We’re excited to announce our top charities for 2019. After thousands of hours of vetting and review, eight charities stood out as excellent.
These charities work on evidence-backed and impactful health and poverty alleviation programs serving people in the poorest parts of the world. We’ve identified specific opportunities for our top charities to use an additional $75 million in donations to save 33,000 lives, $30 million to treat 36 million children for parasitic worm infections, and $450 million to provide unconditional cash transfers to 375,000 extremely low-income individuals. Our expectation is that our top charities can effectively use even more funding than that—that’s just a starting point.
Our 2019 recommendation: “Grants to recommended charities at GiveWell’s discretion”
Our top recommendation for donors giving in 2019 is to give to “Grants to recommended charities at GiveWell’s discretion.” We will grant these funds each quarter to the top charity or charities where we believe they will have the greatest impact.
The top charity we model as having the highest impact per additional dollar can change throughout the year. To inform our understanding, we ask our top charities to provide us with updated information on an ongoing basis. For example, a top charity may share that it has found new opportunities for impact, such as the potential to work in a new country with a significant need for its program.
In addition, top charities typically receive funding from GiveWell donors and other sources on an ongoing basis. We update our expectations of how much additional funding charities need each quarter by incorporating funding they have received since our last allocation of “Grants to recommended charities at GiveWell’s discretion.”
- Our 2019 top charities (More)
- How we prioritize our top charities’ funding needs (More)
- New information we learned in 2019 (More)
- Giving to GiveWell’s operations (More)
- Tips for donating efficiently (More)
- Questions? (More)
- More information on our top charities and 2019 review process (More)
Our 2019 top charities
We recommend seven top charities with immediate funding needs. We list them below in the order we prioritize their funding needs. We think that Malaria Consortium’s seasonal malaria chemoprevention program can use funding most effectively in the near term.
|We recommend that donors give to “Grants to recommended charities at GiveWell’s discretion,” which we will grant quarterly to our top charities according to where we see the highest-impact funding need.
- Malaria Consortium’s seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) program. Malaria Consortium provides preventive, anti-malarial medication to young children during periods of high malaria transmission, reducing their likelihood of dying from malaria. Read our full review.
- Against Malaria Foundation (AMF). AMF provides insecticide-treated nets to hang over sleeping spaces that block and kill malaria-transmitting mosquitoes, reducing people’s likelihood of dying from the disease. Read our full review.
- Helen Keller International (HKI)’s vitamin A supplementation program. HKI supports the provision of vitamin A supplements to young children, reducing their likelihood of dying from infectious disease. Read our full review.
- Charities that treat parasitic worm infections. We recommend charities that implement programs to treat parasitic worm infections (deworming programs) because these cheap health treatments may lead children to earn higher incomes when they enter the workforce as adults.
- GiveDirectly. GiveDirectly distributes no-strings-attached cash grants to very poor households. Read our full review.
The below organization has met our top charity standards in all other ways, but we are waiting for more information about its near-term needs for funding. We have listed it separately to reflect our recommendation to wait until we have more information before providing funding:
- SCI Foundation. Formerly known as the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, SCI Foundation supports deworming programs. Read our full review.
There were no additions or removals from our top charities list in 2019, although the order in which we prioritize directing funding to our top charities has changed.
How we prioritize our top charities’ funding needs
Why we recommend “Grants to recommended charities at GiveWell’s discretion”
Although we think all of our top charities are excellent, we don’t recommend them equally. We look at how each charity will spend the next charitable dollar it receives. In some cases, charities already have sufficient funding to work in the highest-need countries; in other cases, they may have a time-sensitive opportunity where it is particularly valuable to ensure they receive funding quickly.
We ask our top charities for information to update our prioritization each quarter when we grant funding given to “Grants to recommended charities at GiveWell’s discretion.” Our ability to direct this funding based on the most up-to-date information is the reason we recommend donors choose this option above all others.
Malaria Consortium’s SMC program
Some donors prefer to choose a specific charity to support. We recommend these donors consider giving to Malaria Consortium’s SMC program, which we think has the highest impact per additional dollar donated today.
