The idea this giving season: figuring out where to donate is tricky, but a few key tips can help.
There are lots of pressing problems in the world, and even more possible solutions. We mostly focus on careers, but donating to effective organisations tackling these problems — if you can — is another great way to help.
But how can you figure out where it’s best to donate?
Our article on choosing where to donate lays out how you can make this choice. First, you have to decide whether:
- You want to defer to someone you think is trustworthy, shares your values, and has already evaluated charities. Just following their recommendations can save you work. (We discuss some options below.)
- You want to do your own research instead, which might allow you to find unusually high-impact options matched to your specific values, plus improve your knowledge of effective giving.
- You can also enter a donor lottery — learn more about them here.
If you decide to do your own research, you can use our article to figure out how much time you should spend. For example, we think young people might especially benefit from doing research since they’ll learn lessons about charity evaluation that they can apply for a long time in the future.
If you do your own research, we recommend you:
- Decide which global problems you think are most pressing right now.
- Find the best organisations within your top 2–3 problem areas.
- Choose the one that’s furthest from meeting its funding needs if you have to break a tie.
We have more details about this process in the article.
We don’t think you should just defer to us on where to donate (we don’t do charity evaluations). But we know other organisations in the effective altruism community that share values with many of our staff and readers, and they provide vetted recommendations and opportunities to donate. These include:
Note that EA Funds, GWWC, and 80,000 Hours are all projects of Effective Ventures.
Finally, you could donate to us! 80,000 Hours has room for more funding, and your donation would support our work providing free research and help for people who want to tackle pressing world problems with their careers.
You can find out more about how and why to donate to us and why on our site.
There’s also been a lot of thought-provoking fascinating discussion about giving this year on the Effective Altruism Forum that we recommend. Check out where people are donating and why? and a dialogue on donation splitting as two interesting places to get started.
We hope this advice enables you to make more impactful and informed donations to help others!