Part A (20 mins.)

In this exercise, we’ll imagine that you’re planning to donate to a charity to improve global health, and explore how much you could do with that donation.

GiveWell is an effective altruism-inspired organization which attempts to identify outstanding donation opportunities in global health and development. Using this tool to estimate your future income and Givewell’s reports on their top charities, try and work out what you could achieve if you donated 10% of your lifetime income to one of these charities.

If you’re short on time, here’s a sheet with information about three top GiveWell charities. If you’d like to explore further, check out GiveWell’s cost effectiveness models.

Complete this exercise for three GiveWell charities, writing down your answer like, e.g.:

Malaria Consortium: X cases of malaria prevented, with an estimate of N deaths averted


Part B (10 mins.)

In the last section, you ended up with a few different options. Now imagine you were given $1,000 to donate to only one of these charities. 

There's a difficult judgment to be made now: since you have to pick, which charity would you donate to to do the most good?

Now write down your answer to the following questions:

Which charity do you pick to donate to? Why?

Part C (Optional, 10 mins.)

What are other decisions in your life that you might consider generating quantitative estimates and comparing outcomes for? 

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5 Answers sorted by

Annette Nakakande

Feb 14, 2023



I would go for Malaria Consortium, which, from the information I have read, has interventions at the earliest possible age of children, to provide anti-malaria drugs and immunization of infants, and are likely to avert so many deaths.  There will be prevention of sickness for millions of children, and probably 50% or more lives saved, of the total population of children. when children are young, their immunity is quite low and it is better to save lives at that tender age. Adults have higher immunity levels, so other interventions can be used with adults.

If immunization against malaria is recommended soon, the impact will be even greater. 


With only 1,000 dollars, I would donate to Hellen Keller International because of the low cost of one dollar per vitamin distributed. This would have a greater impact from the available total funding.  


Other issues I would like to consider include issues of both Legal and Medical interventions, especially where one must be done without ignoring the other.

Qian-Jing Zhao

Mar 21, 2023


A. Malaria Consortium: 134,683 cases of malaria prevented, with an estimate of 26 deaths averted.

Against Malaria Foundation: 134,683 cases of malaria prevented, with an estimate of 34 deaths averted.

Helen Keller International: 942,785 delivery of a vitamin A supplement, with an estimate of 269 deaths averted.

B. Helen Keller International: would be my pick. Simply because this is the most cost effective donation to impact most number of lives. 

C. Most consumptions on goods.


Jan 17, 2023


A. In line with the goals and objectives of e.a, I feel contributing to the malaria consortium, Helen Keller international and the new incentive platforms, which all are geared towards charities in the world,with respect to various dimensions and aspects regarding people's health and advancement, would be of immense benefits and should be supported.

B. I would support the new incentive scheme, because of the large number of people,whom owing to religious, cultural and certain social factors,have been denied certain basic immunizations,which if they were given,would have saved them from certain disabilities and health defamatory state,they are currently managing.

C. Other aspects of my life,which I would work on,includes issues as regards climate change,which is already an existential crisis,as the data and other analytical outcomes, would I continually work, towards effectively and efficiently understanding,and using it's outcomes,with the aim of positively impacting our societies and the world at large.

Absolutely true

4 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 11:05 PM

For the sake of using the handbook for an intro fellowship - where is the "earlier estimate of your future income" located, if anywhere, in the handbook? Does it refer to some exercise or to a graph in one of the articles on economic inequality? And if there is no such thing, perhaps an alternative phrasing or including the estimate in the exercise would be great!

+1 here; looks like this is a  vestige from the previous version, and should probably be corrected