The GiveWell Blog

How much funding does GiveWell expect to raise through 2025?

We’re optimistic that GiveWell’s funds raised will continue to increase in the long run. Over the next few years, we believe our annual funds raised are more likely to stay relatively constant, due to a decrease in expected funding from our largest donor, Open Philanthropy, offset by an expected increase in funding from our other donors.

In November 2021, we wrote that we were anticipating rapid growth and aiming to influence $1 billion in 2025. Now, our best guess is that we’ll raise between $400 million and $800 million in 2025 (for comparison, we raised around $600 million in 2022). We now think it’s possible but unlikely that we’ll raise close to $1 billion in 2025, and we also think it’s possible but unlikely that our funds raised in 2025 will be substantially lower (e.g. around $300 million) than they were in 2022.

We’re excited about the impact we can have at any of those levels of funding, and we’ll be continuing to direct as much funding as we can raise to the most cost-effective opportunities we can find.

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Our recommendations for giving in 2022

We wrote back in July that we expected to be funding-constrained this year. That remains true as we approach the end of the year, putting us in the unusual position of leaving impact on the table.

We’ve set a goal of raising $600 million in 2022, but our research team has identified $900 million in highly cost-effective funding gaps. That leaves $300 million in funding gaps unfilled. By donating this year, you can help us not only meet but exceed our goal—and say yes to more excellent opportunities to save and improve lives.

Additionally, our giving guidance for donors has changed this year. For the first time, our top recommendation is to give to our new All Grants Fund, which we allocate to any need that meets our cost-effectiveness bar. We think it’s the best bet for donors who want to support the most promising opportunities we’ve found to help people, regardless of program or location. And it reflects our current views on how we can best meet our goal of maximizing global well-being—by taking advantage of every path to impact, whether that’s funding top charities, seeding and scaling newer programs, or funding research.

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GiveWell’s 2021 metrics report

In 2021, GiveWell directed the largest amount of money in our history, over $500 million, which we believe will be beneficial or life saving to many people in need. We thank our donors for continuing to trust us to find and recommend some of the most highly cost-effective giving opportunities in the world.

Note that this year, we’ve also updated our metrics report to more clearly communicate about our work. Previously, we reported on our “money moved,” a metric that tried to provide a composite picture of both the funds we raised and directed in a given year. However, starting with our 2021 report, we’ll be reporting on these metrics separately as “funds raised” and “funds directed,” which we believe will be simpler and clearer.

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An update on GiveWell’s funding projections

As little as six months ago, we were in the position of having more funding available than we could spend on opportunities that met our very high cost-effectiveness bar. Today, the opposite is true—we don’t expect to have enough funding to support all the cost-effective opportunities we find.

In this post we will: provide an update on GiveWell’s projected funding position, explain how we have been successful in identifying cost-effective opportunities, and share our initial thoughts about what this update means for GiveWell’s forward-looking grantmaking strategy.

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Our recommendations for giving in 2021

You can have a remarkable impact by supporting cost-effective, evidence-based charities.

Just looking at the approximately $100 million GiveWell had discretion to grant in 2020—a subset of all the money we directed to the charities we recommend—the impact of our donors is impressive. We estimate these grants will:

  • Save more than 24,000 lives
  • Treat over 6 million children with a full course of antimalarial medication
  • Provide vitamin A supplementation to over 8.6 million children
  • Deliver over 4.4 million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) to protect against malaria
  • Vaccinate 118,000 children
  • Treat over 11.4 million children for parasitic worms

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We aim to cost-effectively direct around $1 billion annually by 2025

A little over a decade ago in 2010, GiveWell directed around $1.5 million to the charities we recommended. In 2021, we expect we’ll raise at least $500 million, and may raise as much as $560 million or more.

We never anticipated that we’d grow this large this quickly. We’ve seen rapid growth from donors of all sizes, the most recent of which is a commitment of $300 million from Open Philanthropy.

While this growth comes with challenges—we’re working hard to hire enough researchers—it’s a testament to our donors’ trust in us and enthusiasm for our mission.

But these big numbers are relatively small in the long-term scope of what GiveWell hopes to achieve. We believe there are billions of dollars’ worth of annual cost-effective giving opportunities that we have yet to identify.

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