How we curate our charities

How we curate our charities

Our mission is to inspire more people to give effectively and end world poverty. Our panel of experts uses the best research on highly effective charities to create an extensive list of organizations that do the most good for the world’s poorest people.

Panel of Experts

Peter Singer

Peter Singer

Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University; Founder, The Life You Can Save

Caroline Fiennes

Caroline Fiennes

Director, Giving Evidence; Author, It Ain’t What You Give, It’s The Way That
You Give It

Eric Friedman

Eric Friedman

FSA, EA, CFA Actuary & Investment Consultant; Author, Reinventing Philanthropy: A Framework for More Effective Giving

Dean Karlan

Dean Karlan

Professor of Economics, Northwestern University; Co-Founder, ImpactMatters

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? 

We currently use research from two leading charity evaluators to add new organizations to our list of best charities: GiveWell and ImpactMatters. To be included, a charity must achieve:

Give Well

  • 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.

Our recommendations

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.

Beyond world poverty

The Life You Can Save is focused on eradicating poverty, but there are other effective charities supporting important causes.

Climate Change

We recommend consulting the Founders Pledge Report, which recommends the Clean Air Task Force and the Coalition for Rainforest Nations. Also, learn how many of our recommended charities bring a range of environmental benefits along with their primary interventions.

Animal Welfare

We recommend reviewing research from Animal Charity Evaluators.