The GiveWell Blog

Our recommendations for giving in 2022

We wrote back in July that we expected to be funding-constrained this year. That remains true as we approach the end of the year, putting us in the unusual position of leaving impact on the table.

We’ve set a goal of raising $600 million in 2022, but our research team has identified $900 million in highly cost-effective funding gaps. That leaves $300 million in funding gaps unfilled. By donating this year, you can help us not only meet but exceed our goal—and say yes to more excellent opportunities to save and improve lives.

Additionally, our giving guidance for donors has changed this year. For the first time, our top recommendation is to give to our new All Grants Fund, which we allocate to any need that meets our cost-effectiveness bar. We think it’s the best bet for donors who want to support the most promising opportunities we’ve found to help people, regardless of program or location. And it reflects our current views on how we can best meet our goal of maximizing global well-being—by taking advantage of every path to impact, whether that’s funding top charities, seeding and scaling newer programs, or funding research.

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Answering some questions about water quality programs

On June 22, we held a virtual event on research into water quality interventions, featuring presentations from Michael Kremer of the University of Chicago’s Development Innovation Lab; Brett Sedgewick from Evidence Action, the parent organization of Dispensers for Safe Water; and Stephan Guyenet, Elie Hassenfeld, and Catherine Hollander of GiveWell. (If you weren’t able to attend, we’ve published a video recording, audio recording, and transcript here.)

We hosted the event to provide some additional background for our recommendation of up to $64.7 million to Dispensers for Safe Water, which installs chlorine dispensers to treat water at rural collection sites in Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda. This grant was the result of a lengthy investigation and a significant update in our views on the cost-effectiveness of water treatment, which we’ve written about here.

Several attendees wrote in with a range of thoughtful questions—about our analysis of the effects of chlorination interventions, about the particulars of Dispensers for Safe Water’s program, or more generally about our work. We covered as many as we could during the event and followed up on others by email. Below, we’re sharing a selection of the questions we responded to in writing, along with other questions we’ve gotten about this work outside of the event, in the hope that they’ll be of interest to a broader audience. Questions and answers have been anonymized; some have been edited slightly for brevity, or to fill in important context that was missing.

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The Maximum Impact Fund is now the Top Charities Fund

We’ve decided to rename the Maximum Impact Fund to better describe what opportunities this fund supports. The Maximum Impact Fund will now be called the Top Charities Fund.

We recently announced changes to our top charity criteria that include a new requirement for our top charities: that we have a high degree of confidence in our expectations about the impact of their programs. Alongside this update, we also introduced a new giving option, the All Grants Fund. The All Grants Fund supports the full range of GiveWell’s grantmaking and can be allocated to any grant that meets our cost-effectiveness bar—including opportunities outside of our top charities and riskier grants with high expected value.

The new All Grants Fund is a complement to what we have called our Maximum Impact Fund, which is granted to cost-effective opportunities among our top charities. However, we’ve received feedback that describing the fund which supports grantmaking only to our top charities as having “Maximum Impact” is confusing in light of the opportunity to support a wider range of opportunities (with potentially higher expected value) through the All Grants Fund.

Based on this feedback, we’ve decided to change the name of the Maximum Impact Fund to the Top Charities Fund.

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Announcing the Change Our Mind Contest for critiques of our cost-effectiveness analyses

We’re extremely excited to be announcing the Change Our Mind Contest to encourage critiques of our cost-effectiveness analyses that could lead to substantial improvements of our overall allocation of funds. For all the details, see this page.

Cost-effectiveness is the single most important input in our decisions about what programs to recommend, and we believe it’s possible that we’re missing important considerations or making mistakes that lead us to allocate funding suboptimally. We’ve been excited to see people engaging with our cost-effectiveness analyses, and we’d like to inspire more of that engagement.

With that in mind, we’re inviting you to identify potentially important mistakes or weaknesses in our existing cost-effectiveness analyses and tell us about them!

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Our UK supporters can now make tax-deductible donations through GiveWell UK

GiveWell UK is now fully registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in the United Kingdom. Our UK supporters now have a tax-deductible option for donating directly to GiveWell!

The basics

We’ve launched GiveWell UK as a UK Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), with the registered charity number 1196392, and the official UK partner of GiveWell. Beginning with the 2022 tax year, eligible UK taxpayers may take tax deductions for donations to GiveWell UK.( These donations are also eligible for Gift Aid.

GiveWell UK donations may be directed toward GiveWell’s Maximum Impact Fund (MIF), All Grants Fund, top charities, or unrestricted support for GiveWell’s US operations. Donations will be granted out on a quarterly basis in line with the recommendations of GiveWell’s US-based research team, upon the approval of GiveWell UK’s trustees (more here).

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