Inclusion criteria

How we select high-impact charities to support

Our mission at Giving What We Can is to create a culture of giving significantly and effectively. As part of this, we provide information and infrastructure for donors to find and fund the most impactful charities.

Here’s how we decide which charities we recommend and support through our donation platform.

Criteria for being a supported charity, nonprofit, or fund

Giving What We Can has three categories of supported charities, nonprofit organisations, and charitable funds:

  • Recommended — These options are promoted on our giving recommendations page, and are an excellent starting place for donors looking to give effectively. We are confident they are cost effective within their cause, because they have been investigated by trusted evaluation partners and held to a high standard of cost effectiveness within their cause area.
  • Listed — We think these are promising options, and will be of interest to people looking to give effectively. Being listed does not necessarily mean we think these options are less cost effective, just that they don’t meet our criteria to be on our giving recommendations page.
  • Unlisted — We think some effective givers will have good reasons to want to donate to these options, but we are not yet confident enough in their cost effectiveness to publicly list them on our site. These options are made available by following a direct link from the organisation itself or by searching for them by name; they won’t otherwise appear on our website.

Below is more detail about each of these categories, the purpose they serve, and their inclusion criteria.

You can find our current list of recommended charities, nonprofits, and funds on our giving recommendations page.

We generally recommend donors to give to funds, because they are managed by experts who work closely with charities to ensure they receive funding in proportion to their need and cost effectiveness.

Our recommendations are chosen because they meet two requirements:

  1. They are working in one of our high-impact cause areas.
  2. They have been investigated by us or one of our trusted charity evaluators, and this investigation showed they met a very high standard of cost effectiveness within their cause area.

Our goal in making these recommendations is to provide donors with a strong starting place in their effective giving journey. These are charities that we are highly confident are cost effective and have publicly available research supporting their cost effectiveness. Notably, this excludes charities that may well be extremely cost effective but simply haven’t been investigated by one of our trusted charity evaluators. This means donors who are interested in doing their own research may be able to find even more effective charities.

Criteria for being listed

As well as providing recommendations, our donation platform lists other very promising charities, nonprofits, and funds. We think that, according to some worldviews, some of these may turn out to be even more effective than our recommendations — so it’s worthwhile to list them publicly so that donors can more easily consider them.

Generally speaking, the following is sufficient to be listed:

  • Is actively supported by effective givers — The Giving What We Can community gives this organisation more than $50,000 USD per year. (Or alternatively, we think that it is likely it will receive more than $50,000 USD in its first year of being listed.)
  • Has recently been supported by a trusted evaluator or grantmaker — Organisations that have received a grant from one of our trusted evaluators or grantmakers within the last two years.

Some charities may not meet the above criteria, but we still think are worth being given listed status. In such cases, there are several indicators the Giving What We Can team uses to decide whether a charity should be listed:

  • Critical acclaim within the effective altruism community — For example, a well-received post on the EA Forum about the charity’s cost effectiveness.
  • Supported by our own research — In some cases, our research team will conduct its own evaluation, or commission or collaborate with trusted partners on research into a charity. We will publish our findings, and if we think the charity meets a sufficiently high standard, will include them as a listed charity (or for exceptional charities, as a recommendation).
  • The charity previously met our recommended criteria — These options may no longer be recommended, but we think that some donors may still have good reasons to support their work.

Criteria for being unlisted

In addition to providing advice on how to give effectively, Giving What We Can also supports the effective giving community more broadly. Our donation platform supports donors by providing many impactful donation options in one place, and it helps organisations receive donations from many donors across the world. In some cases, there are organisations that don’t yet meet the criteria to be listed prominently on our website, but meet our criteria to be supported by our donation platform. These organisations can be found using direct link (i.e., from the organisations’ own website), but do not otherwise appear on our website.

Generally speaking, the following would be sufficient to be added as an unlisted option:

  • The charity is within the charitable scope of the Centre for Effective Altruism and has broad alignment with effective altruism principles (i.e., the charity works on a pressing problem and takes a reasonably promising approach).
  • There is no major risk of accidental harm.
  • Giving What We Can expects the charity to receive at least $50,000 USD in the first year through our platform, or Giving What We Can is particularly excited about the project.

We actively monitor whether charities should retain their unlisted status. The requirements to remain as an unlisted charity on our donation platform:

  • All of the above criteria, except that the last criterion is instead:
  • The charity received a total of at least $50,000 during the last two years through our platform.

Can you recommend or support my charity?

If you know of or work at an organisation that meets our above inclusion criteria then you can contact us to let us know. Please provide evidence that the organisation is in fact very likely to meet the criteria.

We do not respond to unsolicted requests that don't meet our criteria reserve the right to not recommend or support any organisation.