We see an early indication that GiveWell continued its trajectory of robust donor growth last year. The total value of donations processed by GiveWell increased 30% in 2019.
We’re sharing this data now because we believe it is an informative early update about our growth last year. However, GiveWell-processed donations don’t tell the full story of our impact. Many donors who rely on our research give via our partner organizations or directly to our top charities. Their gifts account for the majority of donations due to our work and are not processed by GiveWell. Information about these gifts is time-consuming to gather and has usually led us to release our metrics data many months after the end of the year. We plan to release a complete 2019 metrics report and assessment of our impact, including donations not processed by GiveWell, later this year.
Here’s what we know so far, based on the nearly complete information we have about donations we processed:
- We processed $54.1 million in donations in 2019. Sixty-five percent of this amount was restricted to our recommended charities and 35% was unrestricted, which we may use to support GiveWell’s operations.
- Support from donors giving $10,000 to $100,000 comprised the largest proportion of our growth (35%).
- Returning donors who gave more than last year made up 75% of our growth in funds donated (excluding anonymous donations).
- We believe that the majority of our growth was organic and would have occurred without any outreach and marketing efforts from GiveWell, although we can attribute some to specific outreach and marketing initiatives.
We’re encouraged by this growth and excited to write about it. We also discuss below some ways that GiveWell-processed donations could be a misleading indicator of our overall impact.