not work directly to iodize salt; rather, it supports governments and private companies to do so, which could lead to leveraged impact of donations or to low impact, depending on its effectiveness.Last year, we wrote, “We tried but were unable to document a demonstrable track record of impact; we believe it may have had significant impacts, but we are unable to be confident in this with what we know now. More investigation next year could change this picture.” In 2015, we continued our assessment of GAIN, focusing on its work in India and Ethiopia, including a site visit to Ethiopia in July.Overall, we tried but were unable to establish clear evidence of GAIN successfully contributing to the impact of iodization programs. This is primarily due to (a) the difficulty in attributing impact to specific activities that GAIN carried out and (b) challenges we have had communicating with GAIN about its work. We have not yet completed our final report on GAIN but hope to publish it in the near future. We have published notes from some of the conversations that were part of this research and they are available here. Our 2014 review of GAIN is here.
  • IGN. Like GAIN-USI, IGN supports (via advocacy and technical assistance rather than implementation) salt iodization, and as with GAIN-USI, we tried but were unable to establish clear evidence of IGN successfully contributing to the impact of iodization programs. Unlike GAIN-USI, IGN is small, operating on a budget of approximately $0.5-$1 million per year, and relies heavily on volunteer time. We are planning to post an updated review in the near future. Our 2014 review of IGN is here.
  • Living Goods recruits, trains, and manages a network of community health promoters who sell health and household goods door-to-door in Uganda and Kenya and provide basic health counseling. They sell products such as treatments for malaria and diarrhea, fortified foods, water filters, bednets, clean cookstoves, and solar lights. Living Goods completed a randomized controlled trial of its program and measured a 27% reduction in child mortality. We estimate that Living Goods saves a life for roughly each $10,000 it spends, approximately 3 times as much as our estimate for the cost per life saved of AMF’s program. We spoke with Living Goods and reviewed documents about their progress in 2015. We do not have major updates to report but are planning to post an updated review in the near future. Our 2014 review of Living Goods is here.

Our research process in 2015


This section describes the new work we did in 2015 to supplement our previous work on defining and identifying top charities. See the process page on our website for our overall process.

This year, we did not put a substantial amount of senior staff time into new top charities research work because (a) we were largely focused on building capacity, and (b) we reallocated a significant amount of capacity to the Open Philanthropy Project (see our post on our plans for 2015 for more details).

We focused the bulk of our research capacity for top charities work on staying up-to-date on our recommended charities. We also did an intensive evaluation of GAIN-USI, including a site visit (more details forthcoming).

We completed investigations of vitamin A supplementation and maternal and neonatal tetanus immunization campaigns. Both programs seem potentially competitive with our other priority programs, but we were not able to identify charities that worked on these programs that were willing to apply for a recommendation. We also made substantial progress on investigating several other programs, such as measles immunization, meningitis A vaccination, folic acid fortification, voluntary medical male circumcision for the prevention of HIV, and “Targeting the Ultra-Poor” (or “Ultra-Poor Graduation”) programs.

We stayed up to date on the research for bednets, cash transfers, and deworming.

We did not conduct an extensive search for new charities this year. We feel that we have a relatively good understanding of the existing charities that could potentially meet our criteria, based on past searches (see the process page on our website for more information). Instead, we solicited applications from organizations that we viewed as contenders for recommendations. A March post laid out which organizations we were hoping to investigate and why.

We did some initial research on several charities that we had not investigated before, but we did not complete the reviews in time for our 2015 recommendations. The organizations that we began investigating were:

We plan to complete these reviews in 2016.

Giving to GiveWell vs. top charities


We have grown significantly over the past few years and continue to raise funds to support our operations. This includes work on GiveWell’s top charities and the Open Philanthropy Project.

We plan to post an update on our funding situation before the end of the year.

The most up-to-date information available on this topic is linked from our June 2015 board meeting. The short story is that we are still seeking additional donations and encourage donors who feel they are sufficiently confident in our impact to give to us.


* For example, if $30 million were available to fund gaps of $10 million, $5 million, and $100 million, we would recommend allocating the funds so that the $10 million and $5 million gaps were fully filled and the $100 million gap received $15 million.

This rule is material to the three gaps tied at priority level 2. It causes us to recommend that Good Ventures’ last $28.3 million to recommended charities is used to fully fill GiveDirectly’s $8.8 million capacity-relevant gap and Deworm the World’s $3.2 million Execution Level 2 (possible capacity-relevant) gap, but only fill $16.3 million of AMF’s Execution Level 1 gap.

