GiveWell: Real Change for your Dollar

Posted in Conferences, Companies, Science on October 08, 2008

GiveWell ( performs in-depth research on charities to help people accomplish as much good as possible with their donations. Unlike existing evaluators, which focus solely on financials, we focus on how well programs actually work - i.e., their effects on the people they serve. We started as a group of donors looking to accomplish as much as possible with our own giving, and now we are looking to help others give as effectively as possible.

In this talk, we will discuss how to choose a humanitarian charity. We will discuss what sorts of information are publicly available on the effectiveness of different charities.

More information at
Top recommended organizations listed at
Overview of research findings (with links to more detail): (US) and (developing world)
Summary of first-year progress:

Speaker: Holden Karnofsky
Holden Karnofsky graduated from Harvard in 2003 with a degree in Social Studies, and spent the next several years in the hedge fund industry. He founded GiveWell in August of 2006, as a part-time collaboration between 8 friends struggling with their personal donation decisions, and left his job in mid-2007 to work on the project full-time.

Speaker: Elie Hassenfeld
Elie Hassenfeld graduated from Columbia in 2004 with a degree in Religion, and spent the next several years in the hedge fund industry. He was one of the original 8 part-time volunteer members of GiveWell, and in August of 2007 he left his job to work on it full-time.

Google Tech Talks
September 17, 2008

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