The GiveWell Blog

We can’t (simply) buy capacity

Over the years, we’ve had many exchanges along these lines: Q: Why can’t you [research more charities / research more causes / put more effort into marketing and outreach?] A: We don’t have enough people; we’re already stretched thin with our current priorities. Q: What if you had enough money to hire more people? A:… Read More

Excited altruism

Critics of effective altruism worry that we’re trying to choose causes based on calculations about how to help the world as much as possible, rather than based on what causes excite us. They worry that we therefore won’t be fully engaged in, or committed to, the causes we pick. (More) I think such people fundamentally… Read More

Effective altruism

We’re proud to be part of the nascent “effective altruist” movement. Effective altruism has been discussed elsewhere (see Peter Singer’s TED talk and Wikipedia); this post gives our take on what it is and isn’t. What is effective altruism?To us, “effective altruism” means trying to do as much good as possible with each dollar and… Read More

Passive vs. rational vs. quantified

We’re excited about the project of making giving more analytical, more intellectual, and overall more rational. At the same time, we have mixed feelings about the project of quantifying good accomplished: of converting the impacts of all gifts into “cost per life saved” or “cost per DALY” type figures that can then be directly compared… Read More

Update on GiveWell’s web traffic / money moved: Q2 2013

In addition to evaluations of other charities, GiveWell publishes substantial evaluation of itself, from the quality of its research to its impact on donations. We publish quarterly updates regarding two key metrics: (a) donations to top charities and (b) web traffic. The table and chart below present basic information about our growth in money moved… Read More