The GiveWell Blog

Introducing FAQs, blog style

Beyond Giving asks us several questions on important topics that we’ve talked about a lot but haven’t written about yet. The new “FAQ” subcategory on this blog is for posts that directly answer a common question about our project.

Here are Beyond Giving’s questions:

1) What’s your evidence that you can accomplish your stated goal of analyzing and comparing nonprofits with each other to determine which one’s can most improve the world? What objective criteria will define “the best” nonprofits to support?

2) While on that topic, please also discuss what best-practices you have employed to ensure that your results are reliable and valid from a statistical standpoint? And, how did you select the organizations to interview?

3) In developing and employing your rating system, have you consulted with any experts on philanthropy, nonprofit management, fundraising, board governance, outcomes measurement, program evaluation, or any other related field in your project? In other words, what qualifies you to issue ratings of any kind?

There are three important topics here that we haven’t written about, though the topics don’t correspond exactly with the questions. I would say the topics are:

1. Scope – how do we pick organizations to review?

2. Criteria – how do we decide where to give our money and endorsements?

3. Expertise – what qualifies us to do reviews and why should people trust us?

I think that if I address these satisfactorily, I’ll cover Beyond Giving’s questions (Matt, if I’m wrong, just comment on it). So here we go.