** This gap can’t be cleanly classified because we think the funding is relatively unlikely to be needed, but if it is needed, it is likely to have capacity-relevant effects. Thus, it is technically classified as Execution Level 2, but we think it has similar value to Execution Level 1.

Should the Open Philanthropy Project be recommending more/larger grants?

The Open Philanthropy Project has ambitions of influencing very large amounts of giving in the future (hundreds of millions of dollars a year or more). To date, we haven’t made nearly enough recommendations to reach this level of giving, and this is not ideal. In a perfect world, we’d be recommending far more giving.

However, our approach is deliberate: we have chosen to prioritize capacity-building (choosing focus areas and hiring/onboarding program staff, in order to lay the groundwork for future grantmaking) over near-term grantmaking. This post discusses the reasons we’ve done this so far, as well as outlining our plans for ramping up giving in the future.


  • The case for focusing on grantmaking – why we’d like to be recommending far more giving than we currently are.
  • The case for focusing on capacity building – why we’ve nonetheless chosen the approach we have.
  • Could we do both? – in theory, it should be possible to ramp up grantmaking while continuing to focus primarily on capacity building, but we haven’t gone this route and don’t plan on doing so.
  • The plan from here – we expect to ramp up giving significantly (though not to its full eventual level) in 2016. We think there is a good chance that within 5-10 years, we will see more giving opportunities than dollars to fund them.

The case for focusing on grantmaking

Good Ventures hopes to give away several billion dollars over the coming decades, which – when accounting for likely investment returns – would imply hundreds of millions of dollars per year in grants for an extended period of time at peak giving. In 2014, Good Ventures gave ~$15 million to GiveWell’s top charities and an additional ~$8 million based on Open Philanthropy Project recommendations. In other words, their current level of giving is nowhere near where they hope it will eventually be.

Furthermore, the Open Philanthropy Project hopes eventually to influence many other major donors, which would mean both (a) that we eventually hope to make recommendations summing to an even higher figure than what the previous paragraph implies; (b) that there is an argument for Good Ventures to front-load its giving, in order to help the Open Philanthropy Project establish itself while many of the donors we hope to influence aren’t giving at scale yet.

Thus, we (the Open Philanthropy Project) could be recommending far more/larger grants than we currently are, without significantly lowering the amount available for giving in the future. There are a few arguments for doing so:

  • “Interest rate” on accomplishing good. All else equal, we’d rather accomplish good sooner than later, for reasons discussed previously: helping people today can empower them to help themselves and others, causing a “compounding” of good accomplished. It’s unclear how the “interest rate” implied here compares to the return Good Ventures can obtain by investing.
  • Laying the groundwork for future grantmaking. Funding today can help promising organizations and fields grow, which could increase the ease of giving productively in the future.
  • The fact that giving opportunities may worsen over time. We expect greater overall levels of wealth, and lower levels of need, in the future; we also expect more philanthropy, as both wealth and inequality grow. “Room for more funding” in our causes of interest may fall dramatically. This point is especially salient to us because we believe many people today have large fortunes (built from the wave of entrepreneurship over the last ~15 years) that they haven’t yet started putting serious effort into giving away.
  • Challenges of peak giving. One could imagine that it would be very difficult to give away hundreds of millions of dollars per year effectively, both in terms of maintaining a large enough staff to investigate opportunities and in terms of simply having enough room for more funding. Every dollar that is “saved” (by not being granted) today is, one could argue, simply adding to a future budget where it is less needed and will do less good. When we feel on the fence about a grant, we could ask: “Is this potential grant worse than the last grant we’ll recommend in a future year, when giving is in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year?”

The bottom line is that the amount of giving we’re recommending is much lower than we’d ideally like it to be. With a fairly small number of staff, we wouldn’t be able to recommend much more at our current level of due diligence, but we could recommend a lot more if we made a concerted effort to do so – for example by lowering our standards for due diligence, or by seeking out people and organizations we could ask to regrant funds. We have had many conversations about whether we ought to move in this direction, and we think some of the above arguments present a strong force in favor of doing so.

At some point in the future, we probably will put a concerted effort into increasing the amount of giving we recommend. But we aren’t at that point yet, because we think we have a more pressing priority: building capacity.

The case for focusing on capacity-building

For the last couple of years, we’ve had no target amount of giving at all. Our goals, and our efforts, have revolved around (a) selecting focus areas; (b) hiring people to lead our work in these areas (see our most recent update); (c) most recently, working intensively with new hires and trial hires on their early proposed grant recommendations.

