The GiveWell Blog

Trying out a new format: GiveWell podcast

June 17, 2016 update: we’ve received relatively few responses to our survey about the podcast, so we’re currently not planning on making more episodes. If you listened, feel free to fill out the survey or contact us.

As part of our increased outreach efforts this year, we decided to make three test episodes of a podcast. We’re aiming to quickly and easily share our research in a new form that might be more accessible for many people.

We’ve recorded three episodes, and we’re releasing them now to gauge our audience’s reaction. If there’s strong interest, we’ll keep making episodes.

The three episodes:

  • Episode 1 – About GiveWell

  • Episode 2 – New employees and working at GiveWell (we suspect this may be interesting to people considering working at GiveWell, and of limited interest to others)

  • Episode 3 – The Against Malaria Foundation

The podcasts can be downloaded or streamed from the links above, and are also available for podcast apps via iTunes or by copying our RSS feed into your favorite podcast program:

Some notes about this podcast:

  • The goal of this podcast is not to be a highly produced, well-polished product; rather, we aimed to create recordings which would be informative and interesting to our audience but don’t require a large time investment from us.
  • The format of this podcast is roughly half hour-long conversations about research we’ve done or other topics relevant to our work, with minimal scripting or editing.
  • If we continue making these, it’s possible we’d put some resources into improving the sound quality, but in general the format would be similar: casual, largely unscripted conversations with GiveWell and Open Philanthropy Project staff about our research findings, their areas of expertise, or other topics relevant to our work.

If you do listen to the podcast, we’d appreciate it if you would answer this very short survey about it. Doing so will help us decide whether to continue producing it.


  • Michael Hendricks on May 25, 2016 at 9:07 am said:

    Is there a podcast URL for the audio recordings of your board meetings? I like to listen to the board meetings and being able to subscribe in my favorite podcatcher would make this easier.

  • Chris on May 25, 2016 at 4:50 pm said:

    Hey Givewell,

    I just finished listening to the “About Givewell” and the AMF podcasts. I listen to podcasts fairly frequently so I was excited to give these a try. Below are my comments:

    1. As someone who has followed givewell and the EA community for several years I still found both of these episodes to be interesting and informative.

    2. Although I do not think these current podcasts will change my desire to donate, since I already hope to donate quite a bit in my lifetime, I feel like I have a better understanding of both AMF and Givewell, which may improve my EA outreach (Planning on hosting a “Giving Game” for medical students in the fall). It was helpful to understand not only what both of these groups do, but why they came to be this way, and the reasoning behind this.

    3. I doubt that this podcast format will be the way new donors will be introduced to Givewell (Unless there is significant traffic directed to these podcasts specifically). I feel the podcasts that get independently sought out are ones with very high production value and a focus on story telling– which I do not think is what you have in mind for this podcast.

    4. This format may most be helpful for new donors interested in givewell, and are newly learning about how and why you work, and about your top charities. A 30 minute podcast may be more accessible for people than diving into a close reading of the website.

    5. Overall I think if you are happy with it being directed towards people who are new to givewell, rather than people who have never heard of givewell before, then I think this podcast is worth continuing. That is, if it does not take up too much of your time to put together!

    Looking forward to learning more about the other top charities if you continue this! Thanks!

  • Sean on May 26, 2016 at 3:33 pm said:

    Michael – we don’t currently have one, but if more people asked for it we’d consider setting it up.

    Chris – thanks for the feedback! We really appreciate it.

  • Avi Norowitz on May 28, 2016 at 5:50 pm said:

    Thanks for creating and sharing these podcast episodes. I listened to all three and found them informative and enjoyable.

  • Grognor on June 11, 2016 at 2:20 pm said:

    the RSS feed doesn’t work for me

  • Grognor on June 26, 2016 at 9:53 pm said:

    problem was on my end. thanks for doing this!

  • David on July 8, 2016 at 8:14 pm said:

    I listened to all three podcast episodes and really enjoyed them. Please continue making them =)

Comments are closed.