Malaria Consortium-trained health workers go door-to-door during malaria season to provide young children with medication to prevent malaria. The health workers administer the first dose and instruct caregivers on how to complete the treatment over the following days. Malaria Consortium and its partners monitor the effectiveness of their work by looking into whether mosquitoes are developing resistance to the treatment, and by surveying a random selection of parents to check what proportion of children targeted by SMC programs actually receive the medication. A few GiveWell staff visited Malaria Consortium in Burkina Faso in August; a reflection on that visit describes what it’s like to witness the SMC program in the field.
Malaria Consortium’s SMC program is highly cost-effective. We estimate that every marginal $2,300 donated to Malaria Consortium’s SMC program will avert one death from malaria. Malaria Consortium can use an additional $36 million, above and beyond its current and expected funding, to implement its program over the next three years. Additional details on Malaria Consortium’s funding needs and spending plans are here.
Malaria Consortium stands out as an excellent organization and we’re excited to advise that donors who want to choose a specific charity to support donate to Malaria Consortium’s SMC program.
Note: Malaria Consortium implements a number of programs and our recommendation is limited to its SMC program. Donations made in support of Malaria Consortium via GiveWell will be restricted to SMC. If you choose to give directly to Malaria Consortium and wish to follow our recommendation, please inform Malaria Consortium that you want your support to be restricted to SMC.
New information we learned in 2019
Our 2019 top charities have all been named GiveWell top charities in the past, but we don’t stop reviewing organizations once they’re on our top charity list. Our research team continually assesses our existing top charities to determine whether we should direct more funding to them.
At the start of each year, our research team considers which new information or analysis is most likely to change our charity recommendations and/or improve our ability to share the reasoning for our recommendations with the community of supporters who rely on our work. Details on the research we conducted in 2019 is here.
Giving to GiveWell’s operations
GiveWell is a nonprofit. The research we conduct is fully funded by donors who choose to support our operations. We hope that donors will consider allocating funding in 2019 to support our work.
Our organization has grown a lot this year. We hired 12 new staff across the domains of research, outreach/marketing, and operations. We plan to continue growing in each of these areas in 2020. To increase the impact of the funds we direct in the future, we’re planning to hire researchers to help us conduct additional high-quality research into new and existing areas. To direct more funding to the top charities we recommend, we’re planning to grow our outreach and marketing team. We plan to grow our operations team to strengthen our human resources, finance, and technical systems as we expand.
We’ll need to grow the number of donors who give to our operations to support our planned expansion. We cap the amount that any individual donor can provide to our operations at 20% of our total budget to ensure a stable and diverse funding base.
Our recommendation for donors:
- If you’ve never given to our operations in the past, we hope you’ll consider adding 10% to your donation to support our operations.
- If you’ve supported our operations in the past, we hope you’ll consider renewing your gift.
We retain our excess assets policy, which ensures that if we fundraise for our own operations beyond a certain level, we will grant the excess to the best giving opportunities we’ve found.
Tips for donating efficiently
We appreciate your support in any way that you can give. We also offer some advice on how to maximize the efficiency of your gift:
- For donors giving up to $1,000, we recommend donating by credit card here.
- If you’re planning to give more than $1,000, we recommend donating by check, bank transfer, or securities transfer.
- This page has additional options for donating. Our tips for giving efficiently discuss how to maximize the impact of your donation.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about your donation.
More information on our top charities and 2019 review process
- Major updates in our understanding of each of our top charities
- Research we conducted to improve our recommendations
- Our assessment of each of our top charities’ funding needs
- Our qualitative framework for comparing our top charities
- Updates to our cost-effectiveness model
- Our recommendation to Open Philanthropy, a major supporter of our top charities
- Our 2019 standout charities. We don’t recommend that donors support standout charities over top charities; our top charities can use significantly more funding than we expect them to receive and have cleared a higher bar of review from GiveWell. Learn more about why we have standout charities here.