The GiveWell Blog

We’re offering matching funds to new donors via podcasts. Here’s why.

We’re offering matching funds to new donors who hear about our work on podcast advertisements. A donor has agreed to make a 1:1 match of any donations to GiveWell and/or our top and standout charities. The donor will match up to $1,000 per new donor until the matching funds run out.

Offering donation matching will enable us to better track the impact of the ads we fund. However, we’ve been critical of donation matching in the past. This post will explain why and how we’re planning to match donations today.

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Leverage in charity

The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) told us earlier this year that it had received a donation of praziquantel (the more expensive of the drugs it uses for deworming) from World Vision. Since it already has the drugs, donations can pay just for delivery costs. Thus, SCI observed, your gift is “leveraged” – $1 in donations…

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Celebrated charities that we don’t recommend

Normally, we focus on identifying outstanding charities, and minimize the time spent on opaque or otherwise lackluster ones. But lately, we’ve gone into a bit more detail about our take on several of the best-known and most appealing charities out there. What all of the charities below have in common is that (a) we have…

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Robin Hood, Smile Train and the “0% overhead” donor illusion

For an organization focused on financial metrics, the American Institute of Philanthropy can be very interesting. I can’t do justice to this excellent article on Smile Train with an excerpt, and I urge you to read it all. It thoroughly debunks an alleged claim by Smile Train that “100% of your donation goes toward programs…

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When is a charity’s logo a donor illusion?

When the charity is Nothing But Nets. Peter Singer has explained the problem with the “net = life” equation, and any other serious analysis we’ve seen of insecticide-treated nets agrees. Why does this matter? Because Nothing But Nets also prominently states that the total cost of each net is $10. For donors looking to maximize…

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