Photo by Henry & Co.


We recommend charity funds and organizations that:

1. Target substantial sources of suffering (or disasters sure to worsen them) since progress in these areas likely yields a maximum decrease in overall suffering.

2. Are endorsed or offered by our trusted expert analysts:
See why we trust them
GiveWell's strict criteria screens charities to find those that maximize each dollar's positive impact. It primarily vets global health & development charities.
Charity Navigator
Charity Navigator does not create funds; it provides ratings on fiscal responsibility that we use to double-check the work of our other expert analysts.
Animal Charity Evaluators
ACE vets animal welfare charities to find those with the maximum per-dollar impact.
Founder's Pledge
Founder's Pledge creates effective charity funds in various areas, but we find its climate change fund most promising.
Giving Green
Giving Green is another charity fund consisting of the most impactful climate change organizations.
Why we trust our expert analysts
Our trusted expert analysts all share characteristics that allow us to be reasonably confident in their impact:

1. Thorough analysis and prioritization. They assess many charities to isolate the most beneficial through rigorous quantitative analysis, particularly impact-per-dollar metrics. They prioritize neglected and underfunded charities with tractable goals.

2. A high degree of transparency. All of our trusted analysts outwardly present their methodologies, and many have easily-accessible pages outlining their mistakes.

3. Based on evidence. They have strict criteria that charities must prove their impact with sound evidence. They also respond appropriately to criticism and change their actions when new (legitimate) evidence suggests their methods are flawed.

4. Run by well-qualified researchers.
Why we endorse charitable funds over individual charities
Giving to charitable funds has three significant advantages over donating to individual charities:

1. Diversification. Personal investors are often advised to invest in index funds (which hold many stocks) since they have a much lower risk of loss than individual stocks. The same advice is true for charitable donations. If you give to a few charities, it is likely that you aren't supporting the most effective ones. If you instead donate to a charitable fund (which holds many charities), your impact will probably be much higher.

2. Timing optimization. Most of our recommended charitable funds send donations to their supported charities that need it most when they can best maximize the impact those dollars achieve. They also avoid overfunding smaller charities that would become less cost-effective due to scaling up.

3. Active management. Opportunities ebb and flow. Charitable funds can stream funding to promising new ventures quickly and remove charities that cease to be the most impactful. Regular donors don't have time free for research to stay on top of the constantly-evolving causes they seek to support. Even if you only donate to the most impactful charity in the world, you cannot be sure that charity will remain the most effective in the future. Charitable funds help solve this problem.

Problems & Limitations

Given that we rely on these evaluators, their problems are ours too.
By Nicholas Kruus - DGN Creator

My Largest Source of Uncertainty: GiveWell's Discrepancies with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) provides grants to various organizations and charities, primarily within the global health and development field. As of 2023, the BMGF's largest global health grant recipients include GAVI, The Rotary Foundation, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

These are not the organizations boasted by our trusted global health and development evaluator, GiveWell, which instead chiefly donates to the Malaria Consortium, Hellen Keller International, New Incentives, and the Against Malaria Foundation. This remains true despite the BMGF being aware of GiveWell's research.

The BMGF and GiveWell have expert grant-makers with pure intentions, so this discrepancy is puzzling. Who is correct? Unfortunately, my research into the reasons behind this mismatch has been inconclusive. As with any other grant-giving organization, GiveWell and the BMGF's strategies have been critiqued, and both have been credited with impressive accolades. However, comparing these numbers is unreliable because a major way the BMGF has an impact is through leveraging its size and status. Additionally, the BMGF's measurements of impact numbers appear less refined than GiveWell's (which is understandable to an extent, given the BMGF's relative size). If the BMGF offered a fund for public donations, we would perhaps recommend splitting your contributions by some ratio between it and GiveWell. However, the BMGF is privately funded chiefly by the Gateses and Warren Buffet. Thus, despite the uncertainty, GiveWell still appears to be the best option the public can access, given its rigor, expertise, transparency, and mission.

Photo by Sean Pollock

Decreased Emphasis on Political Action

Many trusted evaluators are well-connected to the Effective Altruism community, whose members aim to find the best ways to help others and put them into practice. DGN shares this core goal.

However, Effective Altruists focus on the impact of charitable donations and are often dismissive of the role of political action. This may mean that some funds DGN recommends are missing out on giving to nonpartisan political ventures that may have more impact than nonpolitical ones. I believe reducing suffering is best achieved with a broader strategy that includes both philanthropy and policy.

Disagree? Have questions or feedback?
Please email me at kruus.nic@gmail.com

Our Research Capacity and Qualifications

I am the only researcher for DGN and therefore am limited in the depth and breadth of my research. One person simply cannot thoroughly evaluate every charitable organization or fund. I also have no professional experience in philanthropic research. These two reasons are why I always defer to experts. I am conscientious of my limits, so I remain as unbiased as possible, am transparent about said limits, and trust experts over myself.