The GiveWell Blog

High-impact nonprofits are rare, but worth funding

Following up on Thursday’s Alliance for Effective Social Investing meeting, Sean at Tactical Philanthropy writes: A high performance nonprofit is a very well run organization. It has outstanding leadership, clear goals, an ethic of monitoring performance and making adjustments as needed, and it is financially healthy. A high impact nonprofit is one whose efforts have… Read More

A small charity that meets our criteria

As we’ve written before, we tend – deliberately – not to focus on charities that are small and/or “experimental” in nature. From what we’ve seen, these charities rarely can demonstrate that their program has “worked” (in the sense of changing lives) before, and so the only way to evaluate them is to have a deep… Read More

Development experiments (randomized controlled trials) as a counterpoint to marketing materials

There’s been a minor flurry of recent blog posts about randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in international aid, including William Easterly’s take and responses by Chris Blattman and GiveWell Board member Tim Ogden. A central theme has been the difficulty of generalizing from one experiment to whether something “works in general.” There seems to be a… Read More

Can donors fund “sustainable” projects?

It’s one thing to pay for children’s immunizations. It would be quite another to pay for a project that increased immunization rates over the long term, without continued donor support (either thanks to improvement in private-sector or government operations). Aiming for the latter – or more broadly, aiming to use donations as “startup funds” for… Read More

2008-2009 international aid recommendations

Our 2008-2009 recommendations for international aid are now available. Report homepage Recommended and top-rated charities Highlights: We believe that health is the best area for an individual donor looking to accomplish concrete good. Many programs have strong and proven track records of success in international aid. This is largely not true of other areas. More… Read More