Frequently Asked Question

Why did you decide to more deeply investigate the third-party evaluators you use?


We base our giving recommendations on the research of trusted, impact-focused charity evaluators. We have recently decided to more deeply investigate the evaluators whose research we’ve relied on in the past, as well as new evaluators whose research we may rely on in the future. We are doing this primarily because we think we are well-positioned to help connect evaluators and donors in the effective giving space in a more effective and efficient way. Organisations that rely on the research of charity evaluators implicitly evaluate evaluators by including some evaluators’ recommendations and not others’. We think this process could be both more standardised and more transparent, and hope our “evaluate the evaluators” initiative could be the beginning of what becomes a critical institution within the effective giving space — leading to better recommendations, greater transparency, and ultimately more impact.

We do want to emphasise that we previously chose the evaluators that have informed our past recommendations for good reason; while each evaluator had slightly different criteria for their top recommendations, they tended to share our belief that good charities should be:

  • Impactful: Are the charity’s programmes making a difference rather than doing nothing, or even doing harm?
  • Cost-effective: Does your dollar go far when you donate to it? If you can achieve the same outcome by donating $100 to Charity A than you could with $1,000 to Charity B, we think most donors should choose Charity A.
  • Driven by evidence and/or careful reasoning: Is the programme a charity operates evidence-backed, or in cases where evidence isn’t practical to obtain — like global catastrophic risk reduction and other initiatives to safeguard the long-term future — does expert reasoning and analysis provide a strong case for support?

However, we think it’s valuable to do a deeper investigation of the specific methodologies, criteria, and decision-making process of each charity evaluator, along with its worldview, in order to:

  • Maintain a strong and recent research basis for the choice of which evaluators should inform our recommendations.
  • Better tailor our donation recommendations to individual donor values and worldviews by more transparently distinguishing between similar donation options (such as two funds, each managed by a different impact-focused evaluator, granting to organisations in the same cause area).
  • Uphold our value of continuously self-reflecting and updating our views should new data or evidence come to light.

Still have questions?

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