The GiveWell Blog

Trying (and failing) to find more funding gaps for delivering proven cost-effective interventions

There are interventions that we believe are – or may be (pending a literature review) – very well supported by evidence, that we’ve been unable to find charities focused on. In 2012, we put a significant amount of effort into trying to find ways donors could pay for further delivery of these interventions, even if… 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

Global Giving’s spot check and why it should worry you

Aid Watch: “Local people may be the experts, but for outsiders deciding where their donations can do the most good, getting access to local knowledge and acting on it appropriately requires real-time feedback loops that most aid projects lack. Over a little more than a year, GlobalGiving combined staff visits, formal evaluation, third-party observer reports… Read More

By default, assume aid projects aren’t reaching the poorest

If you don’t have evidence one way or the other, should you assume an aid’s projects benefits are reaching the poorest? We think it’s fair to assume the people with the most need are the people with the least power. We’d also guess that, in general, the people with the most power are best positioned… Read More

Chess in the Schools

The New York Times recently profiled Chess in the Schools: The Chess-in-the-Schools program has sought to foster analytical skills on the theory that these will help students succeed academically. The group teaches 20,000 children a year and calculates that it has taught 425,000 children since 1986. Children gather to learn the game at the group’s… Read More

Why can’t you make the sale?

I recently attended a seminar with the fascinating Seth Godin and heard an interesting anecdote about VisionSpring: I could see that every single person who came to this meeting had enough money [$3] … to buy a pair of new reading glasses. And I could tell from how old they were that they were qualified… Read More