Rethink Priorities

Rethink Priorities

Global Priorities Research

Rethink Priorities aims to drive critical global improvements by conducting in-depth research and consultancy to guide evidence-based allocation of resources in vital areas such as animal welfare and global health and development, and by nurturing the development of organizations addressing these essential priorities.


What problem is Rethink Priorities working on?

Rethink Priorities is a research and implementation group that identifies pressing opportunities and solutions to make the world better. Its work covers important and neglected cause areas, including animal welfare, artificial intelligence, climate change, existential security, global health and development, worldview investigations, as well as surveys and data analyses to understand movements focused on these issues. Rethink Priorities works in partnership with a variety of organisations, including foundations and impact-focused nonprofits.

What does Rethink Priorities do?

Rethink Priorities works as all of the following:

  • A consultancy doing commissioned work in response to demands from effective altruism organisations.
  • A research institute driven by research agendas it sets according to its own priorities.
  • A think tank aiming to inform public policy to improve the world.
  • An accelerator, incubator, and base for new priority projects.

As part of that work, Rethink Priorities:

  • Launched a new Worldview Investigations team (which recently completed its sequence on “Causes and Uncertainty: Rethinking Value in Expectation”).
  • Studied how to measure and compare the wellbeing of humans and of different other animal species, and published reports on moral weights across species.
  • Helped animal advocacy organisations, policymakers, and funders identify the most cost-effective strategies.
  • Studied how to govern artificial intelligence and other potential risks for future generations.
  • Produced reports for Open Philanthropy and GiveWell answering questions about global health and development issues and interventions.

To learn more, check out all of Rethink Priorities' published work and updates about its strategy.

What information does Giving What We Can have about the cost-effectiveness of Rethink Priorities?1.

We’ve since updated our recommendations to reflect only organisations recommended by evaluators we’ve looked into as part of our 2023 evaluator investigations. As such, we don't currently include Rethink Priorities as one of our recommended programs but you can still donate to it via our donation platform.

Note that we and Longview are both part of Effective Ventures — see our transparency page.

Please note that GWWC does not evaluate individual charities. Our recommendations are based on the research of third-party, impact-focused charity evaluators our research team has found to be particularly well-suited to help donors do the most good per dollar, according to their recent evaluator investigations. Our other supported programs are those that align with our charitable purpose — they are working on a high-impact problem and take a reasonably promising approach (based on publicly-available information).

At Giving What We Can, we focus on the effectiveness of an organisation's work -- what the organisation is actually doing and whether their programs are making a big difference. Some others in the charity recommendation space focus instead on the ratio of admin costs to program spending, part of what we’ve termed the “overhead myth.” See why overhead isn’t the full story and learn more about our approach to charity evaluation.