Grants to "Standout" Charities

Late last year, when we announced major grants to GiveWell’s top charities, I wrote that Good Ventures also planned to make grants to the six charities that GiveWell highlighted as “standouts” in 2011 for their focus on transparency, particularly promising activities and/or seeking to understand the results of their work through rigorous evaluation. Those “standout” organizations were GiveDirectly, Innovations for Poverty Action, KIPP Houston, Nyaya Health, Pratham and the Small Enterprise Foundation.

Today, I’m pleased to report the amount of each grant and provide more information about these “standout” charities. We hope these grants encourage more nonprofits to pursue cost-effective approaches to saving & improving lives, evaluate their work in a rigorous way and share the results with detail and honesty for the ultimate benefit of the people they aim to serve.

GiveDirectly — $100,000 — GiveDirectly transfers money directly to poor individuals in the developing world. They aim to distribute over 90% of the funds they receive directly to poor recipients. (GiveWell’s review, the charity’s website)

Innovations for Poverty Action — $50,000 — IPA carries out research on aid, primarily developing-world aid, and advocates for the use of this research in decision-making. (GiveWell’s review, the charity’s website)

Knowledge is Power Program Houston — $50,000 — KIPP Houston is a network of public charter schools. KIPP schools have a strong track record of improving students’ academic performance. (GiveWell’s review, the charity’s website)

Nyaya Health — $50,000 — Nyaya Health operates a hospital and system of community health workers in partnership with the government in the district of Achham, Nepal. It shares an unusually large amount of information about its operations publicly. (GiveWell’s review, the charity’s website)

Pratham — $50,000 — Pratham is a large, India-based organization that runs a wide variety of programs aiming to improve education for children in India. (GiveWell’s review, the charity’s website)

Small Enterprise Foundation — $50,000 — SEF is a microfinance institution operating primarily in the Limpopo province of South Africa. (GiveWell’s review, the charity’s website)

The reason for the larger grant to GiveDirectly is that we are particularly impressed with that organization and wanted our grant to reflect this. Some reasons we find GiveDirectly particularly compelling: