About GiveWell

What is GiveWell?

GiveWell is an independent, nonprofit charity evaluator. We find outstanding giving opportunities and publish the full details of our analysis to help donors decide where to give.

Unlike existing evaluators, which focus solely on financials, assessing administrative or fundraising costs, we focus on how well programs actually work – i.e., their effects on the people they serve.

How and why did GiveWell start?

GiveWell started as a group of donors, employed full-time in the hedge fund industry, discussing how to accomplish as much good as possible. We found ourselves fascinated by the research we were conducting, but also found that it isn’t a part-time job, and few public resources exist that can help with it. We raised $300,000 from our former coworkers and left our jobs to start GiveWell. More …

What are you trying to accomplish?

Individual donors give over 100x as much every year as the Gates Foundation and over 6x as much as all foundations combined. (See chart)

We aim to direct as much funding as possible of this large pool to the best charities we can find, and create a global, public, open conversation about how best to help people.

How does GiveWell get information about charities?

We obtain information about charities by (a) reviewing materials posted on an organization’s website, (b) contacting an organization directly, or (c) conducting applications for direct grants (charities share information with us in the hopes of being awarded a grant).
How does GiveWell pay its own salaries and operating costs?

We have a set of core donors who believe strongly in our mission and pay our operating costs.

How can I help?

See our Get Involved page.

How can I learn more?

See our:

Questions that aren’t answered on the website? Contact us.

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