It’s been about 5 days since we released our Africa report, and now we’re trying to get the word out. Some stuff:
- This week’s Chronicle of Philanthropy features us, and in a true act of sadism puts me on the cover.
- Smart Money mentions us in an article on intelligent giving. On the other hand, even after I desperately tried to explain to the reporter why the Straw Ratio is worthless, the article still spouts out the same old crap about “The important figure to look for is the spending ratio” blah blah blah. Even when they quote me pointing out that “That’s like looking at how much of a movie’s budget is going to the actors, and rating the end result based on just that,” the conclusion they come to is that you need to adjust the Straw Ratio for the sector – not that you need to scrap it altogether.
Nobody in the nonprofit sector, except Charity Navigator itself, thinks these ratings are a good idea. How can we get this across to the mainstream media?
- Tom Belford, with whom we’ve sparred before, made a post that I enjoyed quite a bit and completely captures the big picture of our project. He rightly points out that I’m a punk, and also (wrongly I think, but it’s debatable) calls our focus on cost-effectiveness “naive or chilling.” But this is what really matters: GiveWell is “truly putting to shame much larger foundations and major donors who haven’t shown any remotely proportionate determination to ask probing questions about the efficacy of the groups they support. Or to share the answers when they do ask … If Give Well sticks at it, they’ll make a huge contribution. Not so much via their own direct giving, but rather through their provocation and the public sharing of their analyses, successes and failures.” Right. Our decisions are of course going to be highly debatable; but the most important reason for our project is just to get the discussion going.
- Want to read our press release? Check out Sean calling it the “best press release I’ve ever seen.” He must not have seen Charity Navigator’s … we can all only guess how they’ve been managing to get the media to listen to their perspective over the unanimous disagreement of everyone else who has ever thought about charity.
- Finally … don’t forget to join the online chat with me at noon ET. Anyone who asks me a stumper gets a free GiveWell hat.
Wanna help spread the word further, and get as many people as possible to give well this holiday season? Here are some ideas:
- Comment/email on your favorite blogs about us, especially when they bring up charity.
- Set your away msg or status msg (Facebook, gchat, Twitter) to GiveWell.net .
- Consider a GiveWell tattoo. What have you got to lose?
We’ll be back to ranting about Africa soon enough. Stay tuned.