High-priority cause areas we recommend

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The charities we recommend work on solutions to a variety of different problems. Some work to address global poverty, some advocate for animal welfare, some are focused on preventing global catastrophes, and some promote effective altruism. These are our high-priority cause areas.

Why prioritising cause areas 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.

We recommend charities that work in a variety of different cause areas. We chose these cause areas to maximise how much of a difference your donations can make, based on three factors:

  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.

You can learn more about this framework by reading our guide to choosing cause areas or watching our video on cause-prioritisation.

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

High-priority cause areas

We have identified four cause areas that we think provide especially promising opportunities to do good:

Supporting charities working in these areas will allow you to maximise the impact of your donor dollars.[1]

Global health and development

If you want to help people alive today, supporting global health and development is 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 global health and development that we recommend supporting:

Learn more about improving global health and development.

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. Every year around 31 billion land animals are 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.

Safeguarding the long-term 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 safeguarding the long-term future that we recommend supporting:

Learn more about safeguarding the long-term future.

Advocating for effective altruism

Maybe you support all of the causes on this page. Or maybe you’re especially passionate about research, outreach, or changing societal norms surrounding charity. If that’s the case, you might want to support the growth of effective altruism.

Effective altruism is a movement and set of ideas about using reason and evidence to do as much good as possible, and taking action on that basis. Advocating for effective altruism can involve building the effective altruism community, developing ideas around how to be most effective with our resources, or encouraging others to be more effective in their altruism.

We recommend the following causes within the area:

Learn more about advocating for effective altruism.


Footnotes

  1. Note that our list of promising cause areas is neither exhaustive nor final. They will continue to evolve as circumstances change, research develops, and organisations branch out into new areas. We will continually update these pages as promising new cause areas emerge. ↩︎