The GiveWell Blog

Should I give out cash in Mumbai?

We mentioned before that we were planning a trip to Mumbai (also known as Bombay, in India). At this we have been here for a few weeks. We will be coming back to the U.S. between mid-November and mid-December. From a GiveWell perspective, one of the things that is very different about being here vs…. Read More

Philanthropy vouchers

We focus on finding charities that are doing demonstrably good work already, rather than on proposals for new sorts of projects. This post is an exception: we’ve been tossing around an idea for “philanthropy vouchers” that we think could be worth trying in a broad variety of contexts, and we’re interested in others’ thoughts. The… Read More

Smile Train in its own words

We recently argued that Smile Train has “more dollars than doctors” for its core program. In that light, yesterday’s Virginian-Pilot article (which quotes me) is interesting: The main story is that Smile Train has been trying to make substantial and unrestricted grants to another major cleft surgery charity, Operation Smile. This despite the fact that… Read More

Why not just give out cash?

Aid Watch raises an interesting question: why should nonprofits provide medical treatment, education, or anything else other than cash handouts to those in the greatest need? I can only think of two reasons, both noted in the Aid Watch post. Reason 1: perhaps charities can make better decisions on behalf of disadvantaged people than those… Read More