Improving lives through impact funding
GiveWell is a nonprofit that focuses on maximizing giving opportunities to donors, focusing on projects and programs from a select number of charities that deliver impact by saving or improving lives.
GiveWell explains on its website: “We don’t focus solely on financials, such as assessing administrative or fundraising costs. Instead, we conduct in-depth research to determine how much good a given program accomplishes (in terms of lives saved, lives improved, etc.) per dollar spent. Rather than rating as many charities as possible, we focus on the few charities that stand out most (by our criteria) in order to find and confidently recommend high-impact giving opportunities (our list of top charities).”
GiveWell was established by a group of friends who wanted to see help charitable donations accomplish as much good as possible. The friends, who all worked in the finance industry, discovered that data and resources to help donors was not easily available. So, two members of the group left their jobs to focus on GIveWell, with the aim of identifying high-impact organizations for donors.
The group began to do its own research but quickly found it wasn’t part-time work: finding high-impact giving opportunities involved challenging questions without readily-available answers. Two of the group left their jobs to focus on GiveWell, as a non profit that identifies high impact charities to attract more donations, and as a service for donors seeking to maximize their giving.
The charities they focus on include medicine to prevent malaria, and the biggest beneficiary being Malaria Consortium, cash incentives for routine child vaccinations through mostly New Incentives, cash transfers for communities of extreme poverty through the top organization in this area, GiveDirectly.
“Our Top Charities list is free and publicly available, along with all of the research supporting our funding recommendations. We hope that any donor can have access to high-quality information to inform their impact-based giving.”