What is GiveWell?
GiveWell is an independent, nonprofit charity evaluator. We find outstanding giving opportunities and publish the full details of our analysis to help donors decide where to give.
Unlike other charity evaluators, which focus solely on financials (assessing administrative or fundraising costs), we focus on how well programs actually work – i.e., their effects on the people they serve.
How and why did GiveWell start?
GiveWell started as a group of donors, employed full-time in the hedge fund industry, discussing how to accomplish as much good as possible. We found ourselves fascinated by the research we were conducting, but also found that it isn't a part-time job, and few public resources exist that can help with it. We raised $300,000 from our former coworkers and left our jobs to start GiveWell. More ...
What are you trying to accomplish?
Individual donors give over 100x as much every year as the Gates Foundation and over 5x as much as all foundations combined. (See chart)
We aim to direct as much funding as possible of this large pool to the best charities we can find, and create a global, public, open conversation about how best to help people.
We picture a world in which donors reward charities for effectiveness in improving lives.
How does GiveWell get information about charities?
In GiveWell's early years, we conducted applications for direct grants. Charities shared information with us in order to apply for these grants.
Since we are now able to demonstrate that our recommendations lead to donations, charities usually participate in our process upon request. We have de-emphasized grants and now focus on scanning large numbers of charities and deeply investigating the most promising ones. See our 2011 research process.
How does GiveWell pay its own salaries and operating costs?
We have a set of core donors who believe strongly in our mission and pay our operating costs.
We do not receive any funds from the charities featured on our site, or retain any portion of donations to our top-rated charities for ourselves.
How can I help?
See our Get Involved page.
How can I learn more?
- More in-depth overview of GiveWell.
- Frequently Asked Questions for more general information about GiveWell.
- Business plan history for a summary of our accomplishments, shortcomings, lessons learned to date, and plans for the future.
- Blog for ongoing updates and research discussions.
Questions that aren't answered on the website? Contact us.