The GiveWell Blog

A bit more detail on individual giving

We constantly emphasize the huge amount of money that is given by individuals. However, the figures we usually point to refer to all giving; people often, correctly, point out to us that many individual gifts are made to support churches, alma maters, public goods, etc., rather than to help those in need. A study by… Read More

Check your “smart philanthropy” hat at the door?

The last blog post shares general thoughts on Money Well Spent. Specifically, though, this bit really struck me (page 12): In our personal lives, we regularly make year-end gifts to organizations for which we have warm feelings. These gifts make us feel good, and doubtless they help good organizations. But this isn’t the way to… Read More

Thoughts on “Money Well Spent”

I just finished reading Money Well Spent. (Disclosure: I was sent an advance copy.) The book gives a clear and public picture of how the authors conduct their grantmaking, something I believe is relatively rare in the sector; I’d like to see more people in this area laying out their approach and their positions on… Read More

What does $1000 do?

We’re currently working to find vehicles for donors to fund certain highly appealing program-based interventions. It’s not a simple task, because when dealing with large organizations, it’s rarely clear just how an individual donor’s “drop in the bucket” fits in. Large organizations like UNICEF run a huge variety of programs – including programs such as… Read More

Donor impact vs. donor attribution (or, does your $120 really buy a sheep?)

One of the questions we struggle with a lot is the question of what impact a donation has – i.e., what happens because of your donation that wouldn’t have happened otherwise? In other words, what do you get for your dollar? It’s a tricky question, especially for relatively small donations going to relatively large organizations…. Read More