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Are You Giving Well?

December 22, 2008

We’ve already talked a bit on this blogabout the debates and conversations taking place about measuring the “impact of philanthropy.”  There is certainly no shortage of blogs or websites on this topic.  In this vein, I wanted to draw your to attention GiveWell.      In their own words, GiveWell is “an independent, nonprofit charity evaluator” that performs research on charities to help people accomplish as much good as possible with their donations.  It claims that unlike existing evaluators, which focus solely on financials, assessing administrative or fundraising costs, GiveWell focuses on how well programs actually work – i.e., their effects on the people they serve.  It’s goal is transparency of nonprofit operations.  (Ironically, GiveWell  has come under scrutiny for its own lack of transparency.)

It seems that the jury on the concept of GiveWell, as well as the methodology of its research, is still out.    But, the organization got a boost of support last week when the Hewlett Foundation announced  a $100,000 grant for GiveWell.

What do you think about the GiveWell and other “independent” organizations that assess the success of charities?  Do you think such a tool would be useful for organizations focused on South Asian issues?

One Comment leave one →
  1. asridhar permalink*
    December 23, 2008 1:09 pm

    I like GiveWell better than Charity Navigator, primarily because GiveWell says this: “We do not believe there is a good ‘one-size-fits-all’ way of evaluating charities; our criteria varied by cause.”

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