Collectively, we think of these activities as capacity building. If we succeed, the end result will be an expanded team of people who are (a) working on well-chosen focus areas; (b) invested (justifiably) with a great deal of trust and autonomy; (c) capable of finding many great giving opportunities in the areas they’re working on.

Ultimately, we think expanding capacity is the best way to dramatically increase the amount of giving we recommend over the long run, while dramatically improving the degree to which that giving is well-informed. A program staffer we’re confident in – meaning they share our values and goals for the cause they’re working on, and use reasoning we think is sound to make grant recommendations – could give their full attention to a particular focus area and recommend a large amount of giving, while requiring relatively little oversight. As an early sign that this is the case, Chloe Cockburn – our first cause-specific hire – believes she could fairly easily identify tens of millions of dollars’ worth of strong giving opportunities in criminal justice reform. Each of these giving opportunities would likely be based on knowledge that dwarfs my own, yet I’ll be able to be confident in these recommendations – despite knowing comparatively little about them – if I am confident in Chloe.

Capacity-building is a project with long time horizons and high stakes. In order to attract the sort of program staffers we’ve been seeking, we’ve committed to spend multiple years and many millions of dollars in the focus areas we’re recruiting for. If we’re too quick to hire and too quick to give trust and autonomy, we could end up working for a long time (and recommending a lot of grants) with someone who’s ineffective and/or misaligned with our values. That’s why we’ve been choosing to put a lot of up-front effort into selecting focus areas, running job searches, and working intensively with new hires and trial hires. Our hope is to be very thoughtful and careful with our choices on this front, so that we can give program staffers a great deal of autonomy – and the ability to recommend a lot of giving – down the line.

The reason we haven’t put much effort into ramping up the amount of giving we recommend is simply that we’ve preferred to focus our effort on capacity building.

The grantmaking we have done has largely been done with learning and capacity building in mind, which is why we’ve tended to err on the side – so far – of deeper due diligence on grant recommendations, even though we know that we will eventually need to invest less time per grant recommendation. This has been especially true of early recommendations from new hires and trial hires.

The main reason we feel good about this approach is because we believe capacity-building will ultimately lead to dramatically more and better giving than we could do today (no matter how we tried to do it). Some additional points in favor of this approach:

  • I think most of the points from the previous section are valid, but perhaps less strong than they appear at first. As discussed below, I think we’ll be ready to dramatically increase the amount of giving we recommend (in our existing focus areas) fairly soon. I think our focus on capacity-building will ultimately end up having the “cost” of a few extra years during which we weren’t recommending as much giving as much as we could; I don’t think the issues of “laying the groundwork for future grantmaking” and “worsening giving opportunities over time” are very significant over this time frame.
  • I think the “challenges of peak giving” point is fairly questionable. I think it’s quite plausible that we’ll be able to make hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of recommendations in a future year, while having all such recommendations be better and more informed than any “borderline” recommendation we might make today. A couple of points in support of this idea:
    • I don’t feel confident that any of our “borderline” giving opportunities today are stronger than simply giving more to GiveDirectly, and GiveDirectly is rapidly growing in scale. At “peak giving,” it’s quite realistic that we’ll still be able to hold all grant recommendations to a standard of “needs to be competitive with GiveDirectly, or else the funds would be better spent via GiveDirectly instead.” Under such a picture, I don’t think any of the grants we recommend will be much less effective than “borderline” grants would be today.
    • Many major foundations give in the range of what we’re projecting for “peak giving,” and they don’t seem to be resorting to desperate measures to give it away; in fact, most seem (even at several-hundred-million-dollar-per-year budgets) to think of their funding as scarce, to be making what they see as very difficult choices, and to confine themselves to gifts with the potential for significant leverage.
    • When I project out what peak giving might look like (more below), my guess is that we will have a number of program staff recommending tens of millions of dollars per year each in grants, and that each staffer will be better-informed about their recommendations than we could be today about “borderline” grant opportunities.
  • I believe it’s fairly common for companies to grow relatively slowly early on, as they prioritize building the products, procedures, habits, and core team that will form the foundation for later growth. This has certainly been our experience with our work on GiveWell’s top charities (a larger team and more mature operation than the Open Philanthropy Project): early on, Elie and I put a great deal of time into each charity review and each hire, and we feel that this was essential for developing the ability to hire and evaluate people well and grow faster later on. With this in mind, I don’t think it’s as strange as it might first appear for the Open Philanthropy Project to be investing a lot of effort – at this early stage – into each grant recommendation and each hire, rather than simply growing our team and our grantmaking as fast as we can. Careful, thorough early work need not be in tension with later fast growth; in fact, it can be essential for it. I think this point tends to be intuitive for companies, which are short on both capacity and capital early on. It is less intuitive for major grantmakers (who have large amounts of capital from day one), but still seems true.

