[Link] A new charity evaluator (NYTimes)

by Milan_Griffes1 min read26th Nov 20195 comments



https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/22/your-money/ratings-charities.html (a)

The new org: https://www.impactmatters.org

Not sure how it intends to differentiate from GiveWell, other than by including US charities. The description the founder gave in the NYTimes piece is clearly incorrect: [edit: This is an issue with how the NYTimes presented the quote; see comments of this post for clarification from the founder]

ImpactMatters, which is based in Manhattan, looks at how much good an organization achieves per dollar. For example, a group that provides a meal for $2 when the cost in the area is $4 will get a higher rating than a similar group that provides a meal in that area for $5.
There are already well-established charity rating systems. But Mr. Goldberg, who founded ImpactMatters with Dean Karlan, a Northwestern University economics professor who taught Mr. Goldberg at Yale, said the other ratings did not measure impact as maximizing a donor’s dollar.
GuideStar collects nonprofit groups’ tax forms, known as 990s, and makes searching for financial information easy. Charity Navigator uses the amount of money a charity spends on overhead as a crucial metric in rating a charity’s effectiveness.
GiveWell takes a more exacting approach, naming top charities based on how much good an additional dollar will do. Then there are crowdsourced sites like Great Nonprofits.
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Hi Milan - to clarify the quote, I was referring to organizations like Charity Navigator and Charity Watch. We are, of course, big fans of The Life You Can Save, GiveWell and others EA-related groups. Relative to GiveWell, we complement with a wider geography (United States, Belize, Haiti, Ecuador, etc.), additional causes (education, climate change, homelessness, hunger, clean water and veterans) and more ratings (>1,000 covering ~16 billion in revenue). We believe more information is good. -Elijah

I hope ImpactMatters does well!

Got it. Glad to hear it's an issue with how the NYTimes positioned your quote :-)

Seems like its mission sits somewhere between GiveWell's and Charity Navigator's. GiveWell studies a few charities to find the very highest impact ones according to its criteria. Charity Navigator attempts to rate every charity, but does so purely on procedural considerations like overhead. ImpactMatters is much broader and shallower than GiveWell but unlike Charity Navigator does try to tell you what actually happens as the result of your donation.

The description the founder gave in the NYTimes piece is clearly incorrect.

I wouldn't necessarily say that. I think Goldberg was implicitly comparing ImpactMatters to "other ratings" from orgs like Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, Consumer Reports, etc. -- all of which I'd guess are better-known than GiveWell (and also seem much more similar in the types of charities they report on). 

Or did you mean some other part of the article?

Edit: Looks like Elijah Goldberg responded! Never mind me, then.