Cause areas

High-impact causes we recommend supporting

If you want to do as much good as possible, you need to make sure you're solving important problems. Our recommended charities and funds work on a variety of causes that our trusted evaluators have decided to investigate based on the potential impact a donor can make.

Our current recommended funds and charities focus on causes that improve human wellbeing, improve animal welfare, and create a better future. By supporting these high-impact causes, you can make an enormous difference.

Why prioritising causes matters

As individuals, we all have limited resources and can't support every worthy cause. We therefore have to make some difficult decisions about where we spend our resources.

At Giving What We Can, we recommend considering these three factors when deciding which causes to support:

  1. Scale: A cause area that is large in scale is one that affects many individuals, and affects them a lot.
  2. Neglectedness: A cause area that is neglected is not getting the attention or funding it needs, and so is likely to be high priority.
  3. Tractability: The easier it is to address or solve the problem, the more tractable it is. A cause area that has tractable solutions means there is a reasonable likelihood of making progress.

Generally, donors can maximise their impact by supporting cause areas that are large in scale, neglected, and tractable.

You can learn more about this framework by reading our guide or watching our video.about choosing a cause.

Cause areas

We have grouped high-impact causes into to three cause areas, which donors may want to choose among based on their values and worldview:

Improving human wellbeing

If you want to help people alive today, supporting causes such as reducing poverty and illness and improving education are a pressing matter. There are millions of people in low-income countries whose lives could be improved (and even saved, in some cases) by evidence-based, cost-effective interventions.

Here are the specific causes within the area of improving human wellbeing that we recommend supporting:

Learn more about improving human wellbeing.

Improving animal welfare

If you want to reduce the suffering in the world, regardless of who experiences it, animal advocacy might be the right cause for you. At any given time, around 31 billion land animals are being raised and slaughtered in factory farms, while countless animals suffer needlessly in the wild.

Here are the specific causes within the area of improving animal welfare that we recommend supporting:

Learn more about improving animal welfare.

Creating a better future

If you’d like to protect future generations, you should consider how to safeguard the long-term future. Most of the work in this area involves preventing global catastrophes and making our world more resilient.

Here are the specific causes within the area of creating a better future that we recommend supporting:

Learn more about creating a better future.

Multiple cause areas

Some high-impact causes fit into multiple of the above-mentioned cause areas in parallel. These include:

Our research

This page was written by Michael Townsend.

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