Could we do both?

In theory, we could give the bulk of our time and effort to capacity building, while still ramping up near-term grant recommendations by simply lowering our level of due diligence. If we recommended grants based largely on gut feelings (and with little discussion and writing), we might be able to help accomplish a lot of near-term good with fairly little time.

We’ve discussed this possibility a fair amount, and we aren’t sure it’s a bad idea. At the moment, however, our thinking is:

  • It’s always dangerous to take on a fundamentally new kind of activity (which this sort of gut-based recommendation work would be) and expect it to take little time and attention. In my experience, proliferation of goals and projects almost always leads to proliferation of unexpected issues cropping up, and almost always leads to significant distractions. Staying focused on a contained set of goals has major benefits.
  • More specifically, every grant we recommend poses a variety of potential risks and potential distractions. For example, (a) grants affect others’ perceptions of us and our priorities, and any given grant could therefore create communication challenges; (b) grantees generally want clear guidance on their odds of renewal, which can be time consuming to think through and provide. It’s possible we could find a way to recommend many more grants while costing very little time, but I think that figuring out how to do this (and reaching internal agreement on where we do and don’t expect to spend time) would be a project of its own.
  • We don’t think of our gut instincts as a major comparative advantage. We think our ability to be reflective, self-critical and communicative is a major potential comparative advantage, and that our ability to do the kind of “capacity building” described in this post distinguishes us from many high-net-worth individuals who don’t have enough capital to build out the kind of staff we’re envisioning (but are well-positioned to take a more gut-instinct-based approach).

I have a general heuristic of “when in doubt, say no to everything that isn’t a core priority.” Right now, our core priority is capacity building, and I have doubts about trying to ramp up our giving recommendations in a way that doesn’t contribute to that.

The plan from here

By early 2016, we will have been working intensively with at least three cause-specific program staff for several months. That will probably be a good time to start moving in the direction of giving more autonomy to those we’ve built confidence in – and along with that, to put more time into thinking about the total grantmaking we’d like them to be responsible for recommending. At that time, I hope to step back and review a variety of ideas we’ve had for how we might ramp up the amount of giving we recommend. I expect giving recommendations in the relevant areas to go up substantially following this (so in mid- to late-2016), even as we continue to focus on building capacity in some areas where our work is less developed (e.g. scientific research).

I believe that the relatively low amounts of giving we’ve recommended so far are deceptive, and I expect these amounts to rise sharply in the next year or two. If that doesn’t happen, we will rethink the views expressed here.

In the long run, I’m not sure how things will look, but I can imagine some possibilities that suggest it will not be terribly difficult to reach our “peak giving” target. For example:

  • We currently have five focus areas in U.S. policy.
  • Most are relatively thin, young fields, but an exception is criminal justice reform. Chloe Cockburn, our Program Officer for this space, believes she could easily make tens of millions of dollars per year in recommendations (and would still be making hard choices at that margin). (As a side note, other foundations often have program areas that are in this size range.)
  • If, in the future, all five focus areas reach a similar state (relatively built-out field; dedicated Program Officer), our recommendations for U.S. policy could easily exceed $100 million per year.
  • U.S. policy is one of four major categories we’re looking at. If the other three categories each reach a similar state, total giving could easily exceed $400 million per year. This would imply a total of ~20 Program Officers each driving grant recommendations of tens of millions of dollars a year.
  • I think this is a substantial underestimate, because I believe that focus areas in the “scientific research” and “global health & development” categories will be larger than in the U.S. policy category (some rough reasoning). In addition, we also see ourselves doing cross-cutting work, such as supporting research on the history of philanthropy, and (in the future) potentially helping to build out the general infrastructure around effective altruism.
  • All of this excludes recommendations to GiveWell’s top charities, whose capacity is growing.

All things considered, I have an easy time imagining future recommendations in excess of $1 billion per year, while still feeling that we have a reasonably sized staff, that we are working only on outstanding causes, and that every program staffer has a reasonably strong understanding of every grant they’re recommending and is making hard choices between outstanding options. This is far beyond what we’re able to do today, though, which is why capacity building is the top priority.

