The GiveWell Blog

The moral value of the far future

A popular idea in the effective altruism community is the idea that most of the people we can help (with our giving, our work, etc.) are people who haven’t been born yet. By working to lower global catastrophic risks, speed economic development and technological innovation, and generally improve people’s resources, capabilities, and values, we may… Read More

How not to be a “white in shining armor”

This post inspired by the upcoming Day Without Dignity online event GiveWell’s current top-rated charities focus on proven, cost-effective health interventions. These interventions appear to solve certain problems (malaria, parasites) quite well, while making no direct attempt to solve other problems (economic growth, education, gender equity, and more). One of the common lines of objection… Read More

Accountability in philanthropy

[Added August 27, 2014: GiveWell Labs is now known as the Open Philanthropy Project.] We previously listed our five chief criteria for GiveWell Labs, an arm of our research process that will be open to any giving opportunity, no matter what form and what sector. This post further discusses the third of these criteria: “accountability.”… Read More

Why we should expect good giving to be hard

We’ve written before about a couple of consistent worldview differences we encounter: Our default assumption is that a charity isn’t succeeding; most people’s default assumption is that a charity is succeeding. We think that helping people is hard; most people seem to think it’s easy. When discussing any specific charity, I can usually think of… Read More

You can save a life

We ask you, as a donor, to turn down some great pitches – “Your interest-free loan will help this person escape poverty forever,” “You can give a cow to a poor family for Christmas,” etc. – and give instead to charities that aren’t terribly good at storytelling. Why? It comes down to this. We think… Read More