The GiveWell Blog

Hang in there

I’ve had to be judicious with my online time, but there’s a real post coming later today. Meanwhile, I just have to point out this ludicrous example of the “We can never ever take even the tiniest risk of keeping a penny away from a charity, no matter what they’re doing with it” mentality. UK site Intelligent Giving, a third-party evaluator that I generally think is fantastic (I wish we had something like it here in the U.S.), found out that the Wallace & Gromit’s Children Foundation did not give away a penny of its funding last year – but sat on the story so as not to discourage people from giving to it.

Read the post and try to figure out their reasoning. They want charities to be accountable, but they never want to risk hurting a charity’s fundraising appeal. Well, those two are incompatible. Period. You have to choose. Part of putting pressure on charities to do a good job is withholding money when they don’t.

And it’s worth it. In all other spheres, we can recognize that cutting your budget in half while making it better spent can result in a better job done. In the nonprofit sector, a third-party evaluator is afraid to disclose that a charity is doing nothing with its funds, because it might result in less funds. Talk about overvaluing money.


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