The Lack of Controversy over Well-Targeted Aid

There are a number of high-profile public debates about the value of overseas aid (example). These debates generally have intelligent people and arguments on both sides, and they rightly give many people the sense that “Does aid work?” is a complex question with no simple answer.

However, we believe these debates are sometimes misinterpreted, causing unnecessary confusion and concern. Specifically, people sometimes ask questions along the lines of: “Since many well-informed people believe that aid does more harm than good, should I believe that GiveWell’s top charities are even helping?”

We believe that the most prominent people known as “aid critics” do not give significant arguments against the sorts of activities our top charities focus on, particularly with respect to health interventions. Instead, their critiques tend to focus on the harms of government-to-government aid, particularly when it is not effectively targeting those most in need and not effectively focusing on interventions with strong track records.

While we seek out and acknowledge the possible downsides of our top charities’ work (example), we don’t see a serious case to be made that the harms outweigh the benefits. Going through each potential harm and discussing how it relates to our top charities could make for a lengthy writeup (note that we address many potential harms in our research FAQ); this post has the simpler goal of discussing the people best known as “aid critics” and establishing that they provide few (if any) arguments against the sort of work our top charities carry out.

We focus on the three people we believe are best known as aid critics: Bill Easterly, Angus Deaton and Dambisa Moyo.


Why a new study of the Mariel boatlift has not changed our views on the benefits of immigration


As a consultant for the Open Philanthropy Project last year, I reviewed the research on whether immigration reduces employment or earnings for workers in receiving countries. I concluded that for natives the harm, if any, is small.

Last month the prominent immigration researcher George Borjas posted a challenge to a seminal study in my review. His new paper contends that the Mariel boatlift, which brought some 60,000 Cuban refugees to Miami in 1980, did profoundly affect the labor market there, depressing wages for low-education men (ones with less than a high school education) by 10–30%.

Borjas’s work is especially significant because it seems to upend a study of the boatlift published by David Card 25 years ago, which found little impact of all that immigration on workers in Miami. Interestingly, Borjas, who emphasizes the harm of Cuban immigration, is himself a Cuban emigré.

I probed this dispute, replicating and checking the results in the dueling papers. I ultimately found little cause to change my views. The main reasons:

  • Of the two Census Bureau data sets that Borjas relies on, the one with larger samples shows smaller impacts.
  • According to that data set, wages for women, which Borjas excludes, rose, if anything, after immigration spikes (especially after a second one in 1994–95).
  • I see no sharp breaks from long-term trends of the sort that could be confidently attributed to the 1980 immigration surge. The Borjas analysis appears correct that wages for low-education Miami men (defined henceforth as those with less than a high school education) were lower on average in 1981–83 than in 1977–79—with the drop being larger than in most other US cities. But the data argue more for a steady long-term decline than sudden drops after immigration surges. The Borjas analysis tends to obscure this distinction by aggregating or smoothing data over several years.
  • The original study by David Card is one of 17 covered in my review, including three others exploiting natural experiments in mass migration. None of the studies is as compelling as a randomized trial, but the overall picture—of at most modest harm from substantial immigration—does not change if the Card study is removed.

Details follow.


Charities we’d like to see

We wish we had more top charities, and as we look to the future we expect (and hope) that there will need to be more recommended charities in order to productively use all the donations that GiveWell-influenced donors are making. One of our major activities is trying to expand our top charities list – both by investigating charities that already exist, and by supporting activities (from new nonprofits to studies) that could eventually result in a larger set of evidence-backed programs and a larger set of top charities.

This post discusses types of charities that we would be excited to learn more about if they existed. We would also consider providing support to individuals trying to create the types of organizations described below. In a similar spirit to a request for startups, we’re sharing this list in the hopes that it might help us find out about such charities – or might help us find and support people looking to create them.

In brief, we would be excited to see:

  • Charities that implement GiveWell’s priority programs: vitamin A supplementation, immunizations, conditional cash transfers, micronutrient fortification, or even bednets and deworming (since our top charities that focus on the latter two have limited room for more funding). More
  • Charities implementing potential priority programs that are particularly challenging, particularly those revolving around (a) treatment of treatable conditions in a hospital or clinic setting; (b) behavior change for improving health. We see several hurdles to successfully focusing on such programs, but would be excited to see charities that overcome such hurdles. More
  • Charities that collect or generate information and data relevant to our recommendations. Currently, we recommend charities based partly on the data they themselves collect and share. But we could potentially recommend an organization that does not, itself, collect and share strong monitoring data, if we had independent data showing its activities’ effectiveness. More