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Better late than never!

As is the goal with everything SHIC publishes, this post is meant to be accessible to those unfamiliar with Effective Altruism. Read the full post here: http://www.shicschools.org/single-post/2017/05/15/SHIC-Recommended-Charities-2017


Why SHIC is updating its list

When Students for High-Impact Charity (SHIC) was founded in early 2016, we knew that the organization would need to go beyond teaching about which factors make a charity high-impact. We would offer a list of recommended charities so that those who are new to the concepts we espouse would be provided tangible examples of causes and charities that are among the best in the world (by metrics related to reducing suffering). The list was not meant to be comprehensive of all high-impact charities, but we felt it was adequately representative (without feeling overwhelming) of causes to be covered by SHIC’s material.

At the end of 2016, both Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) and GiveWell, two reputable charity evaluators, updated their top recommendations for the giving season. You can find GiveWell’s latest recommendations here and ACE’s here.

Since then, we’ve decided reevaluate SHIC’s list of recommended charities. Though SHIC will continue to maintain a relatively broad stance with regards to cause selection, we would still like to recommend charities front and center that adequately represent the values we see as critical to being high-impact, as we feel it’s important to give students concrete examples as models for highly effective charities.  

In addition, SHIC has always maintained the policy of recommending charities making direct impact rather than “meta-charities” (charities whose primary purpose includes supporting other specific charities). This is because SHIC aims to introduce effective giving to an audience who may be new to the concept of charity evaluators. Recommending meta-charities takes students a step away from direct impact.

The SHIC program will nonetheless continue promoting selected charity evaluators and meta-charities through our curriculum. We will maintain focus on the importance of forming one’s own opinion based on critical thinking, while providing the tools and roadmaps that can aid in forming those conclusions.

Moreover, supporting carefully chosen charities signals the implicit value of specific ethical approaches we endorse and would like to instill within students as a logical foundation for doing the most good in the world. Some of these concepts include:

  • Interventions with strong evidence for high cost-effectiveness are preferable when such data are is available.

  • When cost-effectiveness information is unavailable, assess a cause based on its counterfactual impact, solvability, and neglectedness.

  • If we value all human lives equally, we’re generally better off supporting interventions in developing countries than developed ones.

  • Non-human animal lives and lives in the future are important to consider when prioritizing causes.

  • When possible, we should respect the preferences of those we’re aiming to help. Oftentimes the global poor can best identify their own self-interests.

  • Factory farming is by far the greatest source of non-human animal suffering currently caused by humans.

  • It’s important to recognize we don’t have all the answers and to continually update our viewpoints based on new evidence.

Charities remaining on the list

From our original list, the following charities will remain among SHIC’s Recommended Charities:

  • The Against Malaria Foundation - provides long-lasting insecticide-treated bednets.

  • Mercy for Animals - spreads awareness about the horrors of factory farming.

  • Cool Earth - forms partnerships with villages bordering rainforests to determine the best ways to protect them.

  • Schistosomiasis Control Initiative - implements deworming programs to rid children of neglected tropical diseases.

  • GiveDirectly - provides unconditional cash transfers to help people escape poverty.

  • Development Media International -  promotes healthy living in developing countries through radio programming.

  • Future of Humanity Institute - researches potential causes of and solutions to global catastrophic risks.

  • Living Goods - employees locals in developing countries to sell affordable health-related items door-to-door.

Charities added to the list

The following charities will be added to SHIC’s list of Recommended Charities:

  • Malaria Consortium - for their seasonal malaria chemoprevention program.

  • Project Healthy Children - food nutrient fortification.

  • The Humane League - interventions including corporate outreach for veganism.

  • The Good Food Institute - promotion and development of meat/dairy alternatives.

  • Machine Intelligence Research Institute - studying responsible implementation of artificial intelligence.

To make our growing list of charities more digestible, we have divided charities into their respective cause areas. We recognize that some charities could fall into multiple subgroups, but don’t see this as significant concern. This division allows visitors/participants to pick up on the general themes we endorse much more easily than if we simply listed the charities.

Disease Prevention

  • Against Malaria Foundation

  • Schistosomiasis Control Initiative

  • Malaria Consortium

  • Project Healthy Children

Human Empowerment

  • GiveDirectly

  • Development Media International

  • Living Goods

Animal Welfare

  • Mercy for Animals

  • The Humane League

  • The Good Food Institute

Environmental and Catastrophic Risk

  • Cool Earth

  • Future of Humanity Institute

  • Machine Intelligence Research Institute


For more, including our reasoning for choosing to include or exclude specific charities in/from our list, read the full post here.





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