This one’s from Alex Tabarrok:
When was the last time that a charity […] told you that due to successful fund-raising there are now more urgent needs elsewhere?
- GiveWell (Marginal Revolution)
See, for the last three years GiveWell had listed VillageReach as their top-rated charity… but going into 2012 they’ve switched their ne plus ultra to the Against Malaria Foundation. Why might that be, considering that no-one’s reported any problems with VillageReach? Alex quotes:
VillageReach was our top-rated organization for 2009, 2010 and much of 2011 and it has now received over $2 million due to GiveWell’s recommendation. We do not believe that VillageReach has short-term funding needs […]
This, by the way, is very good news, not only for VillageReach (and for the Against Malaria Foundation), but for the charity business in general. Individual charities have strong incentives to point out misery and failure, as by citing all the work that remains to be done they provide motivation for people to give them money. As time goes on, donors who aren’t true-believers will start to wonder whether they’re doing any good at all. GiveWell, on the other hand, has strong incentives not only to be objective, but to be seen as objective in their evaluations of charities and their structures, capabilities, and needs. This is a strong signal of GiveWell’s objectivity, which will (with any luck) lead to more donations.