The GiveWell Blog

Transparency, measurement, humility

Transparency is the one thing about GiveWell that everyone seems to like. Our focus on measurement is much more contested. I believe that the connection is tight, though, because both are necessary consequences of humility, which is probably the last word you ever thought I’d ask to be associated with. Transparency is a really big… Read More

Tough calls

Audio for last Monday’s board meeting is on the way; in the meantime, here’s a summary. The meeting ran about five hours and had heated arguments, tension, drama, a couple car chases, and down-to-the-wire votes. The highlight was the Elie and I ended up reversing our position on 2 of the 3 causes we voted… Read More

Bear with us

We got more attention today than we can handle. We have a tremendous volume of questions, comments, concerns, and requests and it’s going to take us a while to dig through them. We have no customer service dept – it’s just me, Elie, and Teel – but we will get it done. So if you… Read More

When apples are better than oranges

6 months ago, GiveWell pledged to give a $25,000 grant to the best organization we found in each of our five causes, and we’re going to follow through. But, I wish we didn’t have to. We recognized that donors are more likely to trust us for some decisions (comparing organizations with similar goals) than for… Read More

True Experts? Or old boys’ club?

I want to take the time to explain a couple views I hold that offend some people. These views are: The label “philanthropy expert” means very little to me. I see no strong reason to believe that charitable foundations are generally capable, competent, or effective at anything at all. These aren’t insults aimed at particular… Read More