The GiveWell Blog

New material

We’ve been releasing a lot of new material over the last few weeks, and I want to make sure that our blog readers are aware of it. now includes: New research reports and charity recommendations on three causes. Global Poverty: includes a thorough review of the logical and empirical case for microfinance. We have… Read More

The biggest giver: Individuals

This week, Giving USA released their 2007 estimate of U.S. charitable giving. Its data forms one of our favorite figures, and one of the biggest factors behind our decision to start GiveWell. Taken together, individuals account for 75% of total US giving; that’s 6x as much as all foundations combined. (In fact, it makes more… Read More

Good vs. better

I recently read Better by Atul Gawande, and found myself particularly struck – and reminded of our own situation – by his analysis of hospital care. According to Dr. Gawande, conventional wisdom has long been that the vast majority of hospitals provides top-notch, quality care, and only a fraction treats their patients incompetently. This implies… Read More

Reinventing the wheel

I think the following comment, from Andrea, is broadly representative of a common criticism we receive. One thing Givewell is missing, and has been criticized for in the past, is that people are already working on these issues, and that one small organization like Givewell can’t solve this “problem” where all others have failed. For… Read More

Quick update

I’m going out of town for the next week and will have only sporadic internet access. A few odds and ends: At our Board meeting on Tuesday the 4th, we officially named our grantees in Causes 3 (Nurse-Family Partnership) and Cause 4 (KIPP). We think both are excellent options for donors. Our writeups on these… Read More


A little over a year ago, we ballparked the cost to save a life from malaria at $200. Now we think it’s closer to $1000. Last August, I wrote that K-12 education is my favorite cause. A week ago, I owned up to moving it to the bottom of my list, and far preferring global… Read More