The GiveWell Blog

Poor in the U.S. = rich

A single-parent family of three in New York, making $8000 per year, makes under half the income level of the Federal poverty line and qualifies for food stamps, TANF (direct cash benefits) and Medicaid. (Details at our guide to U.S. public assistance) And yet, at $2,667 per person per year, this family is wealthier than… Read More

Hunger here vs. hunger there

There has been a fair amount of buzz lately (examples here, here, here, here) about “food insecurity” in the U.S. According to the Reuters headline, one in seven Americans is short of food. In looking into the data, what has surprised us is how different the meaning of “hunger” is when we’re talking about the… Read More

“Did it happen?” and “did it work?”

You donate some money to a charity in the hopes that it will (a) carry out a project that (b) improves people’s lives. In order to feel confident in your donation, you should feel confident in both of these. In most areas of charity, we feel that people overfocus on “did it happen?” relative to… Read More

Where I stand on education, my former favorite cause

Education used to be my favorite cause. My enthusiasm waned as I saw both the cost-effectiveness of international aid and the apparent futility of education. (Elie’s 2007 post captures many of my thoughts.) The study that I’ve been blogging about today (here and here) provides a firmer grounding for our optimism about high-intensity charter schools,… Read More