Most effective charities – When you care about making a difference in the world, it’s natural to ask: “Where can my donations do the most good?”
The great news is that your donations can have an astonishing impact.
But to maximise your impact you need to do Most Effective Charities. This is especially important given the best charities are often 10 times better than a typical charity within the same area and hundreds of times better than poorly performing charities. The worst charities can even do harm. That means if you donated $100 to the most effective charities, you could be doing even more good than someone who donates $1,000 to a typical charity, or $10,000 to a poorly performing one.
How to do most effective charities?
The point of most effective charities is to help others. Most effective charities means that you’re taking steps to make sure you’re helping others the most for every dollar you give.
We think the most effective charities to do is to:
Identify a promising cause to support. The most promising causes are generally:
Large in scale: they significantly impact many lives
Neglected: they still need more funding and support
Tractable: there are clear and practical ways of making progress
Choose an excellent fund or Most Effective Charities working on the cause. Indicators of worthwhile organisations include: reliance on evidence, cost-effectiveness, transparency, room for more funding, and a strong track record. We generally recommend giving to expert-managed funds over charities, because they can allocate your donation where and when it is needed most.
Pick an efficient way to donate. Try getting your Most Effective Charities matched by your employer or set up a recurring donation.
In practice, choosing a cause and evaluating funds and charities can take a lot of time and effort, and many donors aren’t able to work it into their busy schedules. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of trustworthy, cost-effective funds and Most Effective Charities working on some of the most pressing causes.
Our effective most effective charities recommendations
These most effective charities recommendations are listed roughly in order of convenience and suitability for most donors. The right giving opportunity for you will depend on your particular values and worldview.
Donate to expert-managed funds
For most people, we recommend donating through an expert-led fund that is focused on effectiveness.
Funds are both easy for donors and highly effective. They allow donors to pool their money so that they can support outstanding giving opportunities that are evaluated by expert grantmakers and trusted charity evaluators.
This approach is similar to using an investment fund instead of trying to pick which individual stocks will be the best investments. The fund distributes your donation among multiple grantees with the goal of maximising your overall impact. Read more about the advantages of funds.
Donors from the US, UK, and the Netherlands can make tax-deductible donations to the following funds using the Giving What We Can donation platform. For other countries, you can read our tax deductibility guide by country — but we still think these funds are likely to be your best option, even if they’re not tax deductible.
Donate to most effective charities recommended by trusted charity evaluators
If you would like to be more closely involved with your donation, or if you would like more options to choose from, you can also donate directly to high-impact charities working on some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Finding the most effective charities requires:
Developing models that allow comparisons between causes.
Researching which interventions or actions are effective within a cause.
Tracking how much a charity is spending on carrying out these interventions.
Monitoring whether the charity is successfully carrying out the work they claim to be doing.
Doing this well requires expertise. That’s why we rely on our trusted evaluators — charitable giving experts who conduct primary research into the cost-effectiveness of charities.
Donate most effective charities based on your own research
Most Effective Charities – In general, we recommend most donors focus their efforts on finding an evaluator that aligns with their values and who they can trust. This is because directly evaluating most effective charities takes a substantial amount of time and expertise to do well and is extremely important to get right, given how much charities differ in cost-effectiveness.
Yet, we think it makes sense for some people to do their own research into the best available most effective charities opportunities. This might be true for you if:
Your values do not align with any expert evaluators and so you believe you can find more effective charities on your own.
You have unique access to or knowledge of most effective charities opportunities that expert evaluators have not investigated.
You would benefit from learning how most effective charities evaluation works, either because it could inform your future giving, or it would provide you skills that would allow you to do even more good through your career (for example, by working as a charity evaluator).