The GiveWell Blog

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… Read More

Where we stand on microfinance charity

We’ve thought and written a lot about microfinance lately. As of now, here’s where we stand. What microfinance is and isn’t First, it’s important to recognize that most of what you’ve heard about microfinance is false. It isn’t primarily about funding business expansion.. It isn’t a “proven solution” to poverty. And it doesn’t leverage your… Read More

Two charities, one microfinance institution

We’re looking for a good option for U.S. donors interested in supporting microfinance. We’ve been examining the largest, most prominent U.S.-registered charities in this area: Grameen Foundation, Unitus, Accion, Women’s World Banking, Opportunity International and FINCA. All of these are large organizations that list a variety of “partner” microfinance institutions. One thing that might surprise… Read More

Village Phone: Another great story under the microscope

Ever since I heard about the Grameen Foundation’s Village Phone program, I’ve been optimistic. The program involves helping people in remote villages run pay-for-use cellphone services: they get their cellphone, and a loan to buy it, via Grameen, then charge other villagers to use it. It’s an approach to fighting poverty that’s (a) relatively new;… Read More