Part 2: Differences in Impact

In this sequence, we continue to explore the core principles of effective altruism. We give you tools to evaluate how much good an intervention can achieve, introduce expected value reasoning, and investigate differences in expected cost-effectiveness between interventions. 

Start reading | Part 3: Expanding Our Compassion

Organization Spotlight: GiveWell

In some sequences, we'll showcase an organization whose work is relevant to the topic. This time, we chose:

GiveWell searches for charities that save or improve lives very effectively, with a high bar for evidence. They recommend a small number of charities that they believe do an incredible amount of good. 

Unlike charity evaluators that focus solely on financials, assessing administrative or fundraising costs, GiveWell conducts in-depth research aiming to determine how much good a given program accomplishes (in terms of lives saved, lives improved, etc.) per dollar spent.

Rather than try to rate as many charities as possible, they focus on the few charities that stand out most (by their criteria) in order to find and confidently recommend high-impact giving opportunities.

They believe that there is exceptionally strong evidence for their top charities, and that $3,000-$5,000 in donations to some of those charities can save a life.

Photo credit: Christophe Maertens