The GiveWell Blog

GiveWell will be moving to Mumbai (India) for 3 months

GiveWell’s 3 full-time staff (myself, Elie Hassenfeld and Natalie Stone) will be living and working in Mumbai from mid-August through late November.

Developing-world aid has become a major focus for us, and we hope to have more opportunities to see aid work up close (along the lines of my trip to Africa earlier this year).

Please let us know if you have suggestions for charities we should visit, contacts at such charities, or any other advice/suggestions/contacts.


  • Kevin Burke on June 29, 2010 at 11:13 am said:

    Seva Mandir in Udaipur, only about 12 hour train/2 hr plane from Mumbai. They’ve partnered with JPAL for a few projects. Contact Deepti Ameta at

  • Donald Lobo on July 5, 2010 at 11:46 pm said:

    might want to get in touch with Dasra (

  • Chuck S'r on July 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm said:

    Wishing GiveWell well in India

    I know you have the energy and a strong tendency to be productive. I hope the reality there allows GW in its typically honest way to find some four star charities.

  • Kimberly V on August 10, 2010 at 11:46 pm said:

    It’s hard to give suggestions without having a better idea of the purpose/agenda of your trip. Why did you choose India, and why Bombay (my father’s birthplace, the name hasn’t changed in everyone’s minds yet)? Are you looking at local organizations or outposts of international ones or both?

    I do think it’s good that you’re spending three months. It’s very hard to do anything in a week or two. In India you’ll find a lot of people who understand Western interests and preferences very well. Indian NGOs are generally quite savvy at appealing to international donors, and quite used to people wanting to learn from them or help them, so sometimes you’ll find that they have no interest in you unless you’re someone important (or you have great connections). You may also discover that the class/caste system plays an important role in NGO and philanthropic work, just as it does in the rest of Indian society. I think you’ll need to become very observant students of Indian culture and society to make the most of your trip – and to be able to make sound evaluations. I wonder if you found this to be true when you were in Africa, or if you have given it any thought. Cultural issues are huge in international development work – I’ll just leave it at that for now.

  • Holden on August 11, 2010 at 10:40 am said:

    To clarify, this trip is not going to be 3 months dedicated to site visits. We’re going for a combination of business and personal reasons – all of us are interested in going there & able to do so (the location was chosen just based on where we were personally interested in going); while we’re there we’re going to try to do some site visits, but we’re also going to spend a lot of time doing our normal desk-based research from India. GiveWell itself will be paying only for office- and site-visit-related expenses (staff are personally paying for airfare, lodging, etc.) We expect to be mostly reachable by email and phone as well.

    I agree with you that cultural issues are important, and noted this in my notes from the Africa trip. I think there were significant limitations to my ability to communicate with people (and I largely relied on the nonprofits hosting me to the extent I was able to do so). We don’t expect to gain deep understanding of the nonprofits we’re visiting, the work they’re doing, and the people they’re serving, but we hope to make some basic observations and get some more context and food for thought as I did in Africa. As always, we aren’t seeking to understand nonprofits’ work as well as they do themselves, but rather to understand it better than individual donors can (and thus to help individual donors).

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