The GiveWell Blog

Microfinance and cookstoves

Two interventions that command a lot of attention are microfinance (financial services, particularly small loans, for the very poor) and improved cookstoves (with the hope of reducing air pollution). We’ve recently seen a couple of helpful summaries of relevant research: David Roodman summarizes the most rigorous research on microfinance. There are now five randomized controlled… Read More


VillageReach currently holds the top slot in our top charities list. While I will be donating to the Stop Tuberculosis partnership (discussed yesterday), Elie’s donation this year went to VillageReach. VillageReach consults on health system logistics in high-poverty, remote areas to help life-saving supplies get to those who need them. It may not be the… Read More

DonorsChoose vs. Kiva

This Tactical Philanthropy post implies that the salient difference between DonorsChoose and Kiva is that DonorsChoose is more “authentic” in terms of connecting donors to projects. (Update: Sean points out in the comment below that most of the post I cited was a quote from a former DonorsChoose employee and doesn’t necessarily reflect TacticalPhilanthropy’s opinion.)… Read More

GiveWell grants awarded

Note: this post does not refer to the economic empowerment grant whose process we opened on August 4. That process is still ongoing, and the funds we will grant there are in addition and distinct from the funds discussed below. Having released our updated recommendations for international aid, we will be making grants to the… Read More

CARE evaluations

How transparent is CARE? On one hand, it maintains a site at that currently lists 448 project evaluation documents (352 of which are in English). We haven’t found anything comparable for any other of what we call the “household name” charities – enormous, well-known, aggressively fundraising international aid charities (usually members of the InterAction… Read More

A small charity that meets our criteria

As we’ve written before, we tend – deliberately – not to focus on charities that are small and/or “experimental” in nature. From what we’ve seen, these charities rarely can demonstrate that their program has “worked” (in the sense of changing lives) before, and so the only way to evaluate them is to have a deep… Read More