# The Maximum Impact Fund is now the Top Charities Fund

We’ve decided to rename the Maximum Impact Fund to better describe what opportunities this fund supports. The Maximum Impact Fund will now be called the Top Charities Fund.

We recently announced changes to our top charity criteria that include a new requirement for our top charities: that we have a high degree of confidence in our expectations about the impact of their programs. Alongside this update, we also introduced a new giving option, the All Grants Fund. The All Grants Fund supports the full range of GiveWell’s grantmaking and can be allocated to any grant that meets our cost-effectiveness bar—including opportunities outside of our top charities and riskier grants with high expected value.

The new All Grants Fund is a complement to what we have called our Maximum Impact Fund, which is granted to cost-effective opportunities among our top charities. However, we’ve received feedback that describing the fund which supports grantmaking only to our top charities as having “Maximum Impact” is confusing in light of the opportunity to support a wider range of opportunities (with potentially higher expected value) through the All Grants Fund.

Based on this feedback, we’ve decided to change the name of the Maximum Impact Fund to the Top Charities Fund.

# Changes to our top charity criteria, and a new giving option

Since 2007, GiveWell has maintained a list of top charities. The organizations and programs on that list have changed over time, but the goal has remained the same: to help donors decide where to give.

In service of that goal, we’ve spent roughly the last year working on a plan to add to and update our criteria for top charities, so that they accurately reflect our prioritization of funding opportunities and are more helpful to donors. The revised criteria emphasize programs from which we expect high impact, with the additional requirement that we have a high degree of confidence in our expectation.

We hope these changes will also draw a brighter line for donors between our top charities and other excellent funding opportunities we support, a distinction that we haven’t always made clear. Recognizing that some donors want to contribute to grants outside our top charities list, we’re also introducing a new giving option: the All Grants Fund. Providing this option as a complement to the Maximum Impact Fund is an important step as grants to programs outside our top charities become a bigger part of our work.

# Our recommendations for giving in 2021

You can have a remarkable impact by supporting cost-effective, evidence-based charities.

Just looking at the approximately $100 million GiveWell had discretion to grant in 2020—a subset of all the money we directed to the charities we recommend—the impact of our donors is impressive. We estimate these grants will: • Save more than 24,000 lives • Treat over 6 million children with a full course of antimalarial medication • Provide vitamin A supplementation to over 8.6 million children • Deliver over 4.4 million long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) to protect against malaria • Vaccinate 118,000 children • Treat over 11.4 million children for parasitic worms Read More # Do you have questions about giving in 2020? Many people make charitable donations in December. If you’re considering making a gift in the coming weeks and you want more information before doing so, we’re happy to help! We’re glad to answer questions in writing and on the phone. For written responses, please email donations@givewell.org or leave a comment on this blog post. For a phone call, please fill out this form to request a call with a GiveWell staff member. We’re happy to field questions on topics like: • which organizations we recommend most highly today and why, • the pros and cons of different donation methods, • the tax deductibility of different giving options and the implications of the CARES Act for U.S. donors, • support for logistical questions about making a donation, • additional details on the Maximum Impact Fund, our top recommendation for donors, • and more. We hope to hear from you! Read More # Our recommendations for giving in 2020 You can have a major, positive impact today by choosing to support organizations backed by strong evidence: our top charities. We recommend the nonprofits that offer the most impact per dollar we’re aware of. In fact, we estimate that you can save a life by donating$3,000-$5,000 to our top recommendation.[1] If you’re a longtime donor, you’ll recognize most of this year’s top charities. You may even wonder why our list hasn’t changed much. However, a tremendous amount of research—truly thousands of hours—has been done to ensure that these organizations continue to meet our high standards. And although there are many familiar names, one is entirely new: New Incentives. We’re proud to share our recommendations and grateful to you for considering supporting them. We hope you’ll read on! Read More # Maximum Impact Fund update: Q1 and Q2 2020 Thanks to our donors, we have disbursed$23.3 million in flexible funding to our top charities this year. This generous, flexible support is worthy of celebration!

This post focuses on our decision to grant $15.3 million to the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF), which includes the$11.7 million that donors gave to “Grants to recommended charities at GiveWell’s discretion” in the first half of 2020.[1]

AMF supports the distribution of insecticide-treated nets in areas with high rates of malaria. The nets stop mosquitoes from biting and spreading the disease. We estimate our donors’ support for AMF will collectively save over 3,000 lives, mostly of young children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Guinea.[2] Without this grant, we think net distributions in DRC and Guinea would have been delayed.

We believe that AMF was the highest-impact choice for this grant. We chose AMF after assessing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on our top charities, the urgency of our top charities’ funding needs, and our estimates of their impact per dollar. We’re grateful for GiveWell donors’ trust in providing flexible funding to fill this need.