The three E’s of effective charities
We believe that a highly effective charity will have robust evidence on the efficiency of its programs and its ability to execute good outcomes.
- Evidence: We consider the size, quality, and relevance of evidence of a charity’s outcomes.
- Efficiency: We look for cost-effective programs that offer the most bang for the buck.
- Execution: Do we believe the charity can translate marginal donations into good outcomes?
- Standout Charity designation, or
- Top Charity designation
- Quality of impact evidence: 2 stars in the validation or scaling stage
- Quality of impact evidence: 3 stars in the design stage
- Quality of monitoring systems: 2 stars
- Learning and iteration: 2 stars
Research from additional charity evaluators can be designated by a three-quarters majority panel. Read more about our curation rationale.
If an organization exceeds our criteria from GiveWell or Impact Matters, it’s automatically nominated — it’s a pretty outstanding charity. Our panel scrutinizes the research and votes whether to include it as an official recommendation. At least three-quarters of the panel must vote in favor for an organization to be added to our list of best charities.
If multiple nominated organizations are doing very similar work, the panel may choose to recommend only a small number to reduce diluting the effectiveness of donations. We want to offer outstanding charities across a broad variety of causes, rather than numerous recommendations within a narrow set of causes.
At any time before or after a charity is officially recommended, panel members can raise concerns and request further research, which the panel will investigate collectively.