Holden Karnofsky writes "With giving season upon us, we're all about to be drowned in appeals for charity. But generosity isn't enough — how do we decide WHERE to give?
GiveWell is the first public exploration of what charities do and whether it works. We've just released our report on saving lives in Africa, and we estimate that our top-ranked charity saves lives for about $250-1,000 apiece — easily 3-4x as good as other good charities in the same cause.
Existing "watchdogs" look only at formal financial data, rating charities by how much they spend on "administrative expenses." That's like rating movies by how much they spend on actors. We put charities through a thorough examination process, and we're the first to use and publish their internal reports — the only way to see the evidence of whether (and how) they're changing lives.
Individual donors give over $200 billion a year, over 100x as much as Gates and 6x as much as all foundations combined. Yet all this money has no way of getting to the best charities possible — until now. I hope you'll help your readers find us, because like any other gift, helping people isn't just about how much you spend."
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