The GiveWell Blog

Do you have questions about giving in 2020?

Many people make charitable donations in December. If you’re considering making a gift in the coming weeks and you want more information before doing so, we’re happy to help!

We’re glad to answer questions in writing and on the phone. For written responses, please email or leave a comment on this blog post. For a phone call, please fill out this form to request a call with a GiveWell staff member.

We’re happy to field questions on topics like:

  • which organizations we recommend most highly today and why,
  • the pros and cons of different donation methods,
  • the tax deductibility of different giving options and the implications of the CARES Act for U.S. donors,
  • support for logistical questions about making a donation,
  • additional details on the Maximum Impact Fund, our top recommendation for donors,
  • and more.

We hope to hear from you!


  • Sonia Albrecht on December 31, 2020 at 5:44 pm said:

    How do you calculate that “Malaria Consortium’s seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) program is 16 times as cost-effective as GiveDirectly’s standard (non-COVID-19) cash transfer program.[8] “? In particular, how do you compare outcomes that are measured in lives saved to outcomes that are measured in income increased?

  • Siegfried Wenus on January 4, 2021 at 6:57 am said:

    Hi! I listened to a podcast from Tim Ferris recommending
    After traveling in many underdeveloped countries, I personally think the only way of helping people, in the long run, is to give kids access to education. The education needs also to be able to alter certain cultural behavior, like female suppression, lack of common social contribution beyond the own family and so on. I would like to donate to an effective organization in this field. Do you have any recommendations?

  • Catherine (GiveWell) on January 4, 2021 at 5:48 pm said:

    Hi Sonia,

    I’m glad you found our information on moral weights! That’s the right link for explaining our overall approach. The specific moral weights inputs we used at the end of 2020 are in our cost-effectiveness model here (with additional information in the cell notes).

  • Catherine (GiveWell) on January 4, 2021 at 5:50 pm said:

    Hi Siegfried,

    Thanks for your question! We don’t recommend any programs focused on education. In general, GiveWell aims to find the programs that we believe will have the greatest impact with additional donations. We currently think the evidence for educational programs is less strong than the evidence supporting the programs we recommend today. We’ve written about our research on education here.

  • Elon Musk recently asked for feedback on how to donate his wealth in a way that will make a difference. Jeff Bezos in the past has also asked the same question. Have you ever thought of organizing a twitter campaign to get a few thousand Givewell supporters to tweet at Musk or Bezos and see if they notice? Or maybe just asking them through private channels? They could probably close the current room for more funding gap for every Givewell charity and not even blink, and it seems like the data and outcome driven approach of Givewell would appeal to tech people. Just a thought.

  • Catherine (GiveWell) on January 12, 2021 at 12:44 pm said:

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Aiyana on January 19, 2021 at 5:38 am said:

    Why covid-19 came? This thing changed our entire life.

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