The GiveWell Blog

Think Before You Give: A new podcast with Elie Hassenfeld and Saundra Schimmelpfennig

GiveWell has teamed up with Saundra Schimmelpfenig of Good Intentions Are Not Enough to produce Think Before You Give, a podcast aimed at helping to empower and educate donors. We enjoy Saundra’s work and are happy to be working with her on this. The Think Before You Give website now has the first podcast available…. Read More

TakeAction @ GuideStar

We are thrilled to announce a partnership with GuideStar via its new feature, TakeAction @ GuideStar. TakeAction allows donors to select a cause that interests them and see general information as well as recommended charities, with content provided by GiveWell, Philanthropedia, and Great Nonprofits. To date, GuideStar has provided only basic information, and only information… Read More

A good response re: diversion of skilled labor

I previously expressed concerns about diversion of skilled labor: the possibility that nonprofits are outbidding the local private sector for top local talent. John de Wit of the Small Enterprise Foundation emailed us with a response: On the question of whether we divert skilled labour from other potentially productive pursuits let me try to comment… Read More

Cost-effectiveness estimates: Inside the sausage factory

We’ve long had mixed feelings about cost-effectiveness estimates of charitable programs, i.e., attempts to figure out “how much good is accomplished per dollar donated.” The advantages of these estimates are obvious. If you can calculate that program A can help much more people – with the same funds, and in the same terms – than… Read More

Thoughts from my visits to Small Enterprise Foundation (South Africa) and VillageReach (Mozambique), part III

Continued from Part I and Part II, these are my thoughts from my recent visit to two of our top charities in Africa. Some of what I saw and discussed prompted me to rethink our frameworks for evaluating certain kinds of programs: Vaccinations. We’ve taken the “vaccination coverage rate” as a reasonable proxy for lives… Read More