GiveWell's Top Charities Are Increasingly Hard to Beat

by Peter_Hurford1 min read10th Jul 20198 comments


Cause Prioritization

OpenPhil reviews their “near-termist, human-centric OpenPhil grants” (i.e., criminal justice reform, immigration policy, land use reform, macroeconomic stabilization policy, and scientific research) grantmaking and find that many of these grants have substantial risk of failing to exceed the cost-effectiveness of GiveWell's top charities.

It appears that over the past several years, the estimated cost-effectiveness of GiveWell's top charities (as a class) has increased higher than expected, whereas so far the estimated cost-effectiveness of “near-termist human-centric OpenPhil grants” (as a class) has not produced as many hits at a similar or better level as expected. There are also further notes around comparing the robustness of these estimations and additional considerations for why non-GiveWell near-termist human-centric grantmaking is valuable.

OpenPhil says they're "planning to write more at a later date about the cost-effectiveness of [their] 'long-termist' and animal-inclusive grantmaking and the implications for our future resource allocation" which I'm especially excited about